Jerry Falwell Dead at 73 May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell Dead at 73

Jerry Falwell was found unconscious in his office today. He was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

He was one of the first to purposefully mix church and state. He certainly won’t be the last.

If anything, let his life be a reminder that we need to oppose those groups that want to force their religion to become everyone’s religion.

[tags]atheist, atheism, Jerry Falwell[/tags]

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  • Jen

    Is it wrong to be slightly happy about this? I feel a little guilty… no, no I don’t.

  • John

    If it’s wrong, then I’m wrong, and proud of it. I’m incredibly glad that he’s now a corpse.

  • Is it wrong to be happy about this? I don’t know, so I’ll only post half of my initial impulse:

    Ding, dong…

  • Kristen Harker

    How can you sit there and say that you are happy that someone is dead? Especially a man who has done more for this world, and helped more people than you can even imagine! Dr. Falwell was the most selfless, ambitious, giving, loving, kind-hearted man that has ever walked this earth. He gives to those who have nothing, I know- he gave me a full scholarship to his university because he cared. And in reponse to your comment about him forcing his religion on others- that is abosolutely obsurd. As an atheist I am sorry for you that when you die, you will not get to spend eternity with the people who care about you. Do I know where you will end up, no. I can assure you that no one of the Christian faith would EVER be joyful of your death though. My prayer is that you will see that there is more to life than yourself.

  • I have only sorrow at his death. I cannot be angry at him anymore. It’s time to move on.

  • How can you sit there and say that you are happy that someone is dead?

    How can you not be? Isn’t he with Jesus now?

  • Gmonet

    I’m not joyful about his death. I’m just very ok with it.

  • Shaun Mason


    You do it like this:

    Hooray! Hooray! Jerry Falwell is fucking dead! Yay!!!!!!

    I only hope that someday I’ll get to dance on his grave and sing a little song, that goes a little something like this:

    You’re dead
    I’m not
    I thrive
    You rot
    You promoted hatred all of your years
    Making money from peoples’ fears
    Jesus didn’t save you, that you’ve learned
    Now you’re just going to feed some worms

    Hooray, Hooray, Hooray!

  • Kristen Harker,

    “I can assure you that no one of the Christian faith would EVER be joyful of your death though”

    Interesting since Falwell seemed to relish God’s punishment of homosexuals…”AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals.” I dont understand how people like “Dr.” Falwell can call themselves Christians and make the hateful, bigoted comments that he did. If the devil has a sense of humor, Falwell will be naked and bathed for eternity by homosexual black transvestites.

  • Somehow, I’m happy that I was born in a third-world nation who didn’t get a lick of what Fallwell had to say. haha

  • You are entitled to your opinion and comments just as Pastor Falwell was entitled to his. God has given us free will to do as we wish while given this short opportunity on this planet. Choices have consequences. I pray you will find the Lord and realize that God even loves those who do not accept or believe in Him. Pastor Falwell was not perfect, just as none of us are. But he was a great man who proclaimed what he believed and encouraged others to do the same. God bless you.

  • Tina

    Dear respondent’s to Mr. Falwell’s death:
    I really don’t see how anyone can post a genuine response to this person’s death since who can say they knew this person. Here,some of you may say that you did not care for what he stood for, and that is only an opinion not substantiated by any true facts besides pure hatred or disbelief. Other than that, the only other things mentioned here are silly cliches that are nothing more than a game of tit for tat. As for me, death is a reality of life for everyone. And no one knows what will happen to Mr. Falwell now that he passed besides God. In addition, I refuse to dance on someone’s grave as I have better things to do with my time. However, I encourage those who have a vendeta against anyone, that they should seek counseling as mudering someone’s reputation or personhood is an anti-social behaviour that leads to discord and violence, which is supposedly the very thing the rspondents here are trying to avoid and prevent. Thus, making your actions look like mere transferring of feelings that perhaps you yourself are feeling inside.

    In Christ,

  • Clearly, this was God’s punishment for his cynical use of the lawd’s name to make money.

  • Pat Swanson

    He was one of the first to purposefully mix church and state.

    How do you figure? Hasn’t that been going on for thousands of years?

  • RantingTommy

    Saying you shouldn’t be happy about Fallwell dying is like saying you shouldn’t be happy about Hitler dying.

    Not saying Falwell was Hitler, only that some peoples’ deaths are GOOD for the world.

