A pension for rhetoric coupled with personal warmth
Jun 12, 2007
Few figures in the second half of the 20th century have proved as polarizing in American popular and political culture as Jerry Falwell, who died May 15 at the age of 73. But the outspoken fundamentalist preacher and political activist, who preached a black-and-white gospel and described a stark world of evil versus good, leaves behind a legacy far more nuanced and complex.
Duke University has named Anglican priest-theologian SamuelWells of England the new dean of Duke Chapel, effective in August. Wells, 39, a specialist in theological ethics who described his outlook as “generous orthodoxy,” has been serving as priest-in-charge of a parish in an underprivileged area of Cambridge, England.
The announcement that PrinceCharles is at last going to marry CamillaParkerBowles, his mistress, has prompted Cardinal KeithO’Brien of Scotland to renew an attack on the early 18th-century law that bars Catholics from the British throne.
Time magazine has named “The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America,” leaving out JerryFalwell and PatRobertson but naming author TimLaHaye of the Left Behind series, GOP Senator RickSantorum of Pennsylvania and MichaelGerson, a White House speech writer.
Fundamentalist JerryFalwell, cofounder of the defunct Moral Majority, has formed the Faith and Values Coalition, which he said will “maintain an evangelical revolution of voters” with Christian values in mind. “Essentially, TFVC is a 21st-century resurrection of the Moral Majority,” he said November 9. Falwell, 71, intends to serve four years as national chairman.
Jerry Falwell is misleading churches into thinking they can endorse political candidates, two Washington-based watchdog groups warned in complaints to federal agencies. One critic noted that a Falwell associate declared that the IRS lacks the bite to prosecute churches that step over the line.