Occassionally My Prayers Are Answered

Jerry Falwell died today. Bill Hicks once said of Jesse Helms, "You know when he dies, he is going to commit suicide in a washtub under some pecan tree with the note 'I been a bad boy' pinned to him, while the skins of young children dry in his attic and on a continuous loop on CNN his widow saying 'I always wondered about Jesse's collection of little shoes" because there has to be something seriously wrong with someone that far to the right. You do know that, right?" (Rant in E Minor) I often thought similarly of Falwell partially for his comments about homosexuality and AIDs and partly because his post 9/11 comments.

At metafilter, where their tribute to Kurt Vonnegut made me cry, their, um, tribute to Falwell is amusing as well as full of the worst of the worst this man had to offer. A few cry mercy for him, demanding repect for the dead, but I would remind them how little respect he showed the those who died of AIDs and their families. I've known too many good people who died of this disease to respect a man who once said, "AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals." Most of my friends who died of AIDs were such compassionate, sweet, decent men that Falwell would have to work very hard in the afterlife to even be worthy of licking the hopefully dog shit besmirched soles of their shoes.

I would also remind others who find my glee at his death offensive to remember the Inferno. As Dante descends into Hell at first he is compassionate towards those he finds in Hell, but as he travels he becomes more cruel towards the damned eventually torturing them himself. This is in keeping with the Calvinist idea that punishing the wicked is an act of mercy, thus his cruelty is actually a demonstration that he is becoming more at one with the will of God.

Or, to put it another way, not all hate is bad. There are some people who are truly abhorent and should be righteously reviled. Falwell was one. To respect his death is to do a disservice to all of those whose deaths and more lives he failed to respect. In honor of his death, I am taking a hiatus from being an atheist just so I can hope that, "Where ever he is now, you can bet he's surprised."

Nicely written *applauds*
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