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Willisms

« Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 104 | WILLisms.com | Rob Goes Off The Reservation »

Falwell Fallout

This comment from Dean's World about Jerry Falwell is not singular - I have seen versions of it at Kos and elsewhere:

And when it comes down to it, while Saddam might have directly ordered the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, his numbers pale in comparison to the millions of lives destroyed by the religious right in this and other countries - largely thanks to Falwell, who started it all.

I don't get it. Was there a secret war in which millions of gays were rounded up and exterminated? Or was Falwell somehow responsible for AIDS? Or were these millions of lives destroyed via humiliation from the microphone of a loudmouthed preacher from the hills of Virginia? I like the insinuation that somehow Falwell lit off the fundamentalist craze throughout the world, as if Falwell and the Ayatollahs were somehow in solidarity.

How can an otherwise lucid and literate commenter believe something so clearly at odds with the actual facts on the ground? Perhaps the commenter does not really mean what he says, yet nevertheless believes that Falwell is so reprehensible that no slander against him is beyond the pale. Slandering people like Falwell is simply de rigeur among the Left, all the way to the Supreme Court if possible (where Falwell lost a case to the likes of Larry Flynt). Preempting itself, the Huffington Post did not allow comments on its reporting of Falwell's death - Arianna finally learned that 'if you can't say anything nice, it is best to say nothing at all' - but if the reports of a rumored doctor's visit by Dick Cheney can elicit that kind of vitriol, just imagine what Falwell's death would have yielded. The vaunted-yet-elusive liberal tolerance would not have made an appearance, I have a feeling.

Just imagine the progress that could be made throughout the world if that caustic, venomous vitriol that the Left manufactures by the barrel was actually thrown at real enemies of liberalism rather than at a man who believed in elections, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the republican form of government. Sure, Falwell said bad things about gays, but it's not like he executed them as do his putative confederates in Tehran. He never insisted that women be forced to live under a dress code, or be stripped of the privilege of driving. The worst that can really be said about him is that he interpreted (or misinterpreted) the Bible in a literal way. The literal Bible is harsh on sin - if you have a problem with that, your beef is probably with the Bible and not Falwell.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 16 May 2007 10:38 PM

Comments

Saddam wielded his brutality without any claim to morality or justice. His use of power was used to further or continue his hold on power. In many respects, he was like a common criminal.

Falwell, OTOH, sought to wield his power by criminalizing or marginalizing whole segments of society. Early, in Falwell's career, he was a segregationist. His belief was that black Americans simply were no better than second class citizens and, thus, not entitled to the fuill protections and opportunities afforded to whites. Later, Falwell would becaome anti-gay. To Falwell, gays weren't even citizens--or human. This belief allowed his followers to justify injustices and even violence against gays.

All of this, Falwell cloaked in a belief that hatred and exclusion was not just ok--it was moral and just.

Of course, Saddam looted the people of Iraq and Falwell did likewise with his adherents.

Ken tries to claim Falwell "believed in elections, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the republican form of government."

No, he did not. He claimed the separation of church and state was a myth. He believed many groups--including women--weren't entitled to equal rights.

Frankly, comparing Saddam to Falwell doesn't serve any purpose. It's akin to comparing two pieces of dung for relative offensiveness.

Posted by: Jadegold at May 17, 2007 09:46 AM

Well I was never Falwell's biggest fan, but Jadegold you exaggerate greatly if you think that questioning the doctrine of separation of church and state automatically means someone no longer believes in the Constitution.

Falwell never advocated overthrowing the government in order to establish a theocracy. If he advocated segregation at one time, well, that no more makes him an enemy of the Republic than Robert Byrd, now does it.

I have found all sorts of quotes about gays from Falwell, like this one: "Homosexuality is Satan's diabolical attack upon the family that will not only have a corrupting influence upon our next generation, but it will also bring down the wrath of God upon America."

Like . . . Sodom and Gomorrah, I suppose. God didn't approve of that either, so maybe Falwell is just accurately repeating what the Bible tells him.

But I can't find any quotes where he actually advocated violence against gays, re-enslaving blacks, or tearing up the Constitution.

The supposed 'damage' Falwell caused is vastly overblown, and if anything he may well have helped the cause of gay rights by being the Joe McCarthy/Archie Bunker character that deflated the anti-gay movement.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at May 17, 2007 11:00 AM

if you think that questioning the doctrine of separation of church and state automatically means someone no longer believes in the Constitution.

It goes far beyond just that mistaken belief but the fact is that Falwell repeatedly stated this is a Christian nation, that the Bible (his interpretation thereof) should be the basis of our laws, that non-Christians should be excluded from public office and the like---the evidence is that Falwell's belief in the Constitution is based upon his own person interpretation.

Falwell never advocated overthrowing the government in order to establish a theocracy.

