Rev. Jerry Falwell Dies

Rev. Jerry Falwell died today in Lynchburg, Virginia. People For the American Way President Ralph Neas issued this statement:

We extend our condolences to Rev. Jerry Falwell’s family and friends. He was an effective advocate for his vision of America, a vision with which we strongly disagreed.

PFAW has been monitoring and responding to Falwell for over 25 years. The pastor often returned the favor – as, for example, when he cited us as a factor in causing the September 11, 2001 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, 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.”

The Carpetbagger Report revisits some significant moments from Falwell’s career, from Larry Flynt to the Clinton tapes to Tinky Winky. Falwell remained an outspoken and controversial figure until the end, but below are some more memorable quotes from the early years.

On the Supreme Court:

“The fact is one day Jesus is going to come and strike down all the Supreme Court rulings in one fell swoop.” Old-Time Gospel Hour, 3/11/84

“The U.S. Supreme Court has blood on its hands. The U.S. Congress has blood on their hands. And every preacher in this country who’s not in the battle has blood on their hands.” — Old-Time Gospel Hour, 5/19/85

“[I]f 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 have been made … The facilities [for the races] should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.” From a sermon, “Segregation or Integration,” published by Thomas Road Baptist Church in “The Word of Life,” 10/58

On gays:

“[W]e must stop the homosexuals dead in their tracks — before they get one step further towards warping the minds of our youth.” Moral Majority fundraiser, 4/1/81

“In my age, we laughed at queers, fairies, and anyone who was thought to be a homosexual. It was a hideous thing, and no one talked about it, much less ever confessed to being a homosexual… I believe the United States will be destroyed if we permit homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle.” “How You Can Help Clean Up America”

“Can you imagine a regiment of homosexual men and lesbian women leading an assault on the Red Army? How much respect would the Communists have for such a collection of perverts.” Billings (MT) Gazette, 3/11/81

“Remember, homosexuals do not reproduce! They recruit! And many of them are out after my children and your children.” Fundraising letter, 8/13/81

Falwell told the James Robison Bible Conference that candidates who seek support from homosexuals “should be disbarred from running for any office.” Houston Chronicle, 2/27/82

“[T]his deadly plague [AIDS] is already spreading into the heterosexual community, because of bisexuals who are carriers — even affecting innocent young children. This is sexual TERRORISM — and even more deadly than a gun or bomb. Across the country the militant homosexuals — carriers of this deadly disease — have gained civil rights advantages which seriously compromise the health and safety of Americans everywhere. … You and I are the innocent victims of this perverted and deadly lifestyle — AND WE HAVE NO PLACE TO HIDE.” Moral Majority fundraising letter

“Herpes is the judgment of God upon the nation.” WNEW-TV, 11/22/82

“Everybody wants their rights … Now the homosexuals — they want to be a minority. They want gay rights referenda going on all the time. So why are you against that? Listen, if you want to live like an animal, go ahead. That’s your business. If you want to live an immoral life, go ahead … but don’t expect to be rewarded for it. Don’t try to be a minority — you’ve chosen to be a pervert, live like one. You’ve chosen to live a dirty life — and unclean life … but don’t expect the public to reward you and make you a bona fide minority.” Old-Time Gospel Hour, 4/21/81

On women:

“I believe the women’s liberation movement is mainly staffed by a large group of frustrated failures, many of them lesbians, and all of them anti-biblical.” “America Can Be Saved” (1979) p. 36

“We would not be having the present moral crisis regarding the homosexual movement if men and women accepted their proper roles as designated by God. God’s plan is for men to be manly and spiritual in all areas of Christian leadership … In the Christian home the woman is to be submissive.” “Listen, America!” p. 183

On the culture:

“It is the music culture that produced the drug culture … The fellow who killed John Lennon was typical of what the Beatles produced. I’m telling you that the Beatles and all those musical groups cause the problems. Its the same with the movies. Stay away, stay away from those places.” Garden City, NY – Newsday, 3/22/81

“We have had a pornographic explosion in this generation. The Hugh Hefners and now the Norman Lears have tried to jam down our throats indecency, pornography, vulgarity, obscenity — the kind of things you are shouting out there, the kind of things that are a violation of the principle of common decency.” (Eugene) Oregon Daily Emerald, “Immoral minority heckles Rev. Falwell,” 3/20/81

“America is spiritually and morally sick, and if we do not have revival, I agree with Senator Jesse Helms: We do not deserve to survive.” Old-Time Gospel Hour, 7/29/84

On church and state:

“When we as a country again acknowledge God as our creator and Jesus Christ as the Savior of mankind, we will be able to turn this nation around economically as well as in every other way.” “Listen, America!” p. 81

“The idea of religion and politics don’t mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.” 7/4/76, from “Jerry Falwell: An Unauthorized Profile”

On Ronald Reagan:

“President Reagan is the greatest thing that has happened to America in my lifetime.” Grand Island (NE) Independent, 4/27/81

“We have a threefold primary responsibility: (1) Get people saved; (2) Get them baptized; and (3) Get them registered to vote.” Religious Roundtable rally, Dallas, 8/21/80. Reagan was a featured speaker.

“Why is it Ronald Reagan’s economy is coming back to health? ‘Righteousness exalted the nation.’ Proverbs 14:34. Why is it Mr. Reagan is getting his military budget through and MX and all these things through Congress? Why is it that he is winning in all his efforts to redefense and restrengthen the military preparedness of this nation? ‘Righteousness exalted the nation.’ I believe Ronald Reagan is the product of the moral and spiritual rebirth of our nation.” Old-Time Gospel Hour, 7/10/83

On the role of government:

“The role of government is to minister justice and to protect the rights of its citizens by being a terror to evildoers within and without the nation.” “Listen, America!” p. 98

“We need to return to the McCarthy era.” At a rally with Anita Bryant. Baltimore Sun, 10/3/80

On foreign policy:

“I think he’s a phony, period, as far as representing the black people of South Africa.” On Nobel Prize winner Bishop Desmond Tutu, after Falwell visited South Africa and met with President P.W. Botha, 1985. Falwell lobbied extensively against efforts to impose sanctions on apartheid South Africa.

“As far as I’m concerned, and I’ll just throw this in, that little stooge, that little bearded Boy Scout — and God forgive me for what I said about the Boy Scouts — in Cuba, Castro. Fidel Castro. I’m for doing whatever we need to do to him. If our president suggested an invasion of Cuba today, I’d volunteer.” Old-Time Gospel Hour, 7/3/83

“In the Kremlin, Andropov or somebody decides that we need 300,000 to march in Stockholm or Berlin or New York, and the robots stand up and start marching for a nuclear freeze … This idea of unilateral disarmament is nothing more than slavery for our children in the future and our children’s children.” Old-Time Gospel Hour, 3/20/83


“We see how Satan rises up those who have a secularistic philosophy to oppose those who, like us, have a Judeo-Christian philosophy.” Old-Time Gospel Hour, 11/4/85

“I believe that the overwhelming majority of Americans are sick and tired of the way the godless liberals are running our nation.” Moral Majority letter

 “Now I’m glad that Madeleine O’Hare has her First Amendment rights, and I’m glad that Norman Lear has his. And I’m glad that the American Civil Liberties Union has their civil rights and so on. But I want to tell you that none of those people put this country together, built this nation. This nation was built by God-fearing, Christ-loving, Bible-believing, evangelistic Pilgrims and Puritans and founding fathers …” Old-Time Gospel Hour, 5/22/83