Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell 1933-2007

He was found this morning in his office. I saw him once, when I was driving around Liberty University with some friends; he was getting into an SUV with Doug Oldham. I wasn't a fan, but I know several people who have been affected and felt ministered to by him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family - lineal, church and colleagiate - at this time.

Dr. Al Mohler has a nice eulogy on the man from Lynchburg. Skip the comments, though. It's amazing what people will write when they sit alone in their homes, typing on their computers Statements have been made that people would not say in public, face-to-face meetings. I seriously doubt the vast majority of the vicious comments would be said in person to family members and friends of Falwell.

More: Falwell was a fundamentalist.

Also: Larry Flynt, creater of Hustler, issued this statement:
The Reverend Jerry Falwell and I were arch enemies for fifteen years. We became involved in a lawsuit concerning First Amendment rights and Hustler magazine. Without question, this was my most important battle – the l988 Hustler Magazine, Inc., v. Jerry Falwell case, where after millions of dollars and much deliberation, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in my favor.

My mother always told me that no matter how much you dislike a person, when you meet them face to face you will find characteristics about them that you like. Jerry Falwell was a perfect example of that. I hated everything he stood for, but after meeting him in person, years after the trial, Jerry Falwell and I became good friends. He would visit me in California and we would debate together on college campuses. I always appreciated his sincerity even though I knew what he was selling and he knew what I was selling.

The most important result of our relationship was the landmark decision from the Supreme Court that made parody protected speech, and the fact that much of what we see on television and hear on the radio today is a direct result of my having won that now famous case which Falwell played such an important role in.

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