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15 May 2007 @ 05:33 pm
On death and rejoicing  
Anyone who reads my journal is probably waiting to see what I'll say about the death today of Jerry Falwell. It might surprise some of you that I'm not rejoicing, exactly.

I'm glad he's gone from this mortal stage, yes. He did a lot of things in this life he just left, and whether they were good or bad is all a matter of perspective. He contributed to the misery of a lot of my friends. He fostered legislation and candidates intended to enshrine his religious views in civil stone. Personally, I am glad he cannot add further to his works, as I have opposed them on several grounds.

Either he did what he did because he thought he was doing the work and will of his Lord, defined in his perspective as "good," or he was out for personal power and to make his way the highway, so to speak, personal gain, fortune and glory. If the former, I can admire his success just as I despise the results. If the latter, he is no more or less than one more Ken Lay, though perhaps more careful than the CEOs of that breed in that he rarely got caught. Falwell seemed to understand the concept that you cannot unring a bell; he would say something, lay out what he honestly believed, and then shortly thereafter apologize to those he'd offended. He never apologized for believing what he said, just for causing offense. He was a hypocrite at the least and a master manipulator at best. If we are lucky, history will remember him as was Ozymandias in the poem: not at all, aside from perhaps a minor footnote. I doubt society is so blessed, and that is partly why I am not rejoicing. Nature abhors a vacuum; power, even moreso. Someone will rise up to take his place. Again, if we are lucky, that person will be a reformer and will use Falwell's organization to repair some of the damage he did to society. Again, I doubt we are going to be so fortunate. If you believe good things always come from the fall of a vile autocrat, I direct your attention to Iraq.

As for Falwell himself... no one knows what happens when we cross over into death. There are plenty of beliefs, sure, as many different opinions on what comes next as there are voices to speak them. No one has sure knowledge, though. I have my beliefs, and I have my reasons for thinking I am right, but no compelling evidence to give in convincing others that my view is the clear one. That being said, if what I think is happening to Falwell right about now is happening, he is in for a world of surprise... and is begging forgiveness right now for all the misery he has caused. Not because he's being punished, no; it is because he is finally seeing all the consequences of his actions, seeing clearly for the first time all the lives he touched, and how he touched them. He will beg for a chance to work to make it right, and maybe he will get that chance.

In any event, what happens to him now is not our concern. We the living have an opportunity to go on without him and his toxic views on what makes right and wrong for society. I hope we are strong enough and wise enough to take this chance we are given.

I doubt we will be so fortunate. (sigh)
 
 
Current Mood: unmoved
 
 
 
Ace Lightning: Priestessacelightning on May 16th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC)
i'm glad he's dead, and can no longer spew his hate speech into the public air. i'm very tempted to rejoice, but such a display of Schadenfreude would be unseemly, as well as lowering me to his level (as when he gloated over 9/11). and here's a final bit of irony, or perhaps poetic justice: Fr#d Ph#lps and his inbred gang are going to picket Falwell's funeral.
bronxelf_ag001 on May 16th, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)
I rejoiced all afternoon.

I have no regrets for doing so. I don't care what it looks like. I hated him when he was alive, I hate him just as much dead.

The fact that the Phelps nutbags are going to protest is hysterically funny. It's like watching the worm eat itself.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on May 16th, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
(shrug) I have no problem with people rejoicing in his death. I have no problem with people staying silent; filkertom's journal entry about this described a great series of reasons for just letting it pass unmarked.

Me, I'm waiting to see what happens next.
bronxelf_ag001 on May 16th, 2007 02:41 am (UTC)
I'm hoping one of Falwell's people offs Phelps at the funeral.

Comedy gold.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on May 16th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
archanglrobriel said it best: one lightning bolt at that funeral and we could have ourselves a two'fer.
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 16th, 2007 02:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 16th, 2007 06:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
Pete: Fantastic!greendalek on May 16th, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC)
Now I'd pay premium prices to watch THAT on Pay-Per-View.
Ace Lightning: Priestessacelightning on May 16th, 2007 06:06 am (UTC)
it's just so easy to gain the "moral high ground" by refusing to wallow in a public display of glee, no matter how much i despised the man and everything he appeared to stand for.

and i got this in email later in the evening:
"Some people believe that, no matter how bad a person was in life, when they die you should only say something good. So:
Jerry Falwell is dead.
Good!"


bronxelf_ag001 on May 16th, 2007 06:34 am (UTC)
The origin of that quote btw, is Bette Davis, in reference to Joan Crawford. :)

See, I don't feel I've lost any moral high ground here(then again, I don't really believe in "moral high ground" in that sense.). I had no respect for him when he was alive, and had he known me personally, he'd have had no respect for me either. The difference is that he spent his whole life polarizing people on a grand stage and sought the spotlight for doing so. He's a public figure. His life was public, his opinions were surely public, and so is his death.

I am sure his family loved him for the person he was privately; a person that I don't know and am not in any way commenting on. But I'm not sending hate mail to his family. In fact, I've never sent hate mail to him. I didn't kill him. But that doesn't mean that I'm exempt from having an opinion about him dead or alive.

