File this under 'Deaths That Will Cause Me No Tears'. Jerry Falwell, religious fruitcake and rampant reactionary, has departed this mortal coil, aged 73.
Here are some of his lowlights:
- On Apartheid: a "bulwark for Christian civilization".
- On AIDS: "the wrath of a just God".
- On Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement: “the Civil Wrongs Movement.”
- In February 1999, he denounced the Teletubbies, declaring that Tinky Winky was a sinful homosexual, his evidence being that: "He is purple - the gay-pride colour; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle - the gay-pride symbol." Wot, no mention of the handbag?!
- On the 9/11 attacks: "I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, and the ACLU and People For the American Way—all of them who have tried to secularize America—I point the finger in their face and say 'You helped this happen.'"
He also held some wacko theory about the forthcoming day of 'Rapture', when God would pop down to Earth and spirit all his true followers away to Heaven. They'd vanish - just like that. And everyone else would die in some gory global wipeout. Nice.
Falwelll's death has prompted celebrations from US gay activists
Ronald Reagan was a big Falwell fan. And several leading Republican presidential candidates have praised Falwell following his death, Senator John McCain describing him as "a man of distinguished accomplishment who devoted his life to serving his faith and country."