Sure, he did. All the time. When you state the US is a "Christian Nation," you are calling for an overthrow of democracy. When you rail against gays, women, science and demand *your* religion be omnipresent in the schools and workplace--you're calling for a theocracy. When you demand all AIDS victims be rounded up and quarantined--that's a theocracy. Sounds like Iran.

Quotes from Ken's idol:

'The true Negro does not want integration...He realizes his potential is far better among his own race...We see the hand of Moscow in the background...We see the Devil himself behind it...It will destroy our race eventually...In one northern city, a pastor friend of mine tells me that a couple of opposite race live next door to his church as man and wife ...It boils down to whether we are going to take God's Word as final.'

A compilation of some of Ken's Idol's Greatest Hits

Posted by: Jadegold at May 17, 2007 12:31 PM

Liberals killed 500,000 gay men.

Think about it... if Bubonic Plague, Cholera, SARS, etc... breaks out the CDC doesn't ask permission, they quarantine.

The very fact that the liberties of the first few thousand Gay men infected weren't restricted allowed them to continue to decide for themselves whether to even be tested.

If the CDC thought you were exposed to Bubonic Plague they don't check the box marked 'may have gotten this via unsafe sex' so Typhoid Mary gets a pass.

As a result 500,000 Gay men died. Oh... and 2,000 Haitians-Hemophiliacs-etc that weren't Gay.

Is AIDs a 'Gay' disease? No. But the 'Gay' Community had a well documented history of rapid spread of STDs like Hepatitis, Gonorrhea and Syphilis. So everybody know this would spread widely and quickly and kill many.

So PoliticalCorrectness resulted in Gay-o-cide.

Yet if I had imposed universal testing, quarantined the first few thousand, and saved the 1/2 million...

I'd be damned to this day.

Posted by: DANEgerus at May 17, 2007 01:59 PM

Of course, Danegerus has his facts terribly wrong. It's a rightwing disease.

Let us remember, the scourge of AIDS arose during the liberal administration of Ronnie Reagan. And he had a GOP Senate. Reagan's response was to ignore the epidemic. When CDC and NIH asked for more money to investigate--it was denied. In fact, during the first few years of the AIDS epidemic, funding for AIDS research was less than $1M per year.

In 1987, GOP icon Jesse Helms cut AIDS education out of an appropriations bill. To this day, you will still find GOPers who would rather not educate people on how to avoid AIDS.

BTW, it was the opinion of the AMA and medical community that universal testing would be detrimental.

So when Danegerus attempts to suggest the GOP was demanding attacking such illnesses head on--it's merely a figment of his imagination.

Posted by: Jadegold at May 17, 2007 03:02 PM

Hey Jadegold, the early republic had official state churches (such as the Congregational Church in Connecticut) paid for by the public.

Are you saying that we didn't in fact have a democracy at that time because we didn't have separation of church and state?

Are you saying that we did not have a democracy when the Bible was being taught in public schools?

For Falwell to state that the US is a 'christian nation' is no more an attempt at overthrowing the Constitution than having an official state religion in New England. That hardly makes him some kind of ayatollah.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at May 17, 2007 04:01 PM

And by the way Jadegold, I was going to take you to task for saying that Falwell is my 'idol' when I clearly stated above that I am not his biggest fan.

But given the record of very poor reading skills on your part, you must have misunderstood that.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at May 17, 2007 04:17 PM

Jadegold, you illustrate that attacking strawmen is a liberal-disease.

Your sweeping, and innaccurate, demonization of me personally only confirms my belief that a 'Gay-o-cide' prevented would only have resulted in ingratitude and a heightened sense of grievance by those 'saved'.

Face the facts. The delusional liberals demands and misrepresentations resulted in 1/2 million lost lives because the preferential treatment resulted in a demographic prevention of diagnosis and treatment for the entire class.

My complaint is that 500,000 people, including some of my friends, died needlessly.

I'm old... I was there...

There has been an avalanche of money allocated to AIDs research, all out of proportion to any possibility of results, and completely disconnected from practical solutions.

Allocated mostly by (R)epublicans...

Your complaint seems to be that I won't accept your blame on behalf of the VRWC based upon trivial anecdotal events by token bigots.

When the truth is 500,00 people died on the altar of PoliticalCorrectness.

Apparently... killed by people... like you?

Posted by: DANEgerus at May 17, 2007 05:04 PM

Hey Jadegold, the early republic had official state churches (such as the Congregational Church in Connecticut) paid for by the public.

Are you saying that we didn't in fact have a democracy at that time because we didn't have separation of church and state?

Hey Ken, CT and MA had--at one time--official state churches. And at the time, women couldn't vote and black citizens could be bought and sold at market. And only white, Christian, and propertied men could vote. So, yes, there was no democracy.

