In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Monday, May 21, 2007

Death of Jerry Falwell

I had intended to write some before this point, but my life got in the way. One topic that really grabbed me was the death of Jerry Falwell. It was sudden and unexpected (at least by me).

Since I didn't post the news right away on my blog, I've had time to hear the reaction of others. The news continued to analyze his words and his actions. I told one of my colleagues the day I heard the news. She said something to the effect of, "Thank the Lord for miracles!" Also, when I was in San Francisco, someone had set up a tombstone that read "Dance on His Grave". I'm not surprised at these expressions, but I'm not sure I want to express them myself.

I have found that I follow a rule that I don't rejoice in anyone's death. Now, I certainly won't be celebrating Falwell's life. Most of his life was spent trying to make like more difficult for me and those that I care about. He has contributed to the level of racism, sexism, homophobia, prejudice, and discrimination that exists in our country today. He loved to make grand statements that belittles others or blames them for our problems. He is not someone I will miss.

However, I never wished for his death. Rather, I would have loved to see him reach out to others who don't agree with him. Now that he's dead, he has missed that opportunity. He's missed seeing how great and wonderful the world can be. Perhaps I feel more sorry for him than anything. He wasn't able to experience the presence of God in the way that many of us have. He never knew what grace really meant. He is to be pitied.

I also realize that Falwell's death does not mean anything for our socio-political climate. The haters are still there. We still have James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Bill O'Reilly on TV. And even after these people are gone, more will take their place. Rejoicing in Falwell's death is premature in the struggle for equal rights as well.

Can I ask that Jerry Falwell rest in peace? I'm not sure.

p.s. Apparently, others have been struggling with the same thing. You can also read the comments of LutheranChik, Luther Punk, Joe the Bear, PS, and Sleeps with Dragons on Jerry.


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