The Info List - Jerry Falwell

Jerry Lamon Falwell Sr. (/ˈfɔːlwɛl/; August 11, 1933 – May 15, 2007)[1] was an American Southern Baptist
Southern Baptist
pastor, televangelist, and conservative activist.[2] He was the founding pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church, a megachurch in Lynchburg, Virginia. He founded Lynchburg Christian Academy (now Liberty Christian Academy) in 1967 and Liberty University
Liberty University
in 1971 and co-founded the Moral Majority
Moral Majority
in 1979.


1 Early life and education 2 Associated organizations

2.1 Thomas Road Baptist Church 2.2 Liberty Christian Academy 2.3 Liberty University 2.4 Moral Majority

3 Social and political views

3.1 Families 3.2 The Vietnam War 3.3 Civil rights 3.4 Israel
and Jews 3.5 Education 3.6 Apartheid 3.7 Clinton Chronicles 3.8 Views on homosexuality 3.9 Teletubbies 3.10 September 11 attacks 3.11 Labor unions 3.12 Relationship to American Fundamentalism 3.13 Islam

4 Legal issues

4.1 SEC and bonds 4.2 Falwell versus Penthouse 4.3 Hustler
Magazine v. Falwell 4.4 Falwell versus Jerry Sloan 4.5 Falwell versus Christopher Lamparello

5 Apocalyptic beliefs 6 Failing health and death 7 Legacy and criticisms 8 Publications 9 See also 10 References 11 External links

Early life and education[edit]

Southern Baptists



Protestantism Anabaptists

General / Strict / Reformed Baptists

Conservative resurgence

Doctrinal distinctives

Biblical inerrancy

Autonomy of the local church

Priesthood of believers

Two ordinances

Individual soul liberty

Separation of church and state

Two offices


List of SBC-affiliated people

Related organizations

North American Mission Board

International Mission Board

LifeWay Christian Resources

Woman's Missionary Union

Religious Liberty Commission

State conventions

Baptist Press

Founders Ministries

Canadian National Baptist Convention


Gateway Midwestern

New Orleans Southeastern

Southern Southwestern

v t e

Falwell and his twin brother Gene were born in the Fairview Heights area of Lynchburg, Virginia, the sons of Helen Virginia (Beasley) and Carey Hezekiah Falwell.[3][4][5] His father was an entrepreneur and one-time bootlegger who was agnostic.[3] His grandfather was a staunch atheist.[3] Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
married the former Macel Pate on April 12, 1958. The couple had sons Jerry Jr. (a lawyer and current chancellor of Liberty University) and Jonathan (senior pastor at Thomas Road Baptist Church) and a daughter Jeannie (a surgeon). He graduated from Brookville High School in Lynchburg, and from the then-unaccredited[6] Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri
Springfield, Missouri
in 1956. Falwell was later awarded three honorary doctoral degrees: Doctor of Divinity
Doctor of Divinity
from Tennessee Temple Theological Seminary, Doctor of Letters from California Graduate School of Theology, and Doctor of Laws from Central University in Seoul, South Korea.[7] Associated organizations[edit] Thomas Road Baptist Church[edit] Main article: Thomas Road Baptist Church In 1956, at age 22, Falwell founded the Thomas Road Baptist Church, originally located at 701 Thomas Road in Lynchburg, Virginia, with 35 members. The church went on to become a megachurch. Also in 1956, he began the Old Time Gospel Hour, a nationally syndicated radio and television ministry. When Falwell died, his son Jonathan became heir to his father's ministry, and took over as the senior pastor of the church.[8] At this time, the weekly program's name was changed to Thomas Road Live.[9][10] Liberty Christian Academy[edit] Main article: Liberty Christian Academy During the 1950s and 1960s, Falwell spoke and campaigned against the U.S. civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.
and the racial desegregation of public school systems by the U.S. federal government. Liberty Christian Academy
Liberty Christian Academy
(LCA, founded as Lynchburg Christian Academy) is a Christian school in Lynchburg which was described in 1966 by the Lynchburg News as "a private school for white students." The Lynchburg Christian Academy later opened in 1967 by Falwell as a segregation academy and as a ministry of Thomas Road Baptist Church.[11][12][13] The Liberty Christian Academy
Liberty Christian Academy
is today recognized as an educational facility by the Commonwealth of Virginia
Commonwealth of Virginia
through the Virginia State Board of Education,[14] Southern Association of Colleges and Schools,[15] and the Association of Christian Schools International.[16] Liberty University[edit] Main article: Liberty University In 1971, Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
founded Liberty University. Liberty University offers over 350 accredited programs of study, with approximately 13,000 residential students and 90,000 online.[17] Moral Majority[edit] Main article: Moral Majority By 1974, the Internal Revenue Service moved to revoke the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University, which forbade interracial dating (blacks had been denied entry until 1971). The decisions infuriated Falwell. "In some states it's easier to open a massage parlor than to open a Christian school", Falwell complained.[18] What brought Falwell and other white evangelicals into common cause with political conservatives was a ruling issued in 1978 by the IRS. This ruling stripped tax-exempt status from all-white private schools formed in the South in reaction to the Brown v. Board of Education mandate to desegregate public schools. Falwell had founded one of these schools in Lynchburg, though he and other white evangelicals insisted that their schools were Christian academies, not segregation academies. "In one fell swoop," writes political scientist Corey Robin, "the heirs of slaveholders became the descendants of persecuted Baptists, and Jim Crow a heresy the First Amendment was meant to protect." In this controversy, the Religious Right found its voice and its power. It also found common cause with political conservatives.[19] The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation
co-founder Paul Weyrich
Paul Weyrich
stated that Falwell launched the Moral Majority
Moral Majority
political action committee during 1979 to aid the Catholic
public protest against legal abortion in the United States in response to U.S. President
U.S. President
Jimmy Carter's "intervention against Christian schools" [the IRS intervention began during the Ford Administration] by "...trying to deny them tax-exempt status on the basis of so-called de facto segregation".[20] The Moral Majority
Moral Majority
became one of the largest political lobby groups for evangelical Christians in the United States during the 1980s.[21] The Moral Majority
Moral Majority
was promoted as being "pro-life", "pro-traditional family", "pro-moral" and "pro-American"[22] and was credited with delivering two thirds of the white, evangelical Christian vote to Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
during the 1980 presidential election.[23][24] According to Jimmy Carter, "that autumn [1980] a group headed by Jerry Falwell purchased $10 million in commercials on southern radio and TV to brand me as a traitor to the South and no longer a Christian."[25] During his time as head of the Moral Majority, Falwell consistently pushed for Republican candidates and for conservative politics. This led Billy Graham
Billy Graham
to criticize him for "sermonizing" about political issues that lacked a moral element, before adding, "We did not always agree on everything, but I knew him to be a man of God. His accomplishments went beyond most clergy of his generation."[21] Social and political views[edit] Families[edit] Falwell strongly advocated beliefs and practices he believed were taught by the Bible.[26] The church, Falwell asserted, was the cornerstone of a successful family. Not only was it a place for spiritual learning and guidance, but also a gathering place for fellowship and socializing with like minded individuals. Often he built conversations he had with parishioners after the worship service into focused speeches or organized goals he would then present to a larger audience via his various media outlets.[citation needed] The Vietnam War[edit] Falwell found the Vietnam war
Vietnam war
problematic because he felt it was being fought with "limited political objectives", when it should have been an all out war against the North.[27] In general, Falwell held that the president "as a minister of God" has the right to use arms to "bring wrath upon those who would do evil."[28] Civil rights[edit] On his evangelist program The Old-Time Gospel Hour in the mid 1960s, Falwell regularly featured segregationist politicians like Lester Maddox and George Wallace.[29] About Martin Luther King he said: "I do question the sincerity and nonviolent intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left wing associations."[30] In speaking of the Brown vs. Board of Education
Brown vs. Board of Education
ruling, he said, in 1958:

If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God's word and had desired to do the Lord's will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never had been made. The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.[31]

In 1977, Falwell supported Anita Bryant's campaign, which was called by its proponents "Save Our Children", to overturn an ordinance in Dade County, Florida prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and he supported a similar movement in California.[3] Twenty-eight years later, during a 2005 MSNBC
television appearance, Falwell said he was not troubled by reports that the nominee for Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, John G. Roberts
John G. Roberts
(whose appointment was confirmed by the U.S. Senate) had done volunteer legal work for homosexual rights activists on the case of Romer v. Evans. Falwell told MSNBC's Tucker Carlson
Tucker Carlson
that if he were a lawyer, he too would argue for civil rights for LGBT people. "I may not agree with the lifestyle, but that has nothing to do with the civil rights of that part of our constituency," Falwell said. When Carlson countered that conservatives "are always arguing against 'special rights' for gays," Falwell said that equal access to housing and employment are basic rights, not special rights. "Civil rights for all Americans, black, white, red, yellow, the rich, poor, young, old, gay, straight, et cetera, is not a liberal or conservative value. It's an American value that I would think that we pretty much all agree on."[2] Israel
and Jews[edit] Falwell's staunch pro- Israel
stand, sometimes referred to as "Christian Zionism", drew the strong support of the Anti-Defamation League and its leader Abraham Foxman.[32] However, they condemned what they perceived as intolerance towards Muslims in Falwell's public statements.[citation needed] They also criticized him for remarking that "Jews can make more money accidentally than you can on purpose."[33][34] In his book Listen, America! Falwell referred to the Jewish people as "spiritually blind and desperately in need of their Messiah and Savior."[35] Education[edit] Falwell repeatedly denounced certain teachings in public schools and secular education in general, calling them breeding grounds for atheism, secularism, and humanism, which he claimed to be in contradiction with Christian morality. He advocated that the United States change its public education system by implementing a school voucher system which would allow parents to send their children to either public or private schools. In his book America Can Be Saved he wrote that "I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them."[36] Falwell supported President George W. Bush's Faith Based Initiative, but had strong reservations concerning where the funding would go and the restrictions placed on churches. "My problem is where it might go under his successors.... I would not want to put any of the Jerry Falwell Ministries in a position where we might be subservient to a future Bill Clinton, God forbid.... It also concerns me that once the pork barrel is filled, suddenly the Church of Scientology, the Jehovah Witnesses [sic], the various and many denominations and religious groups—and I don't say those words in a pejorative way—begin applying for money—and I don't see how any can be turned down because of their radical and unpopular views. I don't know where that would take us."[37] Apartheid[edit] In the 1980s Falwell said that sanctions against the apartheid regime of South Africa would result in what, he felt, would be a worse situation, such as a Soviet-backed revolution. He drew the ire of many when he called Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
winner and Anglican
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Desmond Tutu
a phony "as far as representing the black people of South Africa".[38] He later apologized for that remark and claimed that he had misspoken.[39] He also urged his followers to buy up gold Krugerrands and push U.S. "reinvestment" in South Africa.[40] Clinton Chronicles[edit] Main article: The Clinton Chronicles In 1994, Falwell promoted and distributed the video documentary The Clinton Chronicles: An Investigation into the Alleged Criminal Activities of Bill Clinton. The video purported to connect Bill Clinton to a murder conspiracy involving Vince Foster, James McDougall, Ron Brown, and a cocaine-smuggling operation. The theory was discredited, but nonetheless sold more than 150,000 copies.[41] Funding for the film was provided by "Citizens for Honest Government", to which Falwell paid $200,000 in 1994 and 1995.[41] In 1995 Citizens for Honest Government interviewed Arkansas state troopers Roger Perry and Larry Patterson
Larry Patterson