  • Logos

    I love how Larry Flynt calls him Rev.Fartwell (lol)

  • I am a Christ-follower, and work at a large church in the South. We are especially guilty as southerners and moreso as Christians for mixing church and state. I am definitely of the thought process that nobody has that right – to impose a religious and/or spiritual belief system on another person. All the stupid boycotts, people getting upset over Rick Warren having Barack Obama at an AIDS conference…that kind of stuff is totally ridiculous and I believe actually opposes what Christ taught.

    I digress.

    I have just started reading your book…I believe my husband and you are corresponding. What I have read so far (skimming) I have thoroughly enjoyed and will be recommending it to many, many people. Thank you for so honestly sharing your thoughts.

  • One thing I’ve learned. I always seem to wind up liking people who introduce themselves as Christ-followers.

    Welcome, Anne!

  • Radical Thinking

    As someone trained in physics, engineering and the bible, I have learned that it is self-evident that all humans have the innate free-will to believe in whatever they want to believe. Further in the community of humans, many sub-communities and sub-sub communities will naturally arise, such as atheists, religious groups, scientists, entertainers, and so forth. A sub-community that fails to honor such basic human traits such as respect, compassion, goodwill to other members of a sub-community, regardless of points of agreements, does a disservice to all human communities! I have learned historically, that sub-communities that act in such ways, no matter how rational or irrational their reasons are for justifying their behavior, will eventually die off of attrition. Therefore, respect the dead and make your agreements or disagreements with the life of a decease person be noted with honor.

  • Hear-hear, Radical.

    In-group amity is no excuse for out-group emnity.

    I don’t like it when religious folks do it, so I don’t like it when we do it.

    It’s an unattractive trait.

    Sadly human, though.

  • Carl

    Jerry has gone to meet his maker, but you cannot relax and take your eye off the ball. The game goes on. Jerry is gone, but what he did and what he stood for, both good and bad, will no doubt, continue on. Some this may be be for the good, but a lot of it will continue to divide and supress good, honest, hard working folks. Unfortunately there will be no shortage of individuals and groups who are ready and willing to take up a few of his tools; the hatred, disinformation and devisiveness adn use them ,as he did, to maintian and abuse power and influence over others. Rejoice, or weep at his passing, if you must, but don’t turn your back on the machine he left behind. It is still running and, love him or hate him, YOU are in its path,

  • “A sub-community that fails to honor such basic human traits such as respect, compassion, goodwill to other members of a sub-community, regardless of points of agreements, does a disservice to all human communities!”

    How does someone who acted so far out of these guide lines by bashing homosexuals and dehumanizing such ‘sub -communities’ deserve any respect? What, once he dies we’re suppose to sit idle and pay homage? Do you think Mussolini didn’t deserve the meat hook?

    I think that ethically we should learn great tolerence when giving respect to those who deserve it, but as i think Karl Popper said we should not be tolerant of the intolerant. I would never think someone who seeks my submission deserves my respect.

  • Thanks, Siamang. I should probably rephrase it to “attempting to follow the teachings of Christ but screwing up quite frequently.”

    It doesn’t sound as elegant though. 🙂

    I enjoyed reading your Life Story, and look forward to more discussions!

    To the most recent comments – do all human beings deserve respect, regardless of their actions? If so, to what extent?

  • How does someone who acted so far out of these guide lines by bashing homosexuals and dehumanizing such ’sub -communities’ deserve any respect?

    The question is, how do we teach the proper behavior? How do we model for others the proper behavior? How do we show those who expect us to dance on Falwell’s grave — and indeed will snort with self-satisfaction upon hearing that we atheists are already piping up a tune — that we are also worthy of respect?

    Even the very respect that Falwell never stooped to show us.

  • Todd

    “It is quite true that the use of religion by politics is always accompanied by the pressure of religion on politics.” — Thich Nhat Hahn, Vietnam: Lotus In A Sea Of Fire

    “The pro-tolerance crowd is so hypocritical. They’re always going on about how Americans should be more accepting. But as they are asked to accept intolerance, they’re surprisingly intolerant. And you know who suffers? The intolerant.” – Steven Colbert, The Colbert Report

  • Karen

    To the most recent comments – do all human beings deserve respect, regardless of their actions? If so, to what extent?