These practices have all been ruled unconstitutional.

Keep defending your hero, Falwell, Ken.


Danegerus: As Ronnie Reagan might say during his brief periods of lucidity: "facts are stubborn things."

The fact is for the first couple years of the AIDS epidemic--the GOPers did nothing. They were content to watch Americans die and they were egged on by Ken's hero, Jerry Falwell.

Today, GOPers still don't want to fight AIDS.

Posted by: Jadegold at May 17, 2007 07:23 PM

Ah, so now he's my hero.

Really cutesy rhetorical technique there, Jadegold.

Worthy of the third grade.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at May 17, 2007 07:34 PM

Blaming Reagan for AIDS is nothing new. "How long, Mr. Reagan?" activists like Whoopi Goldberg used to ask. Then, she kept her mouth shut during Clinton's 8 years, even though the disease kept on spreading.

The dirty little secret about AIDS that the left doesn't want to face is that in large part, this disease is spread by behavior by people CHOOSING to put themselves at risk. Then the left naively pretends that if we just pass out enough condoms, the risk of infection will magically disappear, conveniently overlooking the stubborn fact of their 10% failure rate.

Posted by: Bigfoot at May 17, 2007 09:34 PM

Jadegold, you use the words 'education' in the typically Orwellian way implying that at risk behavior by a small population be indulged with a minimum of restrictions.

The result? 1/2 million dead... probably 20-30% of the gay male population. More money wouldn't have made a difference as the continuing death toll demonstrates.

The politically incorrect alternative?

Mandatory testing would have provided the members of the at risk population an informed choice and most would have restricted their activities voluntarily.

The few that didn't would have had to suffer the same legal ramifications that the consequences their informed irresponsibility brought upon themselves.

The result? Look at what a small percentage of at risk non-gay populations died.

Your standing on a pile of bodies demanding more of the same.

Liberals implemented politically Correct Gay-o-cide and you continue to live in denial. Your tragic mantra "GOPers still don't want to fight AIDS" ignores the numbers... the avalanche of money that "GOPers" allocated in comparison to Bill Clinton(D)... even the Reagan era dollars were unprecedented for their time. Clinton(D)'s increases were incremental to those totals.

And your smear that "GOPers" were "content to watch Americans die" ignores the activism that guaranteed those Americans would die.

My point is that (D)emocrats were "content to watch Americans die" rather then seek a real solution.

Self delusion isn't education.

In this case it was mass murder.

Oh... and I'm a lifelong registered (D)emocrat.

Posted by: DANEgerus at May 18, 2007 09:16 AM

Jadegold, you use the words 'education' in the typically Orwellian way implying that at risk behavior by a small population be indulged with a minimum of restrictions.

Danegerus, I'm certain you know nothing of Orwell other than it's a fashionable term among rightwingers. It's kind of the GOP equivalent of a teenager's "whatever."

The fact is AIDS is not a gay disease as you assert. Any one of us can acquire it and in may US urban areas, the demographic most at risk are women under the age of 45. That means 'education'--Orwellian or otherwise--is needed to help stem its spread.

Further, education might--might--help you not to write such ridiculous twaddle.

Monies have helped. Case in point, when AIDS became prevalent early on, a diagnosis of AIDS was a certain death sentence. If you had AIDS, your life was over; you might live a failing existence for a year or two. Today, we haven't a cure but we do have many AIDS victims who can live much longer and almost a normal life.

GOPers, such as yourself, are happy to spread your myths and ignorance as you celebrate the deaths of so many Americans.

Posted by: Jadegold at May 18, 2007 12:00 PM

He said what he believed and we can't have that in America, right? wait a minute of course we can, if you are a liberal.

Posted by: Jaded at May 18, 2007 12:06 PM

Dane,

RE: Mandatory testing. When HIV/AIDS was first discovered, there was no way to test for it. Quarantining the first few thousands who showed signs of the disease would have had little effect on its spread. When a reliable test became available (1985, I think), who would have qualified for mandatory testing? And to those who tested positive, how would you mark them as such?

You say: "Mandatory testing would have provided the members of the at risk population an informed choice and most would have restricted their activities voluntarily.

Right, just like those warnings on packs of cigarettes.

Posted by: John in IL at May 18, 2007 09:07 PM

moscow flights flights moscow

Posted by: moscow flights at May 24, 2007 05:38 PM

"the demographic most at risk are women under the age of 45."

This is completely false, unless you do not have enough statistical knowledge to understand what "at risk" means. Gay men remain most at risk in the US, and at roughly the same rate of infection as in the mid-80s. So much for wasting money on "education," especially since every human being in the United States has had condoms and safe sex shoved down his throat for the last twenty years, yet people still CHOOSE to engage in high risk behavior.

Posted by: rightwingprof at May 25, 2007 02:46 PM