Those people would be wrong.
Upon hearing of Falwells death I immediately began digging for an image that has stuck in my brain for decades. It is Jerry Falwells turn at being HUSTLER's ASSHOLE OF THE MONTH. I can't even remember how I saw the cartoon which pictured Falwells face stuck over a donkeys ass, but every time I ever saw Jerry Falwell I immediately pictured him emerging from the rectum of a donkey.
During the course of my search I read, and in some cases re-read much of the controversial Supreme Court case between Falwell and Flynt. I am passionate about our Constitutional Freedoms (as you may know if you read this blog regularly) and did a high school term paper on the case (in case you're wondering I got an F, not because the paper was bad but because my sphincter of an English teacher had refused to approve my topic and as I considered THAT censorship I did it anyway - FUCK YOU Main Vaughn!)
Please don't get me wrong I despise HUSTLER's approach to pornography. It's far too clinical, and the potty humor, and generally poorly written articles are the worst in adult magazines. I have no love for Larry Flynt, but his fight was indeed the good fight. Our freedom of speech and freedom of the press are THE cornerstones of whatever is left of our democratic and free society. This was Flynt's point and though his methods and motives were questionable he solidified our right to express ourselves freely at the end of the 20th Century.
Today, as I am trolling through the GReader I come across this from Access Hollywood (of all places) and think it speaks volumes about both these men, and more importantly why free speech, and the American ideals tend to heal and bind us together rather than drive us apart......
"The Reverend Jerry Falwell and I were arch enemies for fifteen years. We became involved in a lawsuit concerning First Amendment rights and Hustler magazine. Without question, this was my most important battle – the l988 Hustler Magazine, Inc., v. Jerry Falwell case, where after millions of dollars and much deliberation, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in my favor.
My mother always told me that no matter how much you dislike a person, when you meet them face to face you will find characteristics about them that you like. Jerry Falwell was a perfect example of that. I hated everything he stood for, but after meeting him in person, years after the trial, Jerry Falwell and I became good friends. He would visit me in
California and we would debate together on college campuses. I always appreciated his sincerity even though I knew what he was selling and he knew what I was selling.
The most important result of our relationship was the landmark decision from the Supreme Court that made parody protected speech, and the fact that much of what we see on television and hear on the radio today is a direct result of my having won that now famous case which Falwell played such an important role in."
I will not miss Jerry Falwell. I think the guy over stepped, over reached and completely missed the boat on what it meant to be a Christian. But then again, I never met the man. Perhaps, if Flynt is to be believed I might have liked the old guy!