Let us reflect…

On the pain and suffering wrought by Falwell.

Here is just one part of that legacy, just one. But a very important one that has affected millions of lives world wide to this day…

Following discovery of the first cases in 1981, it soon became clear a
national health crisis was developing. But President Reagan’s response was
“halting and ineffective,” according to his biographer Lou Cannon. Those
infected initially with this mysterious disease — all gay men — found
themselves targeted with an unprecedented level of mean-spirited hostility.

A significant source of Reagan’s support came from the newly identified
religious right and the Moral Majority, a political-action group founded by
the Rev. Jerry Falwell. AIDS became the tool, and gay men the target, for the
politics of fear, hate and discrimination. Falwell said “AIDS is the wrath of
God upon homosexuals.” Reagan’s communications director Pat Buchanan argued
that AIDS is “nature’s revenge on gay men.”

With each passing month, death and suffering increased at a frightening
rate. Scientists, researchers and health care professionals at every level
expressed the need for funding. The response of the Reagan administration was
indifference.

13 thoughts on “Let us reflect…

  1. virgotex says:

    I like the header on Amanda’s Falwell post:
    “The gates of hell swing open and Satan welcomes his beloved son”
    As you said in your post, the details above are just ONE part of his legacy of pain and suffering.

  2. hoppycalif says:

    One less hate filled repub in the world can’t be a bad thing.

  3. Robert Earle says:

    For the longest time, when I would hear the audio of Ted Kennedy choking up while delivering the eulogy at Robert Kennedy’s funeral, I would hear another politician giving another speech. It wasn’t until my own brother died a couple years ago that I recognized what that was in Teddy’s voice; a guy’s anguish that his big brother had died, and done so way too young. Nothing to do with politics, Democrats and Republicans, just a guy in pain.
    Yeah, Jerry Falwell was a real asshole. But he was an asshole with a wife and kids. Can’t we take a day, and feel for their loss and their pain?

  4. DoubtingThomas says:

    Mr. Earle:
    As a longtime AIDS survivor (24 years now), I wish I could take a day and feel for his family’s loss and pain. Unfortunately, his family and himself never gave me and my now dead friends that little act of decency. As hard as I am trying to take the high road, I can’t seem to find that charity. Sorry, I’m just being honest.

  5. Paul in LA says:

    Robert, the answer is no.
    Their loss IS OUR GAIN.
    The earth is one assbite lighter, and I for one say HALLELUJAH!

  6. -AnE says:

    usually the day of mourning is in the name of the deceased, not the family; at John Gotti’s funeral, was that all-of-NYC-turnout for the person who died or his famil… wait, bad example…
    When Hussein died, did I see one post on an American blog feeling for his family? No, I did not, and really was not expecting one–we are of a different nation; one at war with his.
    When someone kills others out of hate, should decent humans morn his passing? We are of a different ilk; one he declared war on.

  7. Aaaargh says:

    I recollect Falwell coming to Madison to campaign for Ronald Raygun in 1980, and giving him the Nazi salute. Falwell was a criminal, vicious fascist and terrorist who should have been put down long ago.

  8. scout says:

    Robert this is part of his legacy. I watched a generation of gay men die terrible deaths compounded by shame, discrimination and hate due to Falwell and the Moral Majority. Some friends.
    As a counselor I worked with a hemopheliac afraid to tell his children he had contracted AIDS because they may tell friends and face the wrath and scorn wrought by the hate mongering that had a direct line to Falwell and others. That poor man was afraid his children would be kicked out of their school which did happen in those days…remember Ryan White.
    It was a terrible time made more terrible by Mr. Falwell. He flourished from it. Others suffered horribly.
    And I can not help but wonder had our gov’t dealt with AIDS immediately could the epidemic have been curtailed? But Falwell certainly played a major role in our not being able to answer that question.
    My post points out what I believe must be remembered of Falwell. He extended no compassion to those with AIDS. Rather he dehumaized and vilified them (and rose to prominence as a result) My post does neither to him or his family. It is a reflection on the reality of the man and what he did in this life. And that is generous considering that reality.

  9. rayc says:

    it’s God’s way of rewarding America for all the hate crimes laws we’ve passed the past few years. Thanks, big guy!

  10. I can’t judge Jerry Falwell after his death. He has to face his God and, according to the tenets of his faith, ask forgiveness for his sins.
    He has sinned before God and the world by bringing intolerance and hate back into American culture. He made it acceptable to vilify entire groups that did nothing to deserve it. His actions (or inaction) and corruption caused a great deal of unnecessary pain and suffering. For that he will be judged.
    However, I’m sure that Rev. Falwell is hoping that he faces a more forgiving God than the one he preached about all these years.
    Otherwise, he’s toast.

  11. pansypoo says:

    i just hope there IS purgatory.

  12. Ron Charest says:

    To Mr. Robert Earle,
    No
    This is a simple answer to a simple question.
    The world truely is a better place with this person gone.

  13. Interrobang says:

    His malfeasance didn’t just remain confined to one country, either. He supported apartheid in South Africa, and worked behind-the-scenes to export his brand of religious lunacy to other countries in the world. As a female atheist gender conscientious objector, I would have been right in his line of fire. I’m Canadian, and I see every day how right-wing memes are transmitted from the US into Canada, and how they visibly make Canada a worse place based on things that aren’t even true, let alone true for Canada (for example, Canada’s prison recidivism rate is a tiny fraction of the US’, but that doesn’t stop the right-wing “victim’s rights” and “tough-on-crime” meme transmitters here from trying to turn our prison system into something as bad as yours).
    Falwell pretty much has to be credited for a significant part of that.
    As a commenter from Feministe said, “He’ll be missed. But not by me.”

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