regarding the murder conspiracy about Vincent Foster. Perry and Patterson also gave information regarding the allegations in the Paula Jones affair.[41] The infomercial for the 80-minute tape included footage of Falwell interviewing a silhouetted journalist who claimed to be afraid for his life. The journalist accused Clinton of orchestrating the deaths of several reporters and personal confidants who had gotten too close to his illegalities. The silhouetted journalist was subsequently revealed to be Patrick Matrisciana, the producer of the video and president of Citizens for Honest Government.[41] "Obviously, I'm not an investigative reporter", Matrisciana admitted to investigative journalist Murray Waas.[41] Later, Falwell seemed to back away from personally trusting the video. In an interview for the 2005 documentary The Hunting of the President, Falwell admitted, "to this day I do not know the accuracy of the claims made in The Clinton Chronicles."[42] Views on homosexuality[edit] Falwell condemned homosexuality as forbidden by the Bible. Gay rights groups called Falwell an "agent of intolerance" and "the founder of the anti-gay industry" for statements he had made and for campaigning against LGBT social movements.[3][43] Falwell supported Anita Bryant's 1977 "Save Our Children" campaign to overturn a Florida ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and a similar movement in California.[3] In urging the repeal of the ordinance, Falwell told one crowd, "Gay folks would just as soon kill you as look at you."[44] When the LGBT-friendly Metropolitan Community Church was almost accepted into the World Council of Churches, Falwell called them "brute beasts" and stated, "this vile and satanic system will one day be utterly annihilated and there'll be a celebration in heaven."[45] He later denied this.[46] Falwell also regularly linked the AIDS
pandemic to LGBT issues and stated, " AIDS
is not just God's punishment for homosexuals, it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."[47] Amongst many remarks over the years he is probably most known for statements attributed to him about a Teletubby being a homosexual role model for homosexual recruitment and stating that LGBT organizations angered God, thereby in part causing God to let the September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks
happen.[48][49][50] After comedian and actress Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres
came out as a lesbian, Falwell referred to her in a sermon as "Ellen DeGenerate". DeGeneres mocked him, saying, "Really, he called me that? Ellen DeGenerate? I've been getting that since the fourth grade. I guess I'm happy I could give him work."[51] Falwell's legacy regarding homosexuality is complicated by his support for LGBT civil rights (see "civil rights" section above), as well as his attempts to reconcile with the LGBT community in later years. In October 1999 Falwell hosted a meeting of 200 evangelicals with 200 homosexuals at Thomas Road Baptist Church
Thomas Road Baptist Church
for an "Anti-Violence Forum", during which he acknowledged that some American evangelicals' comments about homosexuality entered the realm of hate speech that could incite violence.[52] At the forum, Falwell told homosexuals in attendance, "I don't agree with your lifestyle, I will never agree with your lifestyle, but I love you" and added, "Anything that leaves the impression that we hate the sinner, we want to change that."[53] He later commented to New York Times columnist Frank Rich
Frank Rich
that "admittedly, evangelicals have not exhibited an ability to build a bond of friendship to the gay and lesbian community. We've said 'go somewhere else, we don't need you here [at] our churches.'"[54] Teletubbies[edit] In February 1999, an unsigned article that media outlets attributed to Falwell was published in the National Liberty Journal – a promotional publication of the university he founded – claimed that the purple Teletubby named Tinky Winky was intended as a gay role model. An article published in 1998 by Salon.com
had noted Tinky Winky's status as a gay icon.[55][56] In response, Steve Rice, spokesperson for Itsy Bitsy Entertainment, which licenses the Teletubbies
in the United States, said, "I really find it absurd and kind of offensive."[48][57] The immensely popular UK show was aimed at pre-school children, but the article stated "he is purple – the gay pride color; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle – the gay-pride symbol". Apart from those characteristics Tinky Winky also carries a magic bag which the NLJ and Salon articles said was a purse. Falwell added that "role modeling the gay lifestyle is damaging to the moral lives of children". September 11 attacks[edit] After the September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks
in 2001, Falwell said on Pat Robertson's The 700 Club, "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, the ACLU, 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.'"[58] Falwell further stated that the attacks were "probably deserved", a statement which Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens
described as treason.[59] After heavy criticism, Falwell said that no one but the terrorists were to blame, and stated, "If I left that impression with gays or lesbians or anyone else, I apologize."[49] Labor unions[edit] Falwell has also said, "Labor unions should study and read the Bible instead of asking for more money. When people get right with God, they are better workers."[60] Relationship to American Fundamentalism[edit]

