More Hypocrisy From Fish Wrapper On Falwell

Since the recent death of Jerry Falwell, the wackos on the left and their compatriots in the liberal media have been, as expected, taking their shots at Jerry Falwell. The Daily Dead Fish Wrapper jumps right in with an editorial about Falwell.

It actually starts out in a pretty straightforward manner.

Jerry Falwell was a formidable personality. He was a lighting rod for critics, but a man who was never bullied or tainted by scandal.

When he was simply a preacher, his influence was limited to the audiences who flocked in growing numbers to hear him preach. Like many evangelical preachers, he was savvy about new communications platforms, fundraising and expanding his nonprofit business interests. With them, he took his small congregation and turned it into a multimedia evangelical empire.

But then they start to work in the subtle shots against Republicans, and conservatives in general.

But what propelled Falwell to national prominence was his passionate belief that his brand of conservative Christianity should be translated into direct political activism. The Moral Majority, the political organization he founded at the end of the Carter presidency as a vehicle for this conviction, overwhelmingly supported conservative Republicans and became a key constituency for Republicans seeking office in all the years since.

"I'm not looking for a Sunday school teacher," he explained to a CNN host on the eve of last year's midterm elections. "I am looking for a good, moral and intelligent leader who is right on the issues that count."

For Falwell, the issues that counted the most were abortion, traditional marriage and a range of traditional, conservative social issues -- many of which resonated with Republicans. He said Democrats had chosen to side with "the death culture" and if they nominate Hillary Clinton, his political followers would be galvanized into action, more even than "if Lucifer ran."

Actually, you can interpret what the editors say as an accurate description of Democrats/liberals: the issues of abortion (on demand), traditional marriage (the destruction of it) and other morals worth destroying are what is most important to them. But I digress...

Finally, the editors get to their point.

That kind of demonization of political opponents was, unfortunately, a hallmark of Falwell's public career. He also gained infamy for his bizarre remarks in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, when he said on television that "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way . . . you helped this to happen." He later tried to clarify this, but insisted that secularists had created a permissive environment that invited attack.

All this made Falwell the target of derision in some quarters, appreciation in others. Sen. John McCain, who is running again for the presidency in 2008, once labeled him an "agent of intolerance." But more recently, he had mended fences with Falwell in an effort to court the votes of his followers.

McCain was right the first time: Falwell was intolerant, and his politics were divisive and served the nation poorly. He built an effective political organization at least partly by appealing to people's worst instincts. His rhetorical universe was populated by villains like the ones he identified after 9/11.

The hypocrisy here is absolutely off the charts. Liberals always talk about being tolerant, but never practice it themselves. Just look at Congressional Democrats, with their continuing barrage of bills whose sole purpose is to silence free speech of those who dare to have views different from theirs and actually speak out against them. Look at the American Criminal and Leftist Union (aka ACLU), and their incessant frivolous and wasteful lawsuits attempting to stifle the freedom of religion. I could go on and on with examples of liberal intolerance, and when they make claims like this about conservatives, it makes me want to puke. Talk about throwing stones in glass houses.

Divisiveness is another hypocritical stone the Democrats like to throw. When conservatives dare to actually take a stand on something, they're being "divisive" because everybody doesn't agree with them, but when liberals take a stand, they're just doing the right thing. Whatever. Democrats don't realize that they are just as divisive (seen their recent poll numbers lately? Not something you'd see in the Fish Wrapper, of course), since they drive away conservatives with their complete lack of moral standing. But of course, that doesn't matter to them.

Joseph Laconte makes a good point about democracy the liberals won't like to hear.

Falwell’s critics — such as Polly Toynbee of The Guardian or Susan Thistlethwaite of Chicago Theological Seminary — like to compare his Christian fundamentalism to Islamic radicalism. They see the same brooding hatreds at work. “The world can no longer afford the kind of absolutist religion and politics Rev. Falwell helped to popularize,” Thistlethwaite snapped. “It will literally be fatal.”

Yet any calm reflection on Falwell’s record exposes that characterization as pure sophistry. Falwell was strenuously opposed to abortion, for example, but he was quick to denounce any violence committed against abortion doctors and he supported programs for unwed mothers. He sometimes used inflammatory biblical language to describe the culture wars in America. But he utterly rejected any notion of a theocratic state or Christian jihad. What many of Falwell’s critics find so offensive is the idea that religious ideals — particularly those in the Judeo-Christian tradition — should help shape our politics. That secularizing approach, so popular in so much of Europe, does not appear to be producing more humane or just societies. It cannot, in the end, sustain a democratic society.

Jerry Falwell had his faults, excesses, and ego. His style of politics has no doubt contributed to the public rancor over religion. But think about it: The most frightening outcome of his activism was not a cadre of suicide bombers, or a culture of nihilistic rage, or a network of terrorists plotting to destroy the foundations of Western civilization. The most frightening outcome of Falwell’s activism was the mobilization of middle-class citizens to join school boards and city councils, to launch lobbying campaigns and voter-registration drives, to participate in local and national elections.

We call that democracy.

Now here's the typical hypocrisy for the Fish Wrapper in a case like this; would they ever write anything like this about a liberal? Hell no, they would gloss over any negatives as much as possible (one of the most popular articles on this site is about exactly that). As Matthew Balan notes at Newsbusters:

Over the past years, the liberal mainstream media has produced gushing tributes to deceased "secular saints" such as Princess Diana, John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Coretta Scott King. It would have been practically sacrilegious for these outlets to air any kind of immediate criticism of such figures. Yet, in the 24 hours or so since the death of Christian conservative leader Jerry Falwell, the mainstream media has given air time to every sort of criticism of the late evangelical.

But, as always, why be fair when you have a liberal agenda to push? 




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