Falwell Reaction

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: May 15, 2007 5:05 PM

A round-up from the AP. Republican presidential candidates in bold:

"Jerry has been a tower of strength on many of the moral issues which have confronted our nation." _ Evangelist Pat Robertson.

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"Dr.Falwell's shadow falls across the face of the rebirth of conservative values in our nation, in the Southern Baptist Convention, and in the entire evangelical world. Only once in a generation will a man of his stature arise. We all owe him a debt of eternal gratitude." _ Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary inFort Worth, Texas.

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"Unfortunately, we will always remember him as a founder and leader of America's anti-gay industry,someone who exacerbated the nation's appalling response to the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic, someone who demonized and vilified usfor political gain and someone who used religion to divide rather than unite our nation." _ Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

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"I think the proper attitude at this juncture is to pass on our condolences and prayers.And we'll try to do the fixing in place in history a little later." _White House spokesman Tony Snow.

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"An American who built and led a movement based on strong principles and strong faithhas left us. He will be greatly missed, but the legacy of his importantwork will continue through his many ministries where he put his faith into action." _ Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

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"Dr.Falwell was a man of distinguished accomplishment who devoted his lifeto serving his faith and country. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr.Falwell's family at this difficult time." _ Republican presidential candidate and Sen. John McCain.

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"His life is a testament not only to the power of faith to move hearts, but to the strength of the American ethos that stresses the importance of citizenship ... He was a great leader, a person totally sustained by his faith but able to work with many people from many different backgrounds without imposing rigidity on anyone else." _ Former U.S.House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

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"He was a man who set a direction. He was someone who was not afraid to speak his mind. We all have great respect for him ... he is a person who told you what he thought, and you knew where he stood." _ Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.