McCain and Falwell
As pretty much everyone in the world already knows, Sen. (and Presidential candidate) John McCain is making the commencement address at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University today.
That McCain's making some sort of rapprochement with the 'Christian' Right isn't too surprising, even if it is a bit two-faced. What is surprising is that that's pretty much the extent of how it's playing in the press.
What's missing, you ask.
What's missing is that, even by Religious Right standards, Falwell is a freaking nutcase. One could fill volumes - and they have - with the number of totally insane things Falwell's said over the years. For instance, there's the video, The Clinton Chronicles, which accused President Clinton of running a cocaine-smuggling ring and having people (including Vince Foster) murdered. As reporter Murray Waas documents at the link, not only did Falwell publicize the 'findings' of the supposed investigation on his "Old-Time Gospel Hour" show (there's a little old-timey gospel for you - bearing false witness...doesn't one of the Ten Commandments say something about that?), but he helped raise money for the making of the video, and helped decide what would be in it.
And of course, he's the guy who made the infamous statement, two days after 9/11, that
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."And he's one heckuva Christian too, having said of Jimmy Carter:
His message of peace and reconciliation under almost all circumstances is simply incompatible with Christian teachings as I interpret them. This 'turn the other cheek' business is all well and good but it's not what Jesus fought and died for.But that's almost beside the point, which is that Falwell's not just an influential conservative Christian preacher; he's a nutcase, pure and simple. The real story here is that McCain's lending his credibility to a freakin' whacko. It doesn't matter what constituency Falwell has; that's what he is, and that's the sort of person McCain's willing to climb into bed with, in order to further his Presidential ambitions.