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Falwell set out in his Christian ministry as a Fundamentalist, having attended a conservative Bible college and following strict standards of ecclesiastical and personal separatism; he was thus known and respected in IFB circles, being praised in Christian fundamentalist publications such as The Sword of the Lord. Though he never officially stated his rejection of this movement, the evidence of his life from the late 1970s onwards indicates he moved toward a conservative Evangelical standpoint to the right of mainline Protestantism
or "open" Evangelicalism but to the left of traditional, separatist Fundamentalism. It was reported that he had refused to attend parties at which alcohol was served early in his life, but relaxed this stricture as he was increasingly invited to major events through the contacts he developed in conservative politics and religion. His foray into national politics appears to be a catalyst for this change; when he established the Moral Majority
Moral Majority
which joined "Bible Christians" (Independent and conservative Southern Baptists) in a political alliance with Charismatics, Roman Catholics, Jews, Mormons and others he rejected the level of separation preached by most movement Fundamentalists. Bob Jones University
Bob Jones University
declared the Moral Majority organization "Satanic", holding that it was a step toward the apostate one-world church and government body as it would cross the line from a political alliance to a religious one between true Christians and the non-born-again, as forbidden by their interpretation of the Bible. David Cloud's Way of Life Literature also criticizes Falwell for associations with Catholics, Pentecostals and liberal Christians, tracing his alleged "apostasy" back to his role in the political Religious Right. Though he never wavered in his belief in the inerrancy of the Bible (except for moderating its alleged view of racial differences, significance of baptism, and other concepts relative to his theology) and the doctrines conservative Christians widely see as essential to salvation, his rhetoric became generally more mellow, less militant and comparatively more inclusive from the 1980s onward. Cultural anthropologist Susan Friend Harding, in her extensive ethnographic study of Falwell, noted that he adapted his preaching to win a broader, less extremist audience as he grew famous. This manifested in several ways: among them were no longer condemning "worldly" lifestyle choices such as dancing, drinking wine, and attending movie theaters; softening rhetoric of apocalypse and God's vengeful wrath; and shifting from outright Biblical patriarchy to a complementarian view of appropriate gender roles. He further mainstreamed himself by aiming his strongest criticism at "secular humanists", pagans or various liberals in place of the racist, anti-Semitic or anti-Catholic rhetoric common among Southern Fundamentalist preachers but increasingly condemned as hate speech by the consensus of American society.[61] Islam[edit] Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
opposed Islam. According to Asharq Al-Awsat, a pan-Arab newspaper, Falwell called Islam
"satanic".[62] In a televised interview with 60 Minutes, Falwell called Muhammad
a "terrorist", to which he added: "I concluded from reading Muslim and non-Muslim writers that Muhammad
was a violent man, a man of war." Falwell later apologized to Muslims for what he said about Muhammad
and affirmed that he did not necessarily intend to offend "honest and peace-loving" Muslims. However, as he refused to remove his comments about Islam from his website, the sincerity of his apology was doubted.[63][64] Egyptian Christian
Egyptian Christian
intellectuals, in response, signed a statement in which they condemned and rejected what Falwell had said about Muhammad being a terrorist.[65] Legal issues[edit] From the 1970s on, Falwell was involved in legal matters which occupied much of his time and propelled his name recognition. SEC and bonds[edit] In 1972, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) launched an investigation of bonds issued by Falwell's organizations. The SEC charged Falwell's church with "fraud and deceit" in the issuance of $6.5 million in unsecured church bonds.[66] The church won a 1973 federal court case prosecuted at the behest of the SEC, in which the Court exonerated the church and ruled that while technical violations of law did occur, there was no proof the Church intended any wrongdoing. Falwell versus Penthouse[edit] Falwell filed a $10 million lawsuit against Penthouse for publishing an article based upon interviews he gave to freelance reporters, after failing to convince a federal court to place an injunction upon the publication of that article. The suit was dismissed in Federal district court on the grounds that the article was not defamatory or an invasion of Falwell's privacy (the Virginia courts had not recognized this privacy tort, which is recognized in other states).[67][68][69] Hustler
Magazine v. Falwell[edit] Main article: Hustler
Magazine v. Falwell In 1983, Larry Flynt's pornographic magazine Hustler
carried a parody of a Campari
ad, featuring a mock "interview" with Falwell in which he admits that his "first time" was incest with his mother in an outhouse while drunk. Falwell sued for $45 million, alleging invasion of privacy, libel, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.[citation needed] A jury rejected the invasion of privacy and libel claims, holding that the parody could not have reasonably been taken to describe true events, but ruled in favor of Falwell on the emotional distress claim and awarded damages of $200,000. This was upheld on appeal. Flynt then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which unanimously held that the First Amendment prevents public figures from recovering damages for emotional distress caused by parodies. After Falwell's death, Larry Flynt
Larry Flynt
released a comment regarding his friendship over the years with Falwell.

