In Defense (Sorta) of Jerry Falwell
We here at Keene Point of View (listen to me, sounding like this blog is major and incredibly influential! #FakeItTilYouMakeIt) do not necessarily care for Jerry Falwell’s brand of politics. For all his good deeds he did for the needy and caring for the students at Liberty University, you hear more about how he set up the Religious Right and started the journey for conservative Christians to become the utter #enshambled mess that they are today, where many can’t even share the Gospel without spewing something political first.
That being said, after reading Brandon Ambrosino’s article on what it meant to be gay at Liberty University, I have a different perspective on Falwell. Sure, the cynic in me has questions about what qualification forms the “unwanted children” had to fill out in order to get help at the center he set up for them (were parents allowed to drop off said children without a threat of legal repercussions?), but it made me smile to read that he did that and blew his horn each night while driving around campus to say good night to the students. He also hosted a forum on homosexuality and invited “100 prominent gay leaders” to participate in the discussion.
It was nice to read a side of him that wasn’t divisive and seemed to capture a piece of the true heart of Jesus. It’s just sad that it’s not what we’ll remember him for right now, especially as the Religious Right is in its last days and it’s all-gay-everything out in these streets these days. So, maybe I was wrong about Falwell’s intentions. I think he had a nice idea, but putting it into practice politically didn’t have the desired result he had hoped. I think he would have done a lot more good focusing on the “Helping Needy Kids” and “Let’s Discuss This Issue to Understand Both Sides” track he was on.
Read the article here. It’s a story of what it was like coming out at Liberty University, which is a conservative right-wing university, but many of the students and faculty successfully separated ideology from a loving spirit, which may be a step in the right direction with the tone of Christianity today. It’s a touching story that had me misting up at the end.