I guess I should have expected it. We do live in North Carolina, Buckle of the Bible Belt. (I just coined that, if you use it I expect royalties!)
Rev. Mike Turner, of the First Baptist Church here in town eulogizes Falwell in the Daily News.
From the article:
Whether Catholic or Baptist or something in between, many people – maybe more than we’ll ever know – admired and followed the fundamentalist preacher from Lynchburg, Va. Over the last 30 years, Falwell’s was the nation’s loudest voice for traditional values. On issues like abortion, homosexuality and church-state relations, the news media invariably sought him out to speak for the conservative Christian perspective. And Falwell never let them down; he had an opinion on everything.
Well, that’s all pretty true. Millions of Americans did indeed admire and follow Falwell and his teachings. I suspect the good reverend and I will disagree on whether Falwell’s influence was a positive one for the country.
Turner continues the thought with the next paragraph.
Even his missteps – and there were many, from the fiasco surrounding Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and their PTL ministries to his lawsuit against Larry Flynt and “Hustler” magazine – didn’t in the end diminish the scope of his influence or the scale of his achievements.
“Missteps”? While the examples given by Turner might indeed be categorized as missteps, allow me to present some of Falwell’s more egregious “missteps”, ones for which he more likely to be remembered, and quite deservedly so: