Jerry Falwell 1933-2007: an Elegy in Prose

This column was published on UPI’s Religion and Spirituality Forum on May 21, 2007.

Nineteen years ago, at a concert on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, I had the pleasure of hearing the Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn make a comment that has, in the intervening years, come to embody everything I have ever wanted to say about the late Jerry Falwell and his life’s work.

Introducing his song, “The Gospel of Bondage,” which was inspired by what then was considered to be the “new religious right,” Cockburn said of Jerry Falwell and his followers, “They scare the hell out of me and also irritate me, because I’ve gotten tired of saying, ‘Yes, I’m a Christian, but I’m not one of them.'”

Well put. Continue reading