Jerry Falwell is dead.
Yeshua ben Yosef said:
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?...
The answer to Yeshua's question is: Jerry Falwell's father would. If Jerry asked his father for bread, he would be given a stone; if Jerry asked his father for fish, he would be given a serpent.
Here's Jonathan Schwarz:
A Tiny Revolution: Jerry Falwell, Explained: Have you ever wondered how Jerry "Gays and Feminists Caused 9/11" Falwell became such a vicious, bloodthirsty lunatic? Via the New Yorker, this section from Falwell's 1987 autobiography, Strength for the Journey, goes a long way toward explaining it:
There were times that Dad's pranks bordered on cruelty. One of his oil-company workers, a one-legged man he nicknamed "Crip" Smith, complained about everything. Dad and Crip's co-workers got tired of the old man's bellyaching and decided to take revenge. One morning Crip called in sick and Dad volunteered to send by lunch to his grateful but suspicious employee. Dad and his chums caught Crip's old black tomcat, killed it, skinned it, and cooked it in the kitchen of one of Dad's little restaurants. They called it squirrel meat and delivered it to Crip on a linen-covered tray. When Crip returned to work the next morning, Dad and his co-conspirators asked him how he liked his meal. They knew he would complain even about a free home-cooked lunch, and when Crip called it "the toughest squirrel meat" he had ever eaten, they were glad to tell him why.
I can't decide what's most insane about this. Is it:
- that Falwell grew up with a father this batshit crazy; or
- that Falwell seems to have little recognition of how batshit crazy his father was? And shows no signs of wondering how growing up in a family like that warped his own view of the world?
Falwell's childhood must have been a complete hell--and it is no surprise that Falwell made God in his own father's image. Given the hand that he was dealt, I cannot judge Jerry Falwell.
The Republican politicians who built Falwell up--who sought his endorsement and magnified his influence--them will I judge.