Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Majority Loses

I have applauded this today.

Literally, I have put my hands together in response to the news. I don't think that's ethical, but while I rarely behave in a manner I consider unethical while conscious of it at the time, I didn't mind doing that. If we are to adhere to the gentleman's own beliefs, he's gone straight to his eternal reward and there's nothing wrong with cheering for that. If we are to adhere to my beliefs, cruel though it may be, I'm happier living in a world to which he no longer belongs. It doesn't mean I'm entitled to deride his family's loss, which I'm certain is considerable, as he was a father of three and grandfather of eight; it doesn't even mean I'm entitled to mock the loss his Liberty University students or his congregation may feel; but nor does it mean I'm in any way obligated to mourn his passing.

For the sake of respect for every human life, though, here are some good things about Jerry Falwell. By which I mean, here is a list of qualities I as a human being admire that Jerry Falwell as a human being displayed.

1) He was deeply committed to his beliefs and capable of fighting for them.
2) He wasn't afraid of conflict.
3) He was a passionate speaker.
4) He inspired a tremendous number of people to action.

I wouldn't mind a world where more people had those qualities. I would prefer that the qualities were used to other ends than those to which our Mr. Falwell used them—that is, ends that I don't find morally reprehensible in almost every way. Nevertheless, out of respect for those who suffer from this loss, whatever I think of the concrete actions he took, I offer him my respects for these abstract qualities.


At 12:08 PM, Blogger Connor said...

Wow. I haven't found anyone else whose put this level of effort and circumspection into their thoughts on Falwell. Good for you.

In addition to the ends you find "morally reprehensible in almost every way," you've managed to speak objectively about him despite a wide idological gulf. Which, ironically, higlights just one more huge difference between Falwell and yourself.


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