Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Passage

So Jerry Falwell is dead. It's really hard to talk about. Do we say what we're all thinking? That's it's not such a very big loss? That we're sort of relieved? I wonder how brave people will be. Will Christians stand up and say this man didn't speak for us? He harmed us more than helped? Or will we follow the usual pattern lately of conferring near-sainthood on everyone who dies, no matter what they were up to in life?

My friend called to tell me and said, "I wonder where he is." Well, I said, you know where I think he is, even if you don't like it. But she said she didn't believe in hell, but didn't want him to be in heaven. And I said that I think he is with God, because I believe everyone goes to God, but that doesn't mean he's enjoying himself or very happy about being there - being in God's presence or seeing who's surrounding him. I think, more and more, that purgatory is just getting used to being near the incredible, unbelievable, shameless & offensive love of God.

But I think I heard it said best as:
"Jerry Falwell has gone home to be with Jesus, and we're all happy about that.
And now he can't fuck up the church anymore, and we're also happy about that."

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, the church is certainly in good hands with people like your husband.

Politics & Culture said...

The lack of respect for this man's family -- from followers of Jesus no less -- is astonishing.

ding said...

it's not astonishing. christians are real people too. we strive 'to be angry and sin not' but, alas. we are flesh.

that said, falwell was a bigot, a self-satisfied demagogue and while i won't gloat over his death i'm certainly happy i won't have to see his pink face on Meet the Press anytime soon telling the world that women like me are tantamount to satanists. or that gays are the reason 9/11 happened. or that AIDS is a deserved punishment for homosexuality.

so. i think i'll just suppress that little spurt of glee and ask forgiveness for it later. for now, i'll bask.

A deacon, by the grace of God, said...

Well said, Feminarian. I've linked to your post:
http://subversivechristianity.blogspot.com/2007/05/may-light-perpetual-shine-on-him.html

The Feminarian said...

Luckily the church won't be in my husband's hands at all. He's just a spouse, not a clergy.

I think his family IS happy that he's with Jesus. I mean that part quite seriously. And he really did a heck of a lot of damage to Christians and the Christian church. So the removal of that is a good thing - we can all start healing now. I mean, how concerned were people for Saddam Hussein's family when he was killed? Or most people on death row? And just because Falwell spewed hatred in Jesus name doesn't mean that it wasn't hatred. And was not representative of Jesus.

Besides, I consider him my brother - part of my family. So don't be astonished at my "lack of concern." I am concerned for those members of the family who were deeply hurt by him. Families have to be honest with one another. If we're not, we let abuse continue through generations. And that's what he did - abuse the family of God.

So think I'm a jerk if you want, but I'm not going to pretend that huge amounts of hurt weren't perpetrated by this man, and that I'm not relieved it's over.

The Feminarian said...

also, go read the deacon's comments - they're very well said and I completely agree, about broken humanness. thanks be to god that falwell is now where he can be made whole.

The Feminarian said...

By the way, I didn't mean to say Falwell was the same as Hussein or a death row inmate. I'm just interested that we get all concerned about the families of some people and not others. Death is death, no matter what a person has done. And it always hurts families. We leave the deceased in God's hands, and we take care of the families.

Michael Young said...

Your treatment of this was, in my estimation, graceful. I made my attempt as well (http://stantonworks.blogspot.com). It will be interesting to see what history does with Falwell -- and we'll just to wait and see.