We'll probably not get to know what, if anything, the after-life will hold for the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who passed away today at 73.
Falwell's legacy will be... conroversial. He was extremely instrumental in helping to forge the [toxic] alliance between right-wing religious extremism and right-wing business extremism that has become "the base" of the modern Republican Party.
Extreme... is a pretty good description of him, love him or hate him, whether attacking purple purse-carrying children's character Tinky Winky of the Teletubbies for being, you know, gay, or for blaming America first (he and his fellow Virginia-based toxic-religio-extremist Pat Robertson did just that) contending that America's own profligacy of actually separating Church and State as mandated by our Constitution resulted directly in the events of September 11th... Falwell just didn't go in for half-measures.
What can you say? Certainly, Falwell was a symbol of the times-- a man who stood for clinging to some nostalgic view of the past... a past when a lot of people knew their place, if you know what I mean. A man with a so-called moral values platform long on the values of obedience and obeisance to authority, and short on, oh, charity, compassion, or much of what many believe to be the actual teachings of Christ or what many others believe to be virtues.
In short, he stood for a paradigm for what this country has become in the past twenty-five years or so... prosperity for the fortunate few, because God Himself wills it; struggles or penury for many more, because, hey, God wills that too.
Well, R.I.P., Rev. Falwell. Maybe you were right about God's will; we'd all prefer to think we live in a universe with a benign and loving Deity, or else none at all, rather than the angry, vindictive and arbitrary one you believed in, but, hey, who knows, right?