Jerry Falwell died today
. He leaves behind Thomas Road Baptist Church, the Moral Majority, Regent University and a legacy of fear, hatred, bigotry, intolerance, moral blindness, injustice, partisanship, corruption and false teaching.
Jerry Falwell told parents to reject their children and called it the word of God. Falwell blamed lesbians and liberals for the attacks on 9/11 and called it gospel. He preyed upon the fearful and took money from the poor so that he could build a material and political empire with it.
May God have mercy upon him. He's going to need it.
I find this interesting: "Falwell had made careful preparations for a transition of his leadership to his two sons, Godwin said. "He has left instructions for those of us who had to carry on, and we will be faithful to that charge."
So many times will a pastor or other spiritual leader pass the leadership of the group to a family member. It happens in all sorts of religious settings, and has been happening for as long as people have claimed a special gift from the gods. When people ask why Jesus did not marry and have children, this is probably the answer. He didn't want to have one or two people exerting authority over his followers because of nothing more than a genetic connection to him, claiming to be the continued incarnation of Jesus in the world. That role is for the whole Church, not just one person. It will be interesting to see what Falwell's sons do with their father's empire.
Falwell also had a daughter. No mention is made of any position of authority or influence in his conservative Christian empire.