My mother always told me that no matter how much you dislike a person, when you meet them face to face you will find characteristics about them that you like. Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
was a perfect example of that. I hated everything he stood for, but after meeting him in person, years after the trial, Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
and I became good friends. He would visit me in California and we would debate together on college campuses. I always appreciated his sincerity even though I knew what he was selling and he knew what I was selling.[70]

Falwell versus Jerry Sloan[edit]

Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
in Tallahassee, Florida

In 1984, Falwell was ordered to pay gay rights activist and former Baptist Bible College classmate Jerry Sloan $5,000 after losing a court battle. In July 1984 during a TV debate in Sacramento, California, Falwell denied calling the homosexual-friendly Metropolitan Community Churches "brute beasts" and "a vile and Satanic system" that will "one day be utterly annihilated and there will be a celebration in heaven".[45] When Sloan insisted he had a tape, Falwell promised $5,000 if he could produce it. Sloan did, Falwell refused to pay, and Sloan successfully sued. The money was donated to build Sacramento's first homosexual community center, the Lambda Community Center, serving "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex" communities.[46] Falwell appealed the decision with his attorney charging that the Jewish judge in the case was prejudiced. He lost again and was made to pay an additional $2,875 in sanctions and court fees.[71] Falwell versus Christopher Lamparello[edit] Main article: Lamparello v. Falwell In Lamparello v. Falwell, a dispute over the ownership of the Internet domain fallwell.com, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed an earlier District Court decision, arguing that Christopher Lamparello, who owned the domain, "clearly created his Web site intending only to provide a forum to criticize ideas, not to steal customers."[72] Lamparello's website describes itself as not being connected to Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
and is critical of Falwell's views on homosexuality.[72] On April 17, 2006, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the Court of Appeals ruling that Lamparello's usage of the domain was legal. Previous to this, a different man had turned over jerryfalwell.com and jerryfallwell.com after Falwell threatened to sue for trademark infringement.[72] Lawyers for Public Citizen Litigation Group's Internet Free Speech project represented the domain name owners in both cases. Apocalyptic beliefs[edit] On July 31, 2006, Cable News Network's (CNN) Paula Zahn Now
Paula Zahn Now
program featured a segment on "whether the crisis in the Middle East is actually a prelude to the end of the world". In an interview Falwell claimed, "I believe in the premillennial, pre-tribulational coming of Christ
for all of his church, and to summarize that, your first poll, do you believe Jesus' coming the second time will be in the future, I would vote yes with the 59 percent and with Billy Graham
Billy Graham
and most evangelicals."[73] Based on this and other statements, Falwell has been identified as a Dispensationalist.[74] In 1999, Falwell declared the Antichrist
would probably arrive within a decade and "of course he'll be Jewish".[75] After accusations of anti-Semitism Falwell apologized and explained that he was simply expressing the theological tenet that the Antichrist
and Christ
share many attributes.[76] Failing health and death[edit] In early 2005, Falwell was hospitalized for two weeks with a viral infection, discharged, and then rehospitalized on May 30, 2005, in respiratory arrest.[77][78] President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
contacted Falwell to "wish him well".[78] He was subsequently released from the hospital and returned to his duties. Later in 2005, a stent was implanted to treat a 70 percent blockage in his coronary arteries.[79] On May 15, 2007, Falwell was found without pulse and unconscious in his office at about 10:45 a.m., after he missed a morning appointment, and was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital.[80] "I had breakfast with him, and he was fine at breakfast...He went to his office, I went to mine and they found him unresponsive," said Ron Godwin, the executive vice president of Falwell's Liberty University. His condition was initially reported as "gravely serious"; CPR
was administered unsuccessfully. As of 2:10 p.m., during a live press conference, a doctor for the hospital confirmed that Falwell had died of "cardiac arrhythmia, or sudden cardiac death". A statement issued by the hospital reported he was pronounced dead at Lynchburg General Hospital at 12:40 p.m., EST. He was 73 years old. Falwell's family, including his wife, the former Macel Pate (1933-2015),[81] and sons, Jerry Falwell Jr.
Jerry Falwell Jr.
and Jonathan Falwell, were at the hospital at the time of the pronouncement. Falwell's funeral took place on May 22, 2007, at Thomas Road Baptist Church after he lay in repose at both the church and Liberty University. Falwell's burial service was private. He is interred at a spot on the Liberty University
Liberty University
campus near the Carter Glass Mansion and Falwell's office. Buried nearby is his mentor, B. R. Lakin. After his death, his sons succeeded him at his two positions; Jerry Falwell Jr. took over as president of Liberty University
Liberty University
while Jonathan Falwell became the senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church. His daughter, Jeannie F. Savas, is a surgeon. The last televised interview with Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
was conducted by Christiane Amanpour
Christiane Amanpour
for the CNN
original series CNN
Presents: God's Warriors.[82] He had been interviewed on May 8, one week before his death.[83] Falwell's last televised sermon was his May 13, 2007, message on Mother's Day. Legacy and criticisms[edit] Falwell's legacy is strongly mixed and often a source of heated controversy. Supporters praise his advancement of his socially conservative message. They also tout his evangelist ministries, and his stress on church planting and growth. Many of his detractors have accused him of hate speech and identified him as an "agent of intolerance".[43] He was described by social commentator and antitheist Christopher Hitchens in terms as "Chaucerian fraud" and a "faith-based fraud." Hitchens took special umbrage with Falwell's alignment with "the most thuggish and demented Israeli settlers", and his declaration that 9/11 represented God's judgment on America's sinful behaviour; deeming it "extraordinary that not even such a scandalous career is enough to shake our dumb addiction to the 'faith-based.'" Hitchens also mentioned that, despite his support for Israel, Falwell "kept saying to his own crowd, yes, you have got to like the Jews, because they can make more money in 10 minutes than you can make in a lifetime".[84] Appearing on CNN
a day after Falwell's death, Hitchens said, "The empty life of this ugly little charlatan proves only one thing: that you can get away with the most extraordinary offenses to morality and to truth in this country if you will just get yourself called 'reverend'."[85] On C-SPAN, Hitchens made the comment that "if he had been given an enema, he could have been buried in a matchbox".[86] Falwell was an enemy of the revenge humorist "George Hayduke", who called Falwell a "fund-grubbing electronic Bible-banger" and "pious pride-in-the-pulpit". In his book Screw Unto Others, Hayduke mentions the story of Edward Johnson, who, in the mid-1980s, programmed his Atari
home computer to make thousands of repeat phone calls to Falwell's 1–800 phone number, since Johnson claimed Falwell had swindled large amounts of money from his followers, especially Johnson's own mother. Southern Bell
Southern Bell
forced Johnson to stop after he had run up Falwell's telephone bill an estimated $500,000. At one point, prank callers, especially gay activists, constituted an estimated 25% of Falwell's total calls, until the ministry disconnected the toll-free number in 1986.[87][88] Publications[edit]

