Fundamentalist Jerry Falwell, 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. Author and theologian Tim LaHaye, known for the Left Behind book series, will serve as board chairman, while Falwell’s son, Jonathan Falwell, will be executive director. The announcement was greeted with scorn by Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “Has he never seen an old horror movie? Every time they bring Frankenstein’s monster back, it just gets worse,” said Lynn. “Some things should be left dead and buried.”
Actor-director Mel Gibson accepted a Catholic film award and lashed out against stem cell research early this month. “I’m kind of concerned about where we’re going as a civilization, particularly here in California,” Gibson told the annual awards luncheon of Catholics in Media Associates. Gibson, honored for his box-office hit The Passion of the Christ, waged a prominent but unsuccessful fight against California’s Proposition 71. Voters approved November 2 a $3 billion bond measure to fund stem cell research. Gibson did not attend CIMA’s morning mass, entering the event for the luncheon program. A traditionalist Catholic, Gibson prefers the pre–Vatican II rite in Latin to the newer liturgy in English. During the CIMA mass, actor Jim Cavieziel, a devout Catholic who played Christ in The Passion, knelt at his luncheon table while virtually everyone else stood.