Tuesday, May 15, 2007

If there's a heaven, does Jerry Falwell get through the gate?

As my wife can tell you, I'm probably the last person who should be asking this question, being the heathen that I am, but whenever a high profile religious figure with polarizing views dies, it's the first question that pops into my mind.

If the cover charge for Club Heaven is a strong faith and belief in God, then yes, I suspect he gets his great reward. Of course, I have no idea what was in his heart. For all I know, he was the greatest con man in the history of the religious right. But I'm predisposed to give people the benefit of the doubt. I might not agree with you, but I'll rarely question if your convictions are genuine, particularly when they come from a position of faith.

However, if you figure in the actions and public positions of Falwell, you have to wonder whether or not Jerry gets that Fast Pass through the Pearly Gates. A quick look at Falwell's Wikipedia entry is enough to give one pause. During the Civil Rights Movement, Falwell supported segregation and gave segregationist politicians air time during his TV program The Old-Time Gospel Hour.

He later claimed to have changed his position, but did he? In the 1980's Falwell was a supporter of South African President PW Botha and his apartheid regime. He went so far as to encourage Christians to purchase South African gold to help support Botha's segregationist government. Odd for a person who had seen the light on civil rights.

If God's black, I think Jerry might have some 'splain'in to do.

He also filmed "The Clinton Chronicles: An Investigation into the Alleged Criminal Activities of Bill Clinton." Despite the theories being discredited by all major investigations, this video (according to Wikipedia) connected Bill Clinton to a conspiracy theory involving Vincent Foster, James McDougall, Ron Brown, and an alleged cocaine-smuggling operation.

Creating smear videos based on heresay and innuendo doesn't sound like a responsible thing to do. In fact, just a couple of years ago, Falwell himself refused to vouch for accuracy of the information presented in that video.
In an interview for the 2005 documentary The Hunting of the President Falwell admitted, "To this day I do not know the accuracy of the claims made in The Clinton Chronicles," but failed to condemn the poor research.
Some how, that doesn't sound like the kind of thing that Billy Graham or most other mainstream religious leaders would do.

And there are the rumors about his take over of Heritage USA from Jim and Tammy Bakker. Nasty stuff involving deceit and backstabbing, but they are just rumors so who really knows the truth.

These are just a few things but they make you wonder. If the final judgement actually exists, will Jerry Falwell get a passing grade?


Anonymous said...

Jerry Falwell knocking on the pearly gates will certainly test God's limits for forgiveness.

thephoenixnyc said...

As a teenager in the early-mid 80s I used to scrawl "The Moral Majority" is neither on various surfaces.

Anonymous said...

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. Only those who do what my Father in heaven wants will enter.
22 “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord! Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we drive out demons in your name? Didn’t we do many miracles in your name?’
23 Then I will tell them clearly, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who do evil!’

the c-dude said...

{sniff, sniff} Is that brimstone I smell?

Carolyn said...

Speculate all you want about this, but we all know that God is the final judge and jury. You are right, Tony...you don't know what was in Jerry's heart. Perhaps he didn't even know; but God knows. And for all the Christians who are now verbally crucifying Mr. Falwell, well, something tells me that YOU are going to have some 'splainin' to do at the pearly gates too. However, suffice it to say that I personally hope God's capacity for compassion and forgiveness is greater than that of my fellow man.