Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Purple Teletubbie is Gay


The Reverend Jerry Falwell is dead today at the age of 73. So far as I know, at least one celebration is planned to mark the occasion, while media from the national news to the blogger down the street will be telling us what he was all about.

Too bad they will get it mostly wrong.

Like most public figures on both sides of the political spectrum, Falwell was often taken out of context.

I want to suggest that his was a life taken out of context as well.

We have all heard how he said homosexuality and abortion were immoral. Many know that he suggested 9/11 was partly attributable to America's moral decline. Everyone remembers the Teletubbie thing, even though he never actually said what is attributed to him.

Those things aren't The Reverend Jerry Falwell anymore than the things we think and occasionally verbalize is any one of us. We all believe and think things that can be used by our enemies to make us look dumb or evil.

I don't know Falwell either, but it is my guess that America is all the poorer because we don't know the full context of the man's life.

There are many people who are grieving today because they do.

I am so glad that there is something higher than the media that is the ultimate arbiter of a person's legacy.

7 comments:

Sharon said...

Seriously, I thought all Teletubbie's were gay .... :)

My dad was really all for the Sodom and Gomorrah / 911 situation - due to the moral decline of our civilization.

Before you know it, we might all be building an ark (Greenhouse effect)

Opal: Vegan Momma said...

I went to Liberty University for four years.

Surprise! Surprise! The media was totally off base in regards to Rev. Falwell. I remember him being extremely approachable.

Rev. Falwell always made time to talk and interact with the students. The campus was huge. He was there often.

I didn't agree with him on many issues but I always respected that he stood by his convictions.

He never resorted to insulting someone personally just because they thought differently than he. A little known fact he met & talked with those he "supposedly hated" (gays).

I found out about his death from my father. I have to say I was very sad. I had met him many times. I can still see his face light up as he would stroll down DeMoss Hall.

One of his nephews, Chris, was in my speech class. My heart goes out to his family. They were very close.

For goodness sake the man is dead and yet people are still trying to tear him apart. How pathetic is that?

Ugly Naked Guy said...

Opal, Opal, Opal...

Thanks so much for sharing about Rev. Falwell. I am so saddened by the incredible bashing and hatred toward him I have been seeing.

People don't know the man, they only know what the media wants us to know about him--and believe me, the media is no friend.

I know a number of people at my church who knew him and his family personally. Just tonight, our Worship Pastor shared with the choir the impact that Falwell had on his life. We are not talking about an impact from afar, but real personal contact stuff. Another man in our church considers Falwell the father he never had (do to alcoholism).

Though I am out here in California, we have many Liberty graduates who have had personal contact with the man over the years and they know the real person, not the caricature the media has drummed up. I could go on and on about what people who actually know him have to say about this man. Sure, he had a nack for putting his foot in it (but how much of that was the media making a mountain out of a molehill?), but who doesn't mess up every once in a while?

Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

Ugly Naked Guy said...

Sharon:

LOL! Thanks for dropping by.

Opal: Vegan Momma said...

It's nice to read the lives he touched.

I agree with you UNG the media made a lot out of nothing. I've said many things I wish I could take back. Thankfully not everyone hears about my mistakes. :-)

The venom I've seen displayed on some blogs/newspapers is mindboggling. I saw a tiny bit of that on a blog that you and I visit.

My mother would say, "They don't have proper home training!" I'm saddened at the lack of respect I've seen.

What really makes me shake head is the blogs I've read that said, "You won't find us trying to paint a nice picture of the man. Here's the real story!"

This from people who've never met him! How can they possibly tell the real story through second hand information? Arrghh!

I thought about the family and the students for many I know he was a big part of their life.

He usually spoke to the students in chapel (held on Wednesdays) at least once per month (usually more.) He made himself available. I loved that. It showed he really cared about others.

Ugly Naked Guy said...

Yeah, it is amazing. In the LA Times, they had a deal where you could leave comments on the story of his passing. It was pape after page of some of the most hateful stuff. I was shocked!

Just one tidbit from our worship leader who had tons of stories about Dr. Falwell. (He was there in '92 and after and sang on the Sounds of Liberty).

When he announced he was getting married Dr. Falwell came to him to congratulate him. Dr. Falwell knew that since he was getting married he would no longer be on the singing group which meant he would no longer have a full scholarship. Falwell asked him what he planned to do about that and when he told him, Falwell told him not to worry about it because he would personally take care of his tuition. Even though he left school and came back two years later, Falwell kept that promise.

This is just one of the many things he told us about how he touched his live.

BTW, when were you there?

Opal: Vegan Momma said...

YepRev. Falwell did that with a few students. He was a caring soul.

I was there from 1988 - 1991. Ahh good times!