Falwell, Jerry (January 30, 2006). Achieving Your Dreams. Thomas Nelson. ISBN 0-529-12246-4.  Falwell, Jerry (October 17, 2005). Building Dynamic Faith. Thomas Nelson. ISBN 0-529-12133-6.  Falwell, Jerry (1973). Capturing a Town for Christ. REVELL. ISBN 0-8007-0606-4.  Champions for God. Victor Books, 1985. Church Aflame. (co-author Elmer Towns) Impact, 1971. Dynamic Faith Journal. Thomas Nelson (64 pages) (January 30, 2006) ISBN 0-529-12245-6 Falwell: An Autobiography. Liberty House, 1996. (Ghost written by Mel White[66]) ISBN 1-888684-04-6 Fasting Can Change Your Life. Regal, 1998. Finding Inner Peace and Strength. Doubleday, 1982. If I Should Die Before I Wake. Thomas Nelson, 1986. (ghost-written by Mel White) Jerry Falwell: Aflame for God. Thomas Nelson, 1979. (co-authors Gerald Strober and Ruth Tomczak) Liberty Bible Commentary on the New Testament. Thomas Nelson/Liberty University, 1978. Liberty Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 1982. Listen, America! Bantam Books
Bantam Books
(July 1981) ISBN 0-553-14998-9 Stepping Out on Faith. Tyndale House, 1984. Strength for the Journey. Simon & Schuster, 1987. (ghost-written by Mel White) The Fundamentalist Phenomenon. Doubleday, 1981. The Fundamentalist Phenomenon/The Resurgence of Conservative Christianity. Baker Book House, 1986. The New American Family. Word, 1992. When It Hurts Too Much to Cry. Tyndale House, 1984. ISBN 0-8423-7993-2 Wisdom for Living. Victor Books, 1984.

