Rev. Jerry Falwell dies at age 73

  1. Rev. Jerry Falwell dies at age 73

    POSTED: 1913 GMT (0313 HKT), May 15, 2007

    (CNN) -- The Rev. Jerry Falwell, the television minister whose 1979 founding of the Moral Majority galvanized American religious conservatives into a political force, died Tuesday at age 73.
    Falwell was found unconscious and without a pulse in his office at Liberty University, the college he founded in Lynchburg, Virginia, said Ron Godwin, the school's executive vice president.
    Though paramedics tried to revive him at his office and en route to Lynchburg General Hospital, "Those very timely and very efficient and effective efforts were unsuccessful," Godwin said.
    Godwin said he had breakfast with Falwell Tuesday morning and said they talked about the future.
    "He seemed to be in good spirits," Godwin said.
    Godwin said they finished breakfast about 9:50 a.m. ET and Falwell went into his office. He was found there about 11:30 a.m. ET.
    The minister, who had a history of heart trouble, was pronounced dead of heart failure at 12:40 p.m. Tuesday, his doctor, Carl Moore, told reporters. He had been hospitalized twice in early 2005 with acute onset pulmonary edema, or congestive heart failure, and at one point was placed on a ventilator.
    Moore said it was "a little early to speculate" on what caused Falwell's death, but said he did have a heart condition.
    "I would assume that he passed away from a cardiac rhythm abnormality, which can be a manifestation of any heart disease, heart attack or otherwise," Moore said.
    Godwin told reporters that Liberty students and members of Falwell's congregation were gathering at Thomas Road Baptist Church for a service later this afternoon.
    Falwell, a onetime prospect for baseball's St. Louis Cardinals, founded the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg in 1956. Within six months, he was airing his "Old Time Gospel Hour" on radio and television, and he founded Lynchburg Bible College -- now Liberty University -- in 1971.
    In 1973, Falwell began a series of meetings with fellow pastors and conservative politicians on what he considered their responsibility to support "pro-traditional family" policies. That led to the founding of the Moral Majority, which claimed to have mobilized nearly 9 million voters and helped put Ronald Reagan in the White House in 1980.
    In his 1980 book, "Listen, America!," Falwell said religious voters "cannot be silent about the sins that are destroying this nation," which he identified as pornography, abortion, "amoral liberals," drugs, welfare and the abandonment of biblical morality.
    "If Americans will face the truth, our nation can be turned around and can be saved from the evils and the destruction that have fallen upon every other nation that has turned its back on God," he wrote. "There is no excuse for what is happening in our country. We must, from the highest office in the land right down to the shoeshine boy in the airport, have a return to biblical basics."
    Falwell and the religious conservative leaders who followed are now a bulwark of the modern Republican Party and helped turn the once solidly Democratic South into the base of the GOP.
    But he has found himself at the center of several controversies, such as the one sparked by his comments two days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in which he seemed to blame "abortionists," gays, lesbians, the ACLU and People for American Way for causing the attacks, saying they "helped this happen."
    A day later, he told CNN that he would "never blame any human being except the terrorists, and if I left that impression with gays or lesbians or anyone else, I apologize."
    Godwin said that Falwell had planned for a transition and that his two sons would carry on his ministry.
    "He has left instructions for those of us who have to carry on, and we will be faithful to that charge," Godwin said.
    Falwell is survived by his wife, Macel, and three children.


    Um . . . . my sympathies to his family.

    About a month ago, out of curiosity, I clicked on a Youtube video with a Christian Conservatist speaking. He was essentially saying, "The following groups are going to Hell." At the time, I remember thinking, wouldn't it be funny if they're the ones that end up in Hell because of how un-Christian they're being?

    Then I hear about his death this afternoon. That man represented everything I disagree with as a Christian. It was one of those, "I forgive you, for you know not what you do" type of things. I realized I don't wish him in Hell. That's not my job.

    I prayed for his soul. I prayed that God will show him the error of his judgemental ways.
  2. He was a very judgmental and hateful man.

    Although, I do feel sorry for the people who love him, and I don't mean that in a bad way.
  3. I hope he rests in peace.

    As for the whole religious/political scenario : No comment.
  4. If anyone is familiar with Larry Flynt or at least this biopic The People vs. Larry Flynt (p.s., good movie) Jerry Falwell sued Larry Flynt over a parody ad centered around Falwell printed in Hustler:

    (The satire in question was a fake advertisement, parodying a real advertising campaign for Campari, an Italian apéritif. The real ads were tongue-in-cheek interviews with celebrities talking about their “first time.” The ads played off a double entendre, with the headline (“X talks about his first time”) and the interview first sounding like a discussion of the star’s first sexual experience, then revealing that the discussion was about their first time trying Campari.)

    Falwell sued Flynt for libel and defamation of character. The court found the ad did not amount to libel, but ordered Flynt to o pay Falwell $150,000 in damages for 'emotional distress.' Flynt decided to appeal. (If the ad didn't amount to libel, there should not have been damages awarded.)

    Flynt's lawyer argued that it was just too easy to prove that a satirist intended to emotionally distress his target. If the Supreme Court accepted that standard, then it would make it very easy for public figures to win damages from satirists. This would have a chilling effect on satire, as cartoonists and comedians would have to worry that they didn't hurt anyone's feelings too badly.

    The Court ruled that a public figure could not recover damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress based on a satire, because under the First Amendment, an obvious satire or parody of a public figure remains protected speech, even if it causes emotional distress to that person. A public figure couldn't recover damages without showing not only that the publication contained a "false statement of fact" (that is, a statement that a reasonable reader would believe to be true), but also that the satirist acted with "actual malice" (that is, "with knowledge that the statement was false or with reckless disregard as to whether or not it was true"). The Supreme Court overturned the decision of the lower court.
  5. While Tinky Winky could not be reached for comment, his representatives have issued a statement to the effect that the plush animated character is saddened by the news, and that his thoughts are with the popular cleric's family and devotees at this difficult time, and his office will be ready to respond should any of the mourners need to borrow a handbag.
  6. Agreed.
  7. Yes, he was.

    And I would like to say "no comment" on Tinky Winky :p
  8. He was a hateful horrible man. The world is better off without him in it. I suppose I feel bad for his family. It's sad to lose someone you love even if they were evil incarnate.
  9. I never knew much about him. I just tune out to certain views and things, but it is interesting to read and hear on the news how influential he was.
  10. GOOD. Terrible rotten man.
  11. ITA. In the majority of deaths, there are people who are in mourning and though everyone has their own opinions on his death, it is just out of respect for the families/friends when others don't talk ill of the dead.
  12. May he rest in peace!
  13. While I expressed my sympathies for his family, I forgot to say: May he rest in peace.
  14. boo hoo..... :rolleyes: