Jerry Falwell loves making grand gestures and startling statements. In the mid-'80s he took over the scandal-ridden PTL empire from Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and proudly took a plunge down the water slide at PTL's Heritage amusement park. In the mid-'90s he raised Clinton-hating to a new level of vitriol by promoting a series of books and tapes charging that the president was a cocaine-addicted drug smuggler and possibly a murderer. Earlier this year he warned about the homosexual threat of the "Teletubbies" TV show: Tinky Winky, he decided, was a homosexual symbol. Falwell is, in short, a man who acts on hunches, and they are usually not inspired ones.