The recent media tempest surrounding the passing of Reverend Jerry Falwell has blown away the mask of sublime compassion and tolerance worn by members of the mainstream left. Sadly – pitifully, really – the collective face exposed beneath the altruistic facade is one marred by ugliness and hatred – scarred by latent self-loathing.
Anti-Christian activist and former John Edwards presidential campaign blogger Amanda Marcotte – whom Edwards defended prior to her resignation from his campaign – kicked off the dancing-on-the-grave hoedown on her popular Pandagon website. Upon news of Falwell’s death, Marcotte pronounced, “The gates of hell swing wide open and Satan welcomes his beloved son.” Further down the thread, someone identified as “Vir Modestus” replied, “There is no heaven (or alas, hell) for him to go to. All that’s left is memory. May his memory rot like his flesh.” Blog member “tzs” longed for the days of old, writing, “…after watching Falwell I know why the Romans threw the Christians to the lions.”
Meanwhile, on the “gay” JoeMyGod weblog, “Vince” lamented, “I had hoped the [expletive deleted] would have pulled through and lived the rest of his life as a vegetable…” And “MegaHorror” over at Wonkette wrote, “I hope he suffered and I hope he was scared…”
There have been thousands of such hateful musings from self-identified “gays” and “lesbians,” atheists and other moveon.org types who make up the base of the “progressive” movement. Many of them can’t even be repeated.
Members of the mainstream media have also piled on. Chicago Sun Times “religion” columnist Cathleen Falsani (who claims to be a Christian) shamelessly celebrated Rev. Falwell’s death in her May 18th column Sigh of Relief over Falwell’s Death, equating him to a murderous mafia don and writing, “In fact, my very first thought upon hearing of the Rev. Falwell’s passing was: Good. And I didn’t mean ‘good’ in a oh-good-he’s-gone-home-to-be-with-the-Lord kind of way. I meant ‘good’ as in ‘Ding-dong, the witch is dead.’”
Although we might expect a spattering of comparable vitriol from a handful of right-leaning fringe elements if a similarly controversial liberal figure had died, it’s hard to imagine those inside the pro-family conservative mainstream – which Rev. Falwell represented – engaging in such a vile celebration of death.
What causes a heart to become so blackened? Why such hatred for a man who spent his entire life in service to both the Lord he loved and to his fellow man? True, he was unapologetically blunt in his defense of objective truth and unwavering in his opposition to sin, but Rev. Falwell showed – in word and deed – that he truly cared for those who hated him. He exposed them to the compassion and love of Christ, who freely offers salvation from the spiritual and physical death which is a natural consequence of immoral self-indulgence.
It’s not Rev. Falwell they hate so much as the truth he delivered. And as much as they hate that truth, they hate the Author of that truth. Scripture tells us that God’s natural law – His objective truth – is written on the heart of every man, woman and child. Our innate understanding of that absolute truth – whether we acknowledge it or not – coupled with our accountability to a sovereign but loving Creator, becomes like a virus to those who deny it. That denial of reality in turn manifests itself in a visceral hatred of those other equally broken and fallen souls who, by contrast, do acknowledge His truth.
Man’s rebellion against the Creator is no new thing. It's a time-honored tradition among those who prefer to view the world through the prism of moral relativism. And the world’s hatred of those who labor to share His truth is as robust as that rebellion. Matthew 5:11-12 tells us, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Yes, Rev. Falwell’s death has stripped away the mask, betraying the angry, rebellious and hurting countenance of those who hated him. If they could have, they would have thrown him to the lions. But they didn’t have to. He entered the den willingly with love in his heart and truth on his lips for Christ’s name sake. And based on that objective truth, Rev. Falwell’s reward in heaven will be great indeed.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).