Just because that opinion didn't change because he's dead doesn't mean I should keep it silent.

So, I'll wallow for you. Really. I'm okay with that. :)

Ace Lightning: libertytorchacelightning on May 16th, 2007 07:06 am (UTC)
if i'd ever had the misfortune to meet Jerry Falwell, he probably would have gone into a screaming fit, since i fit into so many of the categories of people he thought were sent by Satan to destroy the US. but my way has always been to be calm and rational and tolerant in the face of hysteria, illogic, and hate; eventually, the contrast makes a point.

(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 16th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 16th, 2007 07:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 16th, 2007 07:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 16th, 2007 07:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 16th, 2007 07:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 16th, 2007 10:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 16th, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 16th, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 16th, 2007 11:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 16th, 2007 11:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 16th, 2007 11:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 16th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 17th, 2007 12:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 17th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on May 16th, 2007 02:35 am (UTC)
Oh, I'd heard. I'm vaguely amused at that.
Ace Lightning: pentaacelightning on May 16th, 2007 06:02 am (UTC)
i took a couple of anti-nausea pills and actually read what was on Ph#lps' webpage. apparently Falwell's biggest sin was not belonging to the Westboro Baptist Church. (they really do seem to be promoting the idea that they, and they alone, know what god wants, and anyone who doesn't vehemently agree with them is, by definition, an enemy of god. this is so far outside of logic it can't even be argued against.)

craigers01 on May 16th, 2007 06:17 pm (UTC)
Wow, most of the replies here seem to be filled with hate.

So let me ask, for those of you who hate this guy, how does that make you different than him? I guess you don't have the media advantages that he did, but you still come on here and spew your hate filled messages about the man.

I don't believe in what he preached. Hell, I don't think I ever saw him on TV for more than the 3 seconds it sometimes takes me to hit the channel up button. But from what I understand from people talking here, he preached hate and narrowmindedness. How is that different from "I genuinely believe that anyone who follows a path of prosletyzing unsolicited can stand right against the wall with the hail of gunfire."

I just think that if you truely hate someone else, it's because you hate yourself. I don't care what your religion is. I don't care what your views are. If you don't like what someone else is preaching or pushing for, you either accept it or you do something to change it. It's your responsibility to stand against those who would quash your beliefs.

Bah... I'm failing to put into words what I'm trying to say. I hate that because I normally consider myself somewhat articulate. I'm not trying to offend anyone here. But I am hoping to broaden your mind and reduce the level of hate you seem to have for this old man who's crime is believing differently than you and trying to do what he thought was best. I encourage you to do the same thing. Try to do what YOU think is best. Stand up for and spread your beliefs! Don't hate the other guy for having a different message than you do. And don't hate him because he's willing to do something about it while you choose to sit in front of your PC and just blog about it. Does that make sense?
craigers01 on May 16th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
Did I mention...
/flamesuit on
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on May 16th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
(shrug) So far as Jerry's life and goals go, I've said my piece. As for the other replies, sometimes all a person can do is stand up and be counted. If the only power you have is the ability to stand up unafraid and say, "I number with those against you and what you do," then doing so is an exercise of power. If you can do more, you do more or you don't.
bronxelf_ag001 on May 16th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
I'm not trying to use the force of law to invade people's lives unsolicited.

I hated him when he was alive. I hate him now that he's dead. I hate without question the things he espoused and his goals. And his "only crime" (HA) is not that he believed differently. It's that he attempted for his whole life to *force* those beliefs on society at large. I gave these people a chance. For years. That ended for me on the 13th of September 2001. They're out of chances with me now.

And I couldn't give even the remotest shit what you think that makes me. I'd be happy as I could be if they all dropped off the planet, instanter. I think that what "they believe in" has caused more death, destruction and misery than any other concepts on this planet. I'd call it a fair trade.

His being old does not mitigate *anything*. It just means no one got to him with a well deserved bullet years ago. Old does not equate to sympathetic.

Standing up for what you think is best *does not equate* to forcing those beliefs on others through force of law and unsolicited, especially when those beliefs rely on the premises of inequality and exclusion.

All Im doing here is speaking about an opinion. I'm not preaching to a cast of thousands. I don't prosletyze on the subway. I'm not invading people's private lives via the force of law.

It's hard to fight for what you believe in when it comes down to "mind your own business". Because the moment you do, you're violating your own principle.

(no subject) - twfarlan on May 16th, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 16th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 16th, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 16th, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 17th, 2007 12:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 17th, 2007 05:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 17th, 2007 05:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 17th, 2007 05:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 17th, 2007 06:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 17th, 2007 06:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 17th, 2007 06:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 17th, 2007 07:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 17th, 2007 07:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 17th, 2007 07:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 17th, 2007 08:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 17th, 2007 08:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on May 17th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 17th, 2007 05:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on May 17th, 2007 11:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 18th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on May 18th, 2007 12:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - acelightning on May 19th, 2007 05:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - craigers01 on May 17th, 2007 12:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on May 17th, 2007 12:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 17th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - craigers01 on May 18th, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - craigers01 on May 18th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 18th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bronxelf_ag001 on May 18th, 2007 07:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)