    I think “respect” might be too strong a word for me to use about Falwell. He opposed the civil rights movement, strongly supported apartheid in South Africa, bashed homosexuals, espoused theocracy and held lots of attitudes that I find repugnant and simply cannot respect.

    However, he was a human being deserving of freedom, and as a member of that free society I would certainly stand up for his right to hold whatever beliefs he chose, so long as he didn’t attempt to inflict them on others by force. He might have liked to do the latter, but thank goodness our democracy didn’t give him the chance.

    In terms of being “happy” that someone is dead, I must defer to John Donne:

    “All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated…As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness….No man is an island, entire of itself…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

  • Darryl

    Everyone gets a shot at Life; everyone gets a chance to add or subtract from this Life. Mr. Falwell was a debit upon the goodness of humanity. He did not deserve the influence he wielded. He built an institution that I hope will not long survive him. Should we be sorrowful about his passing? Not at all. Death, the Great Leveler, is the only real justice of the poor and the powerless. Justice has been served on this man.

    What will be his legacy? In my view Mr. Falwell was on the ‘wrong side of history.’ He will not be missed. I imagine that he will occupy, at most, an unflattering footnote in the history of our time. He was an enemy of our form of government, which means he was an enemy of the people. He rose to prominence upon ignorance, prejudice, and bigotry. He died an ignominious death. He did not even live up to the promise of his name: he did not rise well; he did not fall well. He was no champion.

    I can’t help but wonder what Pat Robertson and James Dobson are thinking today, knowing that their generation of fools is fast giving way to the next.

  • One thing I’ve learned. I always seem to wind up liking people who introduce themselves as Christ-followers.

    That’s probably because most people who use that term (including myself) do so because they’re more sensitive to all the stupid things “Christians” often say or do and they’re looking for a better way to follow Jesus without having to buy into all the stupidity. Thus they often tend to share some of the same critiques of Christianity that many atheists do.

  • Logos

    Siamang Why are you bursting our bubble? We don’t have much to be happy about (especially those of us who live in the bible belt) Why take this away from us. I remember Ann Coulter saying that no Christian would fail to laugh at the thought of Richard Dawkins burning in hell, why can’t we return the favor?

  • I don’t even think it’s as complex as that, Mike C. I just think it signifies someone not content with a label like “Christian”, and is searching for a term that reminds them of the path they’re walking rather than the tribe they belong to.

    Anyway, so far it’s been a good indicator for me.

  • Kim G

    It wasn’t like Mr. Falwell forced anyone to follow him. At least I’m assuming his followers did so willingly. What freaks me out is just how many people there are who have so little regard for freedom (Falwell’s followers among them). What freaks me out even more is how many people there are with little regard for human life (again Falwell and all those who think homosexuals deserve to die of AIDS). While I don’t wish death upon Falwellians, neither will I morn Falwell’s death.

  • Logos wrote:

    Siamang Why are you bursting our bubble?

    I felt like someone would chime in soon with “Duuuude, you’re totally harshing my mellow!”


  • anti-nonsense

    I know I shouldn’t be happy about this, because he did persumably have family and friends that will miss him. But I can’t help it, because Jerry falwell opposed just about everything I believe in and spread wanton hate and anger.

    I’m sorry, it’s a flaw in my character, but I can’t help it.

  • I don’t even think it’s as complex as that, Mike C. I just think it signifies someone not content with a label like “Christian”, and is searching for a term that reminds them of the path they’re walking rather than the tribe they belong to.

    Yeah, I thought that’s what I said. 🙂

  • Well since I’m already an infidel and am already going to hell- Yes! That bastard is dead!

  • Jen

    I hear everyone suggesting that Falwell deserves basic human dignity and respect, and continuing this weird idea that just because someone is dead, we can’t critique his life. I understand that in an intellectual way.

    But FUCK THAT. He thinks that people like me are the reason for 9-11 and Katrina. If he can dehumanize the rest of us, I don’t understand why we can’t pay him back in kind. Dead people cannot defend themselves, but that doesn’t mean we cant mention all the terrible mean shit they spewed in life.

    This has nothing to do with his Christianity, and everything to do with his asshole-being.

  • Mriana

    Kristen, Farwell has done nothing in this world except spread hate. He called the anti-christ a Jew, he said feminist, gays, etc did 9/11, the list goes on and on. He didn’t do anything to give people human dignity. He was hardly loving and kind hearted. Read the various news articles and you will find what all he did that hurt people.

