Wednesday, May 16, 2007

No more sermons for Jerry Falwell

The NYT reports: "The Rev. Jerry Falwell, the fundamentalist preacher who founded the Moral Majority and brought the language and passions of religious conservatives into the hurly-burly of American politics, died yesterday in Lynchburg, Va. He was 73."

I don't know why, but the news of Falwell passing away really struck me. Maybe its because I finally found one thing in common between us: mortality.

Even Jerry Falwell dies. At the end of the day, after all the media storms and controversies, it's the final judgment that really matters.

Contrast Falwell's stance on the civil rights movement with his stance on the "war on terror":

“Preachers are not called to be politicians, but soul winners,” he said in a sermon titled “Ministers and Marchers” in March 1964. “If as much effort could be put into winning people to Jesus across the land as is being exerted in the present civil rights movement, America would be turned upside down for God.”

I was also struck by the description of Falwell's "movement":

"He envisioned one [a movement] that would also include other Protestants, Catholics, Jews, even atheists, all with a similar agenda on abortion, gay rights, patriotism and moral values."

"The movement, he said, would be pro-life, pro-traditional family, pro-moral and pro-American — precisely the kind of broad agenda that could unite conservatives of different faiths and backgrounds. His agenda also included fervent support for Israel, even if his relations with Jews were often rocky; in 1999, for example, he apologized for saying that the Antichrist was probably alive and if so would be in the form of a male Jew."

How can someone be pro-moral and pro-injustice (pro-racism/preemptive war/Islamophobia) ? Can one's blindness and arrogance drive one so far away from the good he/she set to reach?

May Allah (swt) help us remain steadfast on the straight path.

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