Tuesday, May 15, 2007
If you look for the word agnostic in the dictionary, you’ll find a definition that looks something like this:
That definition describes my viewpoint on such matters quite well.
Main Entry: 1ag·nos·tic
Pronunciation: ag-’näs-tik, &g-
Etymology: Greek agnOstos unknown, unknowable, from a- + gnOstos known, from gignOskein to know—more at KNOW
1 : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
That said, today is one of those days that my hope—as opposed to belief—is that there is a God. If so, it would give me such delight that the immortal soul (if such exists) of the late Jerry Lamon Falwell is receiving a righteous (so to speak) comeuppance right about now.
Where or not there is a supernatural being, it is unequivocal that there is a religion called Christianity. It is a religion supposedly espoused by Jerry Falwell; some would say exemplified by Jerry Falwell. The same Jerry Falwell who, appearing on Pat Robertson’s The 700 Club two days after the terrible events of September 11, 2001, had this to say (emphasis added):
JERRY FALWELL: The ACLU’s got to take a lot of blame for this.
PAT ROBERTSON: Well, yes.
JERRY FALWELL: And, I know that I’ll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen’.
Two days after a horrific attack on New York and Washington DC by a fundamentalist Islamic political sect, the politically powerful “Christian” Jerry Falwell instead pointed his finger at American sociocultural institutions, at men and women across the United States, at fellow citizens whose beliefs and lifestyles and (yes) souls he hated. And of course, this is hardly the only example of the deep and foul ugliness that was the
pastoralpolitical career of Jerry Falwell.
“Christian” preacher Jerry Falwell was about as unchristian a human being as one can imagine. He was, as I once said about John Ashcroft, a fundamentalist in a $1500 suit. Falwell had vastly more in common with Osama bin Laden and Muqtada al-Sadr—an anti-modernist reactionary zealot, bent on destroying those whose lifestyles and political views he abhors—than with what one would ordinarily consider to be the ways of Jesus.
For all that and more, the idea that maybe, just maybe, the essence of Jerry Falwell is being shown the error of his ways by a higher power has its smidgen of appeal. Even to an agnostic like me.