[eDebate] Falwell

jpzompe at ilstu.edu jpzompe
Tue May 15 21:06:39 CDT 2007

Abhoring Falwell's politics, but respecting what he did for debate, is not
"downright dangerous."

It is a political reality -- a reality that apparently you have no 
grasp of. The point of the matter is that we live in a world where 
people don't always
agree.  We have differences.  I don't appreciate some of the comments or
policies that emerged as a result of Falwell, but that doesn't mean I can't
appreciate some of the good things he did.

Your politics is the one that is dangerous, Andy.  If we all believed as you,
dogmatism would rampant throughout every town and city in America.  No one
would ever get along.  Violence would be commonplace in your world, where it
was okay for people to dismiss literally everything other people do or believe
simply because there is a disagreement.

There is nothing wrong with feeling passionate about what you believe, 
Andy. But therein is where you have more in common with Falwell than 
you'd probably
like to admit.


Quoting Andy Ellis <andy.edebate at gmail.com>:

> Uh, there seem to be a few arguments from a resounding number of posts.
> First let me say.. I apologize to falwells family, friends, students, and
> supporters, if any of them are reading edebate on this terrible day then i
> am sorry if my words have added to their sorrow, and suffering....i honestly
> thought my response was not likely to even be a blip on the "sorrow" radar
> for those intimatly connected to this death, and i honestly still think
> thats the case...i think its realitivly easy to pile on and say there goes
> andy being rude and insensitive, and this is the worst sin ever, but really,
> its not, and im not at the familys space telling them that their man
> deserved to die, nor am i desecrating his grave, and in reality if he was an
> important part in your life why the hell are you cocnerened on this day
> about what i have to say about it?
> Now some answers....
> Kevin talks about times when falwell made him smile when he was alive.
> i agree i love the fact that he submitted himself to a debate community that
> was for the most part hostile to him, in fact i think its a sign that he is
> strong in his convictions.
> I smiled at these times as well.
> I also smile when i think about the debate team he created, and the region
> his support helped to thrive.
> Maybe, at times that didnt seem clear. and maybe it wasnt even at times to
> me, but at the end of the day good job on building a great debate team, ill
> never take that away from him...
> But i guess when i remember back to those banquets what i most appreicated
> was the way falwell stood by his convictions, he preferred to spar with
> those who disagreed with him, not to engage in friendly banter with those
> who agreed, he stood from a position of power, i mean he was winning the
> fight for the soul of america that he had been engaging for several decades,
> and those that vehemetly disagreed with him where a sign of his success.
> Then a bunch of people say...But damn he did sooooooo much for debate.
> Let me put this this way. I voted for melissa wade as god on facebook, i
> think she rocks...solid....if in addition to the debbate work she did she
> started a eurohetropatriarchy supremacist movement, that spread viraly
> through the american political culture i dont really think i would ignore
> the white supremacist movement in order to celebrate her debate
> success....simply put i can concede all the jerry good for debate arguments
> and if the cost of all that is the power of the moral majority in american
> politics then its not worth it.
> Im sorry if that notion is troubling, but to me its absolutly scarry that
> "no one hates  the politics as much as i do" but he WAS good for debate.
> Did you ever think that perhaps he started and supported the debate team and
> the college in the futherence of that politics?
> Even not making that argument im just not in the for the "he helped us so we
> will side step his evil" argument. You may say my its good when people i
> dont like die argument is a jsutification for all sorts of bad stuff, but it
> at least is no worse than " but he was good for debate"
> Herndon Says...how do you honor his life,...i think its simple, i dont
> pretend for thesake of civility he did not accomplish all that he did. I
> vehemetly disagree with what he accomplished, but you all seem to be willing
> to like pretend most of that work didnt occur and al he did was hook up some
> underserved debaters.
> Lets see what else...
> why didint you celebrate saddams death, what if you died, you arnt
> consistent, you are an ass....oh and falwell was not a dictator like pol
> pot...ok fair enough and neither was che or reagan or cheney , look the
> point of all that was that people who are as politically revolutionary as
> falwell, inevitably through their success generate dislike and hatred, most
> of them like falwell have some blood on their hands as a result of their
> politics, thus some people smile when they die....
> really, i dont get what this fight is about, i may have been insensitive,
> but in order to challeneg my insensitivity you all are making some
> tragically bad arguments...not all of you mind you, but the ones who say " i
> hate his politics but he has done so much for debate" are downright
> dangerous.

Joseph P. Zompetti, Ph.D.
Director of Forensics
Illinois State University
School of Communication

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