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Entry 534, on 2007-05-16 at 17:03:38 (Rating 5, News)
The death of Jerry Falwell, who did a lot to forward the objectives of the religious right in the US during the 1980s, has just died. Its not nice to speak negatively about someone who has recently died and can't defend himself, but he was a prominent figurehead for a controversial public organisation, so its hard to avoid criticism entirely.
The religious right, or moral majority are a strange group. They claim to be close followers of the (alleged) teachings of Jesus, yet their basic politics seem to be about as far removed as can be imagined from the idea of forgiving and understanding others. Its been said before, but the moral majority is neither moral nor a majority. But I guess the description is more positive than something like "a bunch of hypocritical and deluded right wing morons" even if that is more accurate.
Falwell had various controversial opinions during his life, and there's nothing wrong with being controversial. But I do have problems with liars, cheats, bigots and hypocrites. Here's some examples of Falwell's opinions...
He thought the Prophet Muhammad was a terrorist. Is it a surprise that we have problems with conflict between Muslims and Christians with statements like that being made?
During the 1950s he supported segregation of the races in the US, although he had to change that opinion later. Maybe he re-interpreted what the Bible said. The Bible's good that way: just think of the answer you want and you'll find support for it in there somewhere.
He thought the character "Tinky Winky" from the British children's TV program, Teletubbies, was gay. Well he certainly showed the signs, I admit, but criticising a program like that doesn't really do much for his credibility.
He participated in several attacks against Bill Clinton, especially through the organisation "Citizens for Honest Government". Even though they wanted honest government they clearly didn't rate personal honesty too highly because the organisation bribed people and faked identities in an attempt to push their political views.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US, he said that gays, atheists, civil-rights activists, and legal abortions in the US had angered God and helped the attacks to happen. I would have thought that God could have been a bit more targeted when expressing his anger. Why didn't he cause the planes to crash into an abortion clinic, for example?
The reality is that it was Falwell himself who had a lot to do with causing the attacks. His success in having idiots like Reagan elected as president did nothing to reduce religious and political tension in the world. Maybe the fact that the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked was a sign from God that he was angry with big business and the military. It looks like poor Jerry got it all wrong!
Comment 1 (667) by SBFL on 2007-06-08 at 21:22:49:
I don't disagree with much you have to say here. Hopefully it will help you to understand the difference between fundamentalist Christians, and normal, everyday moderate Christians. I would hate to think OJB is blind enough to group them all together. He wouldn't pigeon-hole like that would he?
Comment 2 (669) by OJB on 2007-06-09 at 16:48:57:
I specifically criticised the religious right, or moral majority here, not Christians in general (at least I meant to). Of course, I also have problems with more moderate Christians. At least with the more extreme cases you know exactly what they think: they believe the literal truth of the Bible (whatever that means). With some Christians I really can't figure out what it is they believe. They seem to think the Bible is true, except when its not true. They believe in god, but that might be in a purely idealised theoretical sense. The fundies are crazy, but at least they have the courage to let us know what their beliefs really are!
Comment 3 (948) by sbfl on 2007-10-17 at 07:15:05:
Interesting to see that last time I visited I was also pointing out your lack of differentiation between Christian groups. Anyway, unfortunately you have just pointed out how simple you can be (don't mean to be nasty) but if you make the effort to find out, you will make the distinctions. Go on, give it a go! (PS don't be scared that you may discover the truth, because it appears you are keeping Christianity at arms length deliberately with that last comment!)
Comment 4 (966) by OJB on 2007-10-17 at 15:32:47:
I don't understand your problem here. This blog entry only criticises the extreme religious right and those who take the Bible much too seriously. And as I pointed out elsewhere, I usually imply fairly strongly which specific group I am criticising. For example, if I say someone who doesn't accept evolution is a moron and you accept evolution, then I'm not criticising you, even if you are a Christian.
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