See also[edit]

Christian fundamentalism Faith and Values Coalition Heritage USA Jerry Johnston List of fatwas List of Southern Baptist
Southern Baptist
Convention affiliated people National Christian Network The PTL Club Southern Baptist
Southern Baptist
Convention Televangelism


^ " Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
Told Followers He Was at Peace With Death". Associated Press
Associated Press
via Fox News. May 16, 2007. Retrieved August 25, 2007.  ^ a b Melzer, Eartha Jane (August 26, 2005). "Falwell Speaks in Favour of Gay Civil Rights". Soulfource.org. Retrieved November 16, 2017.  ^ a b c d e f Applebome, Peter (May 15, 2007). "Jerry Falwell, Leading Religious Conservative, Dies at 73". The New York Times. ^ "Falwell, Jerry (1933–2007)". Retrieved 21 January 2017.  ^ "Personal Details for C. A. Beasley". FamilySearch.org. Retrieved November 16, 2017.  ^ "Higher Learning Commission:Baptist Bible College". Higher Learning Commission. April 1, 2008. Retrieved January 6, 2009. [non-primary source needed] ^ "Executive Biographies:Dr. Jerry Falwell". Liberty University. Retrieved January 6, 2009.  ^ "Sons Walking in Own Shoes, Albeit Footsteps of Famous Dads". theledger.com.  ^ "Founder". Liberty University.  ^ "Old Time Gospel Hour". Flick Out. [permanent dead link] ^ " Liberty Christian Academy
Liberty Christian Academy
- About LCA - History". Retrieved 21 January 2017.  ^ Dowland, Seth (2007). Defending Manhood: Gender, Social Order and the Rise of the Christian Right
Christian Right
in the South, 1965-1995. ProQuest. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-549-71783-6. Retrieved 6 September 2012.  ^ http://www.thenation.com/article/agent-intolerance# "Agent of Intolerance". The Nation. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-20. Retrieved 2013-03-03.  ^ "AdvancED - Institution Summary". Retrieved 21 January 2017.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2014-04-02.  ^ "Liberty University".  ^ Wertheimer, Linda (June 23, 2006). "Evangelical: Religious Right Has Distorted the Faith, (Book Review)". Retrieved November 16, 2006.  ^ Prothero, Stephen. "Donald Trump goes to Liberty U". Retrieved 21 January 2017.  ^ Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party. p. 25. Nation Books, 2009. ^ a b " Moral Majority
Moral Majority
founder Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
dies". MSNBC. May 15, 2007. Retrieved January 6, 2009.  ^ Falwell: An Autobiography, The Inside Story, Liberty House Publishers, Lynchburg, 1997 Pg. 388 ^ King, Randall E. (March 22, 1997). "When worlds collide: politics, religion, and media at the 1970 East Tennessee Billy Graham
Billy Graham
Crusade. (appearance by President Richard M. Nixon)". Journal of Church and State. Retrieved August 28, 2007.  ^ Williams, Daniel K. (April 2010). "Jerry Falwell's Sunbelt Politics: The Regional Origins of the Moral Majority" (Fee). Journal of Policy History. Cambridge University Press. 22 (2): 125–147. doi:10.1017/S0898030610000011. Retrieved 2010-09-17.  One month before Election Day in 1980, Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan traveled to Lynchburg, Virginia, to speak at Jerry Falwell's Liberty Baptist College, where he advocated the restoration of classroom prayer in public schools. While it was not the first time that ... ^ Carter, Jimmy (2010). White House Diary. New York, N.Y: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 469.  ^ Falwell, Jerry; Hindson, Edward E. (1986). The Fundamentalist Phenomenon. Baker Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8010-2958-9.  ^ Falwell, Listen, America!, 85. ^ Falwell, Listen, America!, 98. ^ "Holy War". SPLCenter.org. 2003-06-26. Retrieved 2010-11-07.  ^ Washington, James M. (1990). A Testament of Hope: the essential writings of Martin Luther King. San Francisco: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-06-064691-8.  ^ Blumenthall, Max (May 28, 2007). "Age of Intolerance". The Nation. Retrieved 2010-11-07.  ^ McKay, Mary Jayne (June 8, 2003). "Zion's Christian Soldiers". CBS News. Retrieved January 13, 2009.  ^ "ADL Condemns Falwell's Anti-Muslim Remarks; Urges Him to Apologize". Adl.org. Archived from the original on 2003-12-17. Retrieved 2010-11-07.  ^ "Irving Kristol's Rebel Alliance With Anti-Semites". Retrieved December 24, 2009.  ^ Falwell, Jerry (1980). Listen, America!. New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc. p. 113. ISBN 0-385-15897-1.  ^ "Biography: Falwell, Jerry". Atheism.about.com. 1982-11-21. Retrieved 2010-11-07.  ^ "Beliefnet interviews Rev. Jerry Falwell –". Beliefnet.com. Retrieved 2010-11-07.  ^ "Religion: An Unholy Uproar". Time. September 2, 1985. Retrieved May 6, 2010.  ^ Pear, Robert (1985-08-21). "Falwell Denounces Tutu As A 'Phony'". The New York Times. South Africa, Republic Of. Retrieved 2010-11-07.  ^ OSTLING, RICHARD N. (September 2, 1985). "Jerry Falwell's Crusade". Time Magazine. Retrieved May 17, 2007.  ^ a b c d e The Falwell connection by Murray Waas Salon.com ^ The Hunting of the President
