Saturday, May 19, 2007

Jerry Falwell

Many years ago, one of my friends graduated from highschool and, coming from a Christian Fundamentalist family, made the choice to continue her education at Jerry Falwell's college; Liberty University.

My friend "Lori" was the typical beautiful, bubbly cheerleader type. Our parents had often forced us to be together since our parents were very close, but Lori and I had little in common. I was a sarcastic punk rocker; she was more worried about what type of lace socks she could wear with her school uniform. I laughed when something was funny; she giggled all the time. Strangely, we were both very popular, but with two completely different sets of people. Obviously we lost touch as soon as we possibly could.

Many years later, we ended up attending the same church. By then, Lori had sobered up considerably. We never grew very close, but over that period of time we had moments that we spent together and enjoyed each other's company in moderation.

One day, over lunch, Lori leaned forward conspiratorily and said, "You know that I dated one of Jerry Falwell's sons when I was going to Liberty University, don't you?" I hadn't. She laughed, then said, "Let me tell you a story..."

Lori was a sexy blond bombshell when she entered Liberty University as a freshman. She obviously attracted much attention. One of Falwell's sons had noticed her immediately and, within a short amount of time, they started dating.

During the time they were dating, Lori met his friends and family, including his famous father. She was very excited to be affiliated with such powerful people, and took great pride in it. They were NOT sexually intimate, but enjoyed each other's company and could always find something fun to do. She was having the time of her life!

One night after an evening out, Lori and her boyfriend decided to park at a certain spot in the mountains which overlooked Liberty University. They had just parked and settled in, when they saw a car coming up the mountain.

Suddenly deciding that she was going to be funny, Lori hastily lay down on the seat, draping herself over her boyfriend, and waved her legs vigorously out the window of the car.

The car coming up the mountain slowed to a stop. To Lori's horror, it was Jerry Falwell's limousine! Jerry Falwell was inside, and had recognized his son's car. The evening didn't end well.

Lori was packed off in dishonor and had to spend the rest of the semester, suspended, until she could return (much chastened) the next semester. I have no idea what, if anything, was done to Falwell's son. Obviously she never dated him again.

Years later, Lori can laugh over the incident, although I never understood why she returned. Never the less, she has fond memories of Liberty University and the education that she received there; both in knowlege and in life.


The Lazy Iguana said...

Am I the only one who thinks there is something screwy about a "humble man of God" tooling about in a limo? What the crap is that all about?

And what was Falwell doing on that hill? Who (or what farm animal) was in his limo?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy Iguana,, I gather the Falwells lived at the top. As for the limo, maybe I got that detail wrong (it's been years) but from what I recall, it was a limo. But yes, if it indeed was a limo, that would be a problem IMHO.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Falwell and L Ron Hub-Bub are a lot alike in some respects.

1. Both men figured out the perfect all ca$h tax free bu$ine$$ is religion.

2. Both men figured out a way to collect on the idea.

3. Both men duped people into giving them money, in the name of the bu$ine$$.

4. Both men are dead.

L Ron was a shade or two more evil because clearly he knew he was making it all up from the start. Evil Lord Xenu?!?! You have to be kidding me. Falwell may have started out as a true believer, but at some point along the line he had to know he was making it all up too. God did not tell him that he was going to destroy Disney World because of "gay days", or that the September 11 attacks were because of the ACLU.

But saying that crap kept the money flowing in!

You have run a business before. You know that cash flow is the key. Well so did Falwell. Whatever it took to keep that money flowing in!

And why use the money to do good works like feed homeless people or provide health services to the poor when you can use it to tool around in a limo?

He used the "word of God" for wealth and power. I thought that was a bad thing?

Senor Caiman said...


Jerry was a fine man. He helped so many young men start churches all across the country.

It's funny I go to a contemporary church that was inspired by Jerry. My Methodist mother would have had a heart attack had she attended one of these services.

If you ever get a chance to hear Johnathan preach at Thomas Road you should.

I have some inside info. on your friend in my latest post.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I have never met Jerry Falwell, and I frequently have been embarrassed (as a conservative) about some of the things he has said. I never met L Ron Hubbard, though he wrote a couple of books I have really enjoyed. But I read Lazy I's commentary on the two of them and started out to write a rebuttal. After reading his commentary again, I decided that anyone with any tolerance for anyone else had already formed the rebuttal in his/her brain.
Overall, I think it would be a lot more enlightening, cheerful and fun to be an acquaintance of either Jerry or Ron than to be an acquaintance of the Lazy I.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy Iguana & 3 Score & 10, I have to say that L. Ron and Jerry were two wildly different characters. And, though Falwell could open his mouth and stick a foot in it, he was quick to withdraw that foot, too.

