Falwell and followers

The Book of Jerry Falwell: Fundamentalist Language and Politics. By Susan Friend Harding. Princeton University Press, 352 pp., $50.00; paperback, $18.95.

Many of us expect perfection from America's religious leaders and then quickly pounce on them when they are inevitably revealed as no better than human. The discovery of Jesse Jackson's adultery provided the most recent example. His perennial opponents gleefully exulted in having public proof of the preacher's imperfection, and even those who usually support Jackson's efforts wondered aloud at the speed with which his sins were acknowledged and pushed aside. Meanwhile, Jackson's flock rallied around him, eagerly providing a supportive backdrop for the televised melodrama of confession and forgiveness.

 

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