The Hunting of the President
(DVD) 2005 ^ a b Blumenthal, Max. "Agent of Intolerance". Retrieved May 18, 2007.  ^ Johnson, Hans; Eskridge, William (May 19, 2007). "The Legacy of Falwell's Bully Pulpit". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 18, 2007.  ^ a b Burns, Katy. "Jerry Falwell's greatest hates". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2007.  ^ a b "about Lambda Community Fund". Archived from the original on January 25, 2008. Retrieved April 9, 2009.  ^ Press, Bill. "Press: The Sad Legacy of Jerry Falwell". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2015.  ^ a b "'Gay Tinky Winky bad for children'". BBC News. February 15, 1999. Retrieved May 18, 2007.  ^ a b "Falwell apologizes to gays, feminists, lesbians". CNN. September 14, 2001. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2015.  ^ "Top Stories". NY1. Archived from the original on 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2010-11-07.  ^ Handy, Bruce (April 14, 1997). "HE CALLED ME ELLEN DEGENERATE?". Time. Retrieved November 25, 2008.  ^ Niebuhr, Gustav (October 23, 1999). "Religion Journal; Falwell Finds an Accord With Gay Rights Backer". The New York Times. ^ "The odd couple — Gays and Lesbians". Salon.com. 1999-10-25. Archived from the original on 2011-01-29. Retrieved 2010-11-07.  ^ Rich, Frank (1999-11-06). "Has Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
Seen the Light? NY Times, November 6, 1999". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-11-07.  ^ Millman, Joyce. "'Tubbythumping '". Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2015.  ^ Arizona supporter funds largest-ever gift annuity to LU Archived 2011-05-26 at the Wayback Machine. (February 27, 2008) By Mitzi Bible – Liberty Journal ^ Burke, Heather (May 15, 2007). "Jerry Falwell, Evangelist, Political Activist, Dies". Bloomberg. Retrieved May 18, 2007.  ^ Falwell speaks about WTC disaster, Christian Broadcasting Network Archived 2012-10-19 at the Wayback Machine. ^ " Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens
and Ralph Reed Square Off over Late Leader's Influence; the Christian Right." Hannity & Colmes. May 17, 2007. FOX News. Retrieved June 23, 2009. ^ Ricco, Joanne""The Right Wing Attack on the American Labor Movement"". Archived from the original on 2009-05-12. Retrieved 2006-07-03. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Accessed 24 May 2011. ^ Susan Harding (2001). The book of Jerry Falwell: fundamentalist language and politics. Princeton University Press, passim. ^ A case that is forgotten...another group of takfir from Arab-West Report ^ Rev. Jerry Falwell: I think Muhammad
was a terrorist from Arab-West Report ^ Recent developments from Arab-West Report ^ Christian leaders in Egypt condemn Jerry Falwell's statement about the Prophet being a terrorist from Arab-West Report ^ a b "Religion, Politics a Potent Mix for Jerry Falwell". NPR. Retrieved 2010-11-07.  ^ "Falwell Says He Will Press $10 Million Penthouse Suit." The New York Times. February 5, 1981. ^ "Penthouse Wins in Court Against Falwell Suit." The New York Times. August 7, 1981. ^ "Falwell Won't Pursue Suit". The New York Times. September 10, 1981. ^ Flynt, Larry (2007-05-20). "The porn king and the preacher". Los Angeles Times.  ^ "The Pittsburgh Press - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 21 January 2017.  ^ a b c Supreme Court declines Falwell Web appeal Associated Press. April 17, 2006 ^ Paula Zahn Now, CNN: Transcript. July 31, 2006. ^ Jerry L. Walls (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 269. ^ Cohen, Debra Nussbaum. "Falwell Antichrist
remark sparks anti-Semitism charges". Retrieved May 18, 2007.  ^ "NPR: Cultural Impact of the Book of Revelation". National Public Radio. September 28, 2006. Retrieved January 6, 2009.  ^ "Falwell: The church won the 2004 elections". WSFA 12. June 21, 2005.  ^ a b Falwell is taken off ventilator, upgraded to stable condition. USA Today. May 30, 2005 ^ "Rev. Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
Dies at 73 after collapsing". Sauk Valley Newspapers. May 15, 2007.  ^ Page, Susan (May 15, 2007). "Evangelist Jerry Falwell
Jerry Falwell
dies at 73". USA Today/Associated Press. Retrieved May 15, 2007.  ^ "Macel Falwell". Campbellsville, Kentucky: Central Kentucky News-Journal. Retrieved October 17, 2015.  ^ CNN – God's Warriors from CNN[dead link] ^ "Video News". Retrieved 21 January 2017.  ^ Hitchens, Christopher. "Jerry Falwell, faith-based fraud." Slate. May 16 2007. Retrieved September 3, 2013. ^ "Jerry Falwell's Legacy". CNN. Retrieved 2014-04-17.  ^ Interview on C-SPAN's Q&A with Brian Lamb on Sunday, April 26, 2009. ^ Hayduke, George. "Prey TV", Screw Unto Others: Revenge Tactics for all Occasions. pg. 166 ^ "Evangelism: The Bell Tolls for Falwell". Time. 14 Apr 1986. Retrieved Nov 23, 2010. 

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