No man in the last century better illustrated Jesus' warning that "All men will hate you because of me" than the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who left this world on Tuesday. Separately, no man better illustrates my warning that it doesn't pay to be nice to liberals.
Falwell was a perfected Christian. He exuded Christian love for all men, hating sin while loving sinners. This is as opposed to liberals, who just love sinners. Like Christ ministering to prostitutes, Falwell regularly left the safe confines of his church to show up in such benighted venues as CNN.
He was such a good Christian that back when we used to be on TV together during Clinton's impeachment, I sometimes wanted to say to him, "Step aside, reverend -- let the mean girl handle this one." (Why, that guy probably prayed for Clinton!)
For putting Christ above everything -- even the opportunity to make a humiliating joke about Clinton -- Falwell is known as "controversial." Nothing is ever as "controversial" as yammering about Scripture as if, you know, it's the word of God or something.
From the news coverage of Falwell's death, I began to suspect his first name was "Whether You Agree With Him or Not."
Even Falwell's fans, such as evangelist Billy Graham and former President Bush, kept throwing in the "We didn't always agree" disclaimer. Did Betty Friedan or Molly Ivins get this many "I didn't always agree with" qualifiers on their deaths? And when I die, if you didn't always agree with me, would you mind keeping it to yourself?
Let me be the first to say: I ALWAYS agreed with the Rev. Falwell.
Actually, there was one small item I think Falwell got wrong regarding his statement after 9/11 that "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians -- who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle -- the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'"
First of all, I disagreed with that statement because Falwell neglected to specifically include Teddy Kennedy and "the Reverend" Barry Lynn.
Second, Falwell later stressed that he blamed the terrorists most of all, but I think that clarification was unnecessary. The necessary clarification was to note that God was at least protecting America enough not to allow the terrorists to strike when a Democrat was in the White House.
(If you still think it isn't Christ whom liberals hate, remember: They hate Falwell even more than they hate me.)