    I won’t lie, a part of me is glad he is gone, but I also feel sorry that he could not love himself. To have that much hated for others, I see no way a person can love themselves. However, I am truly sorry he did not know love and compassion, thus had to have had lot of misery within himself. I seriously doubt he will have another chance to find peace and happiness.

    Sadly, those who hate various people like he did will pick up the ball and continue the work he did. Doesn’t sound like love and compassion to me. If all of that is what it means to be a Christian, I want no part of it.

    Even so, I will not stoop so low as to dance for joy about his death.

  • HappyNat

    Here,some of you may say that you did not care for what he stood for, and that is only an opinion not substantiated by any true facts besides pure hatred or disbelief

    This opinion is based on what the man said and did, to me those are facts. I disagree with the negative and mean responses to his death, but there are real reasons to hate what he stood for and what his did during his life.

  • Tina B.

    Ummm..that Tina on here is not me, I will try to change my name to Tina B.

  • Kristen Harker,

    You didn’t answer my question. Why aren’t you overjoyed with Falwell’s death? Isn’t that God’s plan and His chosen time of Falwell’s departing? Isn’t he with Jesus now?

    I really don’t get this aspect of Christianity. According to doctrine, the greatest thing that can ever happen to Falwell happened yesterday, and yet the news reports people in mourning over it.

  • Tha god that never was

    Where is he being buried, so I’ll know where to go when I have to pee.

  • shade51

    There wasn’t much in the way of weeping and gnashing of teeth in the US and its “coalition of the bullied” when Saddam was hanged. And while I certainly wouldn’t say with authority that all Christians rejoiced, I can say with some certain that a goodly number of folks who represent themselves as Christians did indeed celebrate. Do you think George W. Bush, our Christian-in-Chief, felt remorseful? But I suppose it was considered acceptable to be happy over Saddam’s demise because he was our enemy and a bad man and not even a Christian. But because Mr. Falwell represented himself as a “man of God” and carried his bible about with him, he is supposed to get a free pass now that he is dead, and treated with some sort of respect? When a person is a high profile public figure as he was, then one does not need to know or even care what he was “really” like personally. All one can reasonably go by are the things he wrote and said for public consumption, his beliefs, and his intentions as he stated them in public. Based on these things, there is little doubt that most reasonable people, Christian or otherwise, would find him nothing more than vile. Now that he is dead, his memory is vile.

    There will never be any way to quantify the amount of pure misery he contributed to by his constant denunciation of gays – and that’s just one example. No one “makes” a person commit suicide, but I wonder how many suicides he helped provide the fodder for?

    Small minded, anti-intellectual, hate-mongering – that’s just the top of the list of terms to describe this…man. At the moment of his death, the world was, for a few seconds perhaps, one ten thousandth of a percent a better place. Unfortunately, his successors are already lining up, I’m sure. Perhaps they will meet a similar fate, only much earlier in their lives than did Mr. Falwell. These people can call themselves what they want, but they are not Christians.

  • Mriana

    I was NOT happy when Saddam was hung. It was barbaric! I thought we as a society had advanced beyond that, but apparently not.

  • shade51

    Nor was I happy when Hussein was hanged. Even though we tried to pretend it was “Iraqi justice” rather than the outcome our administration wanted, most of the world wasn’t fooled. However, you and I can only speak for ourselves. I’ve seen and heard and read about folks who gloated over his death, and it wasn’t just a small number either. How ironic that some of the crimes he committed and was executed for would have been more difficult to do if we hadn’t helped him out by providing him with chemical weapons when we considered him a “friend.”

    Saddam may have been a lot of things, and not many of them good, but he did not insist that he was enforcing God’s rules during his brutal dictatorship. I don’t recall reading anything by him indicating that he felt he was channeling the Divine.

    Falwell wasn’t executed, as far as we know. He lived a fairly long life, doing a great deal of damage to this country, to Christianity, and to human progress. He died, it seems, a natural death. So, perhaps I shouldn’t be happy. But I feel what I feel. I detested this person and everything he stood for. Unlike him, I’m not condemning entire classes of people. I’m specifically targeting him – Jerry Falwell. How dare that cretin set himself up as arbiter of God’s will, and God’s intentions, and of who will and will not “get into heaven.”

  • Logos

    I thought it was funny…you are harshing my mellow

  • Wow, where’d all the trolls come from all of a sudden?