I think Falwell certainly COULD be sanctimonious at times. At other times he would speak the truth (or at least the truth as it is stated in the Bible, which he took seriously)... but when he spoke the truth he would do it in such a manner that he would have to apologize later.

In the case of my friend, Lori, perhaps he overreacted - perhaps not. Hopefully he was man enough to dish out the same punishment to his own son. And he also had to maintain a certain set of standards and propriety since he and his family have always been very scrutinized.

As for Lori, she went on to be happily married to a wonderful man and has a couple beautiful boys as a result, so all turned out well for her. Falwell's son missed out on a good wife.

Caiman, You'll have to shoot me an email and let me know where you attend, though I suspect that I know... and I used to go there until I found a church that I liked just a wee bit better (I like smaller congregations).

The Lazy Iguana said...

I never met either of the two men either. So I have to form opinions based on what they said.

In the case of Falwell, it sure does seem like he was just another shill. I was always taught that a church was supposed to do good works inside the community - not spend all the money they could find on a TV studio and a national network so they could raise even more money so the preacher could tool around town in a car in a limo. NONE of the churches I went to as a kid would have ever given the preacher a limo. A preacher is supposed to be available to members of his flock. If you have a personal problem and need guidance, talking to the preacher is as simple as calling the church office and setting up an appointment.

Falwell on the other hand claimed to be a minister to millions. How many of those people could reach him for personal guidance? Oh yea you could call the 1-900-dial-a-prayer line and talk to someone in a cubicle maze (now outsourced to India). You could send a letter and a donation that might get read on TV (long shot there). But very few people had access to the man. You had to be a big time contributor for that honor.

This is not what a "church" is supposed to be. Therefore, I stand by my statement that to Falwell it was all just a way to raise more money, and push a political agenda (pushing the political agenda was a way to get more money by the way). If he would have just said this then all would be OK. Everyone has an agenda after all. If you are honest and up front about it at least I can respect that. I may not agree with what you are pushing, but then you probably do not agree with what I am pushing either.

However, I would never even try to disguise a political action committee as a "church". Unless I could make a LOT of money out of the deal that is!

L Ron - I will not buy any of his books. Scientology owns the publishing rights to all of them, so buying one of his rags means that they get some of my money, which they will then use to turn more people into zombies. If I want my money to be used to damage society I will just donate it to the RNC.

I have tolerance for a lot of stuff. We could hang out and I would never once pronounce that you are going to Hell, or that you are immoral, or that you are possessed by Satan, or that you are a member of a false church, or anything like that. Can you say the same for Falwell?

Jungle Mom said...

I'll stay out of this conversation. I just came by to thank you for the Mother's day greeting. As I am at home recovering from surgery, I am only now getting around to it. thanks!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Jungle Mom, Surgery? I'll pop over and see how you're doing (blog-wise, that is... you're a tad far away for a neighborly visit).

Lazy Iguana, actually, you're entitled to judge them by their words and actions. In the Bible itself if says that you will know true Christians by their fruit. That implies you should be able to tell the difference. And your observations are keen and valid. It's just that the press always publicizes the noteworthy or inflammatory comments and often that will incorrectly stereotype someone. In Falwell's case, I certainly agree that I CANNOT STAND large money-making religious organizations because it is completely unscriptural. As you point out, he can't truly pastor a group of people if he's inaccessible. And, when buildings and projects take the money that should really be going to the needy, I also have a problem with THAT (as you know). No, he wasn't perfect. But what he was good at was organizing a lot of disorganized Christians and using them help fight some of the very unBiblical things that were going on.

R2K said...

"The things that pass for knowledge I can't understand"

Anonymous said...

Well, having been employed at Liberty University, let me just say that Jerry has never had a limo. He drove himself around, usually in a black SUV.

Anonymous said...

I did not agree with a lot of the things that Jerry Falwell said but his son Johnathan is an anointed preacher. Try listening to him sometime. He preaches a lot about forgiveness and love. all of us can use more of that, can't we?