Falwell, Flawed Minister, Dies

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Jerry Falwell, the influential leader of Liberty University and once leader of the so-called Moral Majority, who died yesterday, was a deeply flawed man when it came to liberation of Black people all over the world.

Falwell, a remarkable entrepreneur who ultimately gained thousands of church members and influenced perhaps millions of people – even playing a critical role in the election of Ronald Reagan – was on the opposite side of all movements for Black socio-economic and political emancipation.

"Preachers are not called to be politicians, but soul winners," Falwell said, as he opposed the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s,  declaring: “If as much effort could be out into winning people to Jesus across the land as is being exerted in the present Civil Rights Movement, America would be turned upside down for God.� This was at a time when Black people were still being killed by segregationist in the South and protestors being beaten and set upon with dogs and fire hoses by racist police.

Makes you wonder whether the good Reverend believed there were two Gods—one for white people and another for Black people. How can a God of all man condone bondage of Black people?

Falwell clearly had a soft spot for racist segregationists—even of the most vicious and evil form, as was practiced in Apartheid South Africa. Before the release of Nelson Mandela and when the opposition in South Africa had coalesced around trade union leaders and fearless men such as Bishop Desmond Tutu, the embattled regime invited Falwell to South Africa in 1985.

Upon his return, the good Reverend painted a rosy picture and said things in South Africa weren’t that bad. He blamed “propaganda� for sullying the good name of South Africa. “Bishop Tutu,� Falwell famously said, with a chuckle, “is a phony� who did not represent the interest of the majority of South Africans.

There was nothing phony about Slavery, lynching, Jim Crow, the KKK and Apartheid.

Perhaps Falwell will explain his views on Black humanity to his God in the next world.

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