[eDebate] Later Jerry. . . .

Adam Farra adamhfar
Wed May 16 01:35:35 CDT 2007


I shudder at the comments of people who defend Falwell because of his  
contributions to debate. All of you defenders should retract your  
comments immediately and publicly.

"But he supported debate!" sounds like a collectively selfish  
standard to set. Yes, debate can be used for altruistic ends - but to  
simply turn cheek when we see someone who throws down cash and  
support for our activity...that is sad, especially since there are  
openly gay members of our community (and not openly gay members who  
are afraid of coming out) who have devoted their lives to this  
activity - what does your magnanimous support of Falwell say to those  
people? Does it liken the two? I can't imagine many members of the  
GLBT-debate community who want to be remembered WITH JERRY FALWELL  
for their contributions to debate. What are you saying to those  
people when we say "Eh, Jer-Jer - not so bad. Liked debate. Didn't  
like Tinky Winky."

And for all of those who cite his wonderful "Q & A" sessions - I  
remember watching a debate between Jerry Falwell and Barney Frank  
(for all of you who don't know, Frank is the openly gay House Rep.)  
and when Frank made legitimate arguments about the status of  
homosexuals in American culture, Falwell's response was always "But  
you're a pervert!" Thank GOODNESS Barney Frank is such a great  
debater though, because the reasoning and persuasion deployed in that  
debate certainly changed Falwell's mind and made him see that there  
was a legitimate counter-argument to his advocacy of homophobia...oh  
wait a minute - no it didn't, because Falwell was hurling non- 
reasonable insults at Frank and calling them "arguments about the  
moral fiber of America." Maybe it was noble for Falwell to come to a  
community that disagreed with his opinions, but his homophobia is not  
something that was "up for debate" - and him putting it out on the  
table did not enrich our community in any way, shape, or form. I am a  
proud supporter of switch-side debate, but even I have limitations. I  
think "torture good" has more merit than "bigotry based in  
misinformation."

I am not and would never smile for his or anyone's death (that would  
not make me much better than him - as I'm sure he smiled when HIV/ 
AIDS ravaged and destroyed the lives of the gay men who "probably  
deserved it"), but we certainly should not be mourning his loss. If  
we want to debate Falwell - then we can debate what he did in his  
life and what he did for debate (I think I've made my position  
clear), but I'd rather stay neutral about the consequences about his  
death (for those of you who forget what neutrality is - it means  
being Switzerland: you're not for his death, and you're not against  
it - it is simply a fact).

Finally - I'll add this in to pre-empt the BS response I'm sure I'll  
get: YES, WE SHOULD DEBATE CONSERVATIVES AND CONSERVATIVES SHOULD  
HAVE A ROLE IN OUR COMMUNITY. I purposely watch the GOP debates with  
an open mind because I should be educated about their positions on  
abortion, stem cells, the war on terror, the separation of church and  
state, taxes, immigration, even gay marriage, etc. But I am closing  
the door on some twisted pseudo-religious bigotry.

Adam
UMichigan

On May 16, 2007, at 1:56 AM, Jason Jarvis wrote:

>
> ......just got the news about the passing of Falwell.  I dont like  
> to revel in the death of anyone.  I am sure his family and his  
> university is grieving.  My regrets and condolences to their pain.
>
> Jerry wasnt a Nazi.....he was just an ignorant bigot with a very  
> public platform.  Ellis may have gone too far......However, it is  
> impossible to ignore the fairly terrible things he advocated.  I  
> know people who have died of AIDS, I have gay friends and family  
> members who suffer from the bigotry and ignorance he so  
> unapologetically espoused.
>
> He supported debate.  Hurrah!  However, it was for a political end  
> that he felt debate helped him to achieve.  His Q and A sessions  
> were a lovely example of non-sequiters and smoke and mirrors  
> camouflaged as open discussion.
>
> Religious zealots that mix politics with god are dangerous, whether  
> its Osama, Jerry Falwell, Ahmadenijad or George Bush.  At the end  
> of the day I feel sorry for his loved ones, but I wont miss him or  
> his bigotry one iota.
>
> I cant remember him ever apologizing to my family or loved  
> ones....dont know why anyone else ought to be apologetic for  
> feeling the same way I do.
>
>
> Jason L. Jarvis
>
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