Today Jerry Falwell died of a probable heart attack. The standard bearer for the religious right is now gone. I can’t say that I’m broken up over this. Even though I certainly lean to the right in terms of politics, I was never a fan of Falwell.
Not being especially religious, I just can’t get into the same fervor that people like Falwell, and people like him, generate over various issues. It just smacks too much of a “holier than thou” attitude that I just don’t respond well to. That all said, he did do some things that I can applaud.
Like him or hate him or just don’t care, he did do something that was beneficial to the nation as a whole. He generated debate, even though he himself and his views were highly controversial. Debate in a nation such as ours, is to be encouraged at all times, even when to you or me the “answer” or conclusion is obvious. Falwell re-invigorated debate in the country in the early 80’s, mainly on social issues, but also on world affairs. More so, he did so at a time when the country needed something to jump start a moribound political process still reeling from Watergate and the Carter years.
In the end, no matter your opinion of Jerry Falwell, he served a purpose. He may or may not be missed, depending on what you think of him, but his pressence as a generator of debatre and discourse will be missed.