Thursday, May 24, 2007

Falwell's Funeral Focuses Freaks

I was glad to hear Falwell was dead, frankly, and give me no truck about an automatic respect for the dead unless you wrote a eulogy for Saddam Hussein. He may not have been an actual killer, but Jerry Falwell was the worst kind of theocratic hatemonger, constantly spewing out quotes whose inanity and incoherency were rivalled only by their invidiousness and ill-will.

The vortex of evil and stupidity surrounding his funeral show (in a completely non-supernatural way, I hasten to add) that what goes around comes around.

One of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University students was caught trying to bring home-made napalm bombs to his funeral. Let that sink in for a moment. Falwell's conservative boosters have been playing up how he founded this wonderful center of learning full of good Christian virtues, how he inspired young students to follow the ways of righteousness - and here's an example for you.

Don't think that the student in question wasn't a fan, either; his stated reason for bringing the ordnance was not to cremate the carcass, but to disrupt protests at the funeral. Again, absorb that a second; this acolyte, inculcated with the clear-thinking virtues of Liberty University, thought that the appropriate response to people waving banners and chanting slogans was to hurl napalm at the chanters - in order to prevent the disruption of the solemn event.

If you think the man's friends are weird, though, take a look at his enemies. Who was it that was planning to picket the funeral? If you were thinking it was "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," think again. It was the Westboro Baptist Church, best known for their usual practice of picketing the funerals of US service members who died in the service of their country - their logic being that US soldiers deserve no honors, as the military representatives of a country which tolerates the existence of homosexuals.

Bizarre as it may seem, they were planning to picket Falwell's funeral, because, despite saying things like "AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals," Jerry Falwell was too tolerant of gays.

I must confess, I haven't been able to quite wrap my head around that one myself.

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