I don't have anything useful to say about Jerry Falwell's death… - Baxil [bakh-HEEL'], n.
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I don't have anything useful to say about Jerry Falwell's death today. But I would
like to offer some context to those of you who are shocked by the attitudes people are displaying at his passing.
If you think that people are being too disrespectful to the man, you owe it to yourself to read this
. Think for a moment about what it was like to be one of his targets ... and at least try to understand the natural human urge to reciprocate.
After some deliberation, I'll leave comments open in this post in case people want to talk about it. I'd appreciate keeping this post
a gloat-free (and eulogy-free) zone - but I'm not
condemning anyone who wants to celebrate. It's just that I've been harsh
on right-wingers lately, and I'd like to think that at least occasionally we can find common ground.
|Date:||May 16th, 2007 06:29 am (UTC)|| |
Speaking as someone who was very much within his target range on several vectors, I see no point in sinking to his level now that he's no longer with us. Yes, there are those who will. I find it proof that his hatred and theirs spring from the same root, and it is better not to wallow in the same mudpit.
I'm in agreement, personally.
Recently, I found myself unable to stop reading-- the worst case of train-wreck syndrome-- an extensive article someone had linked to me on Fred Phelps' treatment of his family. His crimes against the whole of humanity aside, what he did to his family alone was enough to make even me, notorious for being emotionally unaffected, feel physically sick to the stomach. It was like reading someone's account of a PoW torture camp, or the most extreme nonconsensual S&M fanfic you could dig up on the internet, without any actual sex. That one human being could do this to his family with what was described as a beatific smile on his face horrified me to the core. It was like one of those horror movies where you're shouting at the screen for the faily to get out of the house, to call the police, only it's real.
If he were to die today, I'd be thankful for the people who didn't have to suffer under his cruel regime anymore. I'd be grateful he wasn't corrupting more well-meaning but gullible individuals with his bile. I'd be glad to see godhatesfags.com disappear from the internet, see the picketing of funerals stop, see Westboro Baptist Chruch become a name consigned to history.
But I wouldn't want to laugh, to gloat, or to smirk over the passing of a life from this Earth. I'd feel regret that he had to die without having understood why his actions were so wrong, that his life had not been long enough for him to learn the error of his ways; because for someone to die without being able to even begin to make amends for what they've done (not in the Christian sense, but in an overall moral sense) is a tragedy. I'd feel regret for the fact that whatever spark of happiness lingered within him, whatever fondness he had for life, whatever caring was left in his shrivelled, bruised heart, felt no more. I don't think celebrating someone else's loss makes you any better than people who wished loss upon you, no; and it is a human instinct, yes, but that doesn't mean we should pander to it. We shouldn't *hate* or criminalise people for it-- that makes us just as bad again-- but we shouldn't encourage it. It's a drive we should strive to overcome, just like the urge to violence, the urge to war.
And as for those who hold a sincere wish that he should go to the hell he believed in-- I cannot begin to express how horrific I find it that any individual would delight in the concept of another's eternal suffering, were they really to contemplate what that idea means. Let's not perpetuate that foul and terrifying lie that tortures so many people daily. If we do, we're really no better than people like Falwell, I'm sorry. And don't think that I think that means you deserve punishment, either. Punishment is a wholly cruel and selfish ideal when sought after for its own sake. It means I think you should look at why you feel that way and strive to become better than it, that's all-- because if we all did that, the world would be much less full of hatred like Falwell's.
To me, in fact, there is another reason to be sad at the death of someone I do not like (or do not know, but how could I like someone I don't know?). It is simply this: another person has died. We have lost whatever complexity of nature had formed to make that person to the soil. We have lost everything that that person knew but others did not. To use an old metaphor, another book has been burned before we could read more than a few pages.
It doesn't matter who it is that has died. I will always regret death.
|Date:||May 18th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)|| |
"I think the first reason that we should love our enemies, and I think this was at the very center of Jesus’ thinking, is this: that hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. If I hit you and you hit me and I hit you back and you hit me back and go on, you see, that goes on ad infinitum. [tapping on pulpit] It just never ends. Somewhere somebody must have a little sense, and that’s the strong person. The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil. And that is the tragedy of hate, that it doesn’t cut it off. It only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. Somebody must have religion enough and morality enough to cut it off and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love."
I have to admit, I DID expect to rather enjoy the prospect of Rev. Falwell passing on, when I saw the link.
But we're not discussing some ironic, self-destructive manner. He simply passed on in a way that many of us eventually will, and is following his own path to what comes next...Heaven, Hell, reincarnation, etc.
I could think of some end results that would be amusing, but they're quite unknown, so I won't ramble on.