Saturday, August 08, 2020

Jerry Falwell Jr. is NOT His Father

By now you have probably seen the photo circulating on the internet of 58-year-old Jerry Falwell Jr. posing with a young woman (not his wife or daughter) with his pants unzipped.  As a result of the backlash from folks who said "How dare you when you're supposed to be an evangelical man of God?!"and a call from NC Republican Congressman Mark Walker to resign, Jerry Jr. removed the photo from his Instagram page and decided to take a leave of absence from Liberty University, where he served as President. In his defense, he did try to explain that the photo was taken out of context, saying it was taken at a "costume party" while he was on vacation and it was "just in good fun." He added, "I'm gonna try to be a good boy from here on out.  But why does he have to be good?  He is NOT his father and he doesn't pretend to be.

Jerry Falwell Sr.(born in 1933) was an ultra conservative Southern Baptist preacher who became a leading voice of the religious right movement which led to the so called Moral Majority. The organization, which formed in the late 1970's, worked hard to push through a pro-life and pro-family agenda complete with conservative judges to serve their purpose.  Falwell Sr. founded the Lynchburg Christian Academy in 1967 and Liberty Baptist College (now known as Liberty University) in 1971.  Over his lifetime, he stoked fear and hatred for Muslims, gays and radical blacks.  He went to his grave (2007) as a staunch conservative and kept the door open for an even more extreme version of white evangelicalism to take shape.

Although Jerry Jr. may describe himself as an evangelical, he is NOT his father.  He is not an ordained minister and according to Senior Politics Reporter Jane Coaston, "Jerry Falwell Jr. was the beneficiary of a family legacy built on the promise of sharing the Christian faith.....a legacy which he appears to have used to benefit himself and his family."  And while he is touted in some circles as one of Donald Trump's evangelical advisors, that relationship may be more "business related instead of a relationship with Jesus Christ.  According to published reports, Jerry Jr. and his wife have been the subject of some possible illegal wheeling and dealing.  (see more:   here   )

In my opinion, it is unfair to judge Jerry Jr. based on that photo because he was always that man. He wanted us see the picture or he wouldn't have posted it on his Instagram account with more than 24k followers.  He wanted us to see his "fun side."  He wanted us to know that he can be in Trump's orbit and get away with similar behaviors because that's what white male privilege affords to him.  He also wants us to know that "all have sinned and all fall short of the glory of God." 

And according to Isiah 55:7, 

"Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.  Let them turn to the Lord and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Surely, he will seek that pardon from God because Trump has probably already given one.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Carlson and Hannity Speak for the Deaf Dumb and Blind

Following a glowing tribute to the life and legacy of Congressman John Robert Lewis, it didn't take Fox News commentators, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity long to turn his funeral into a racist rant.

Carlson told his audience he thought President Barack Obama was a "greasy politician" and said, "The country is falling apart, riven by racial strife and tribalism, and one of the most respected people in the whole world decides to pour gasoline on that and compare the police to Bull Connor."  For those of you who need a history lesson, Connor was Alabama's Commissioner of Public Safety in the 1960's, who enforced legal racial segregation and denied civil rights to black residents.  He is famous for using police dogs and fire hoses to try to squash the civil rights demonstrations.  He became an international symbol of institutional racism. 

Carlson went on to tell his blind, deaf and dumb audience that it was unfair to compare Minneapolis or America to Alabama.  Of course, Carlson speaks from a place of white male privilege where he, nor his audience, has a clue (or refuses to get a clue) about the struggles Congressman Lewis went through in the South or the struggles any black person experiences.  Furthermore, he obviously didn't really listen to what President Obama said or he took the quote out of context, which is a standard "norm" for that Network.

"Bull Connor may be gone.  But today we witness with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of Black Americans...." ~President Barack Obama

What I heard Obama say is police continue to use extreme and unnecessary force to subdue and even murder blacks.  So Carlson must believe police using vicious attack dogs and stinging fire hoses is better than having a knee placed on a man's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.  

And as far as the "racial strife and tribalism" he referred to, that was created by Donald Trump and his manipulation of the Republican party.

Meanwhile, Sean Hannity condemned Obama for, what he called, a "divisive, politically charged and mean-spirited" eulogy.

When a faithfully married Black President, who was the son of a single mother, the first Black Editor of Harvard Law Review and a professor of Constitutional Law is called "greasy" "immoral," "divisive", and "anti-American" by Carlson, Hannity and those who buy into their philosophy, you have to wonder what they see when they think about Donald Trump.  In comparison to Obama (of which there is NONE), Trump is a xenophobic, misogynistic, philanderer, racist, trust fund kid who quotes from the National Enquirer, peddles conspiracy theories, routinely calls women ugly and fat, disrespects military veterans and advocates for separation of immigrant parents and children.  This is the person who has captured the hearts of a majority of Republicans and white evangelicals.  This is WHITE SUPREMACY.  Plain and simple but a blind, deaf and dumb audience will never see or hear that.

Remember, Racist thoughts and actions say more about the person they come from than the person they are directed at.