  • Logos

    Jeez, I make one joke and I get branded a troll.

  • Logos, I was mostly referring to “Jane” (who I’m glad to see Hemant deleted).

  • Mriana

    Well, I’m glad Hemant finally saw it and got rid of it. Think of the children who might drop in for a peek of what is happening. I’m not easily offended, but that was really crossing the line.

    Anyway… Where were we in this conversation before we were so rudely interrupted?

    The damage is not finished being done yet, Shade. We still have all the other Religious Reich groups to deal with. 🙁

  • Logos

    I don’t think my joke deserved to get deleted it didn’t even have any dirty words in it!

  • Mriana

    It was implied Logos, so I think that’s why Hemant deleted it. I think it best we let it go in case of lurkers wanting great laughs.

  • Logos

    Well, it was not a great laugh. but still it think it was a pretty good one

  • Betty

    I am elated that Jerry Falwell is dead. Now maybe we can get someone who isn’t such an arrogant and judgmental person to lead the Church.

  • Petronius Arbiter II

    Forgiveness is for the living. Falwell never repented for any of the terrible damage he did to the good name of Jesus of Nazareth, the horrible false witness he bore against his creator, sustainer, and redeemer.

    Jesus suggested– very nearly commanded– that when our neighbor repents, we ought to forgive him, to which I would only add, “if you can. Don’t strain yourself too much, okay?”

    Forgiveness of the unrepentant, then, should be viewed as optional. That doesn’t mean one can’t do it. In fact, forgiving someone, even though it may seem quite irrational, may be of great benefit to the one who forgives. In many cases, I’ve noticed, forgiveness seems to do far more for the forgiver than for the forgiven, but this doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing, just that the projected or anticipated results may not be accomplished so easily. In any case, talk of forgiveness of the unrepentant ought never be accompanied by that sometimes-evil word “should.”

    I choose not to forgive Falwell for the many evils he did. I choose not to have any opinion whatsoever about what kind of forgiveness God ought to practice on the Irreverend Falwell. That’s God’s business, not mine; “judge not, that ye be not judged.”

    Who am I to say how God should judge the man? Or, say, Christopher Columbus, often hailed as a great wonderment, but also a practitioner of genocide? The plain fact is, for all I know, if I’d been in Columbus’ or Falwell’s shoes, I might have behaved just as badly as they did, or worse.

    But wherever Falwell is now, he doesn’t need my little forgiveness, and I don’t feel any need to give it him. He’s dead. Let the dead bury their dead. I’d sooner practice forgiveness, and generosity of spirit, or at the very least, some kind of tolerance, toward the persons of a thousand living Falwells, than one dead one.

    Lotus in a sea of fire, indeed. I’ve been trying to track down the centuries-old Buddhist poem that inspired that book title, but all I can seem to find on the net are references to the book, not the poem. And that’s what brought me here… We’re in for some very troubling times, and we must stand firm against bigotry, irrational fear, slanders of all kinds, and above all against the many murders they inspire. And know that we are weak, but God is strong, and we too will falter at times. Let us hope that if we fall, we will indeed fall well. Unlike the late pastor of that name, whose death I neither mourn nor praise.

    Do not suppose that we have never been warned against this kind of thing. Jesus himself said, “and indeed the day is coming when anybody who kills you will believe he is doing a holy thing for the Lord.” Well, Falwell may never have performed a single act that would qualify as homicide in the eyes of man, but aiding, abetting, and encouraging? What of that?

    I will pray with all my might that I do not become, in my own inadvertent way, just as bad as those I would decry. That’s where it all must begin and end: with our potentially harshest critic, the man in the mirror.

  • Colby

    I can’t think of a single person in my life who is unhappy about the death of this religious freak! He even made those who were “good christians” look bad.

    If there is a hell, he’s burning in it…in the deepest pit, right along with his buddies like Hitler.

    Maybe there is a god…he put an end to Jerry Fallwell’s miserable life.

    As for me, I’m planning a HUGE party, with parades in the streets, on the 1st anniversary of his death. I’m hoping to have the Teletubbies and a few of my gay friends sucking and screwing each other on the float, just as an afront to Fallwell. I live in Virginia again, having just moved back from Detroit…(God, what a horrible city). So, I’m going to plan a trip to Fallwell’s grave, maybe on May 15, 2008, to take a shit on his grave.

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