[eDebate] Later Jerry. . . .

Ashley Michelle Papon tabloidscully
Thu May 17 09:19:15 CDT 2007

I think Adam had so many good points, I hope they are
not ignored in the fanfare of heated discussion.  But
I want to go just beyond the schisms created within
the gay debate community.

Jerry Falwell alienated a lot of people.  It's
interesting to me, for example, he is called a "friend
of debate," a platform that has helped advance the
Women's Movement (especially this year, with so many
amazing women being honored at both the NDT and CEDA
such as Jessica Yeats, Raveena Wilson and Brenda
Montes) and yet many of the most profound feminists
within the community have remained silent. 
Coincidentally, feminists were routinely a favored
target of Falwell as an example of America's moral

Additionally, telling me that I (and the rest of the
community) should ignore his actions and only focus on
his philanthropy to debate in order to prove my
gratitude for what the activity has brought to me
personally, to utilize an over-thrown kritik term, is
like trying to shape my discourse.  It's fundamentally
the same thing as a rape survivor saying how much they
hate their abuser, and another individual telling them
to ignore the rape and instead focus on the good they
did in the world.  Or telling a family member of one
of the funerals that Fred Phelps has picketed that
Fred should be appreciated because of the accomplished
civil rights attorney he used to be and the lives he
changed during those days.  It completely invalidates
a dissenting opinion and shames the individual for
looking--rightfully so--at the bad.

Let's be honest:

1. Jerry Falwell never did a damn thing for me, as a
woman or as a member of the debate community.  In
fact, his rhetoric and politics made my existence that
much more difficult.  Is there really anyone who would
argue that being a woman in this community isn't
difficult enough already without someone as
influential as the deceased arguing we have a share in
what happened on 9/11?

2. Is it "bad manners" to discuss him in such a light
immediately following his passing?  Unquestionably. 
But in an activity where we pride ourselves on
intellectual prowess, why are we allowing any of our
minds to be side-tracked by such an arbitrary
standard?  Unfortunately, Andy already to open that
can of worms, and I notice for everybody who has said,
"This is such bad manners to discuss right now!" they
have likewise engaged in a refutation.  That makes us
all guilty, and rude, but at least we're discussing. 
As such an advocate for debate, I can't help but think
Dr. Falwell would appreciate this.  Also, where was
the mourning period for Saddam Hussein's friends and
family?  Can all of you honestly say on the day of his
execution, you exercised such polite caution?

3. Unlike Andy, I don't believe we should reject Dr.
Falwell in his entirety.  I do not believe we can
consider ourselves fair or balanced individuals if we
neglect mentioning his success or his own exclusionary
politics.  This means in addition to acknowledging
what he did for Liberty, we recognize what he didn't
do for everyone else in the community, the gays, the
Feminists, the pro-choice, the genderqueer, the
Pagans, the Wiccans, the Pastafarians, the supports of
Separation of Church and State, and anyone else who
didn't fit into his interpretation of an American. 
And not only do we recognize it, we figure out a way
to bring about an end to such intolerance, to not let
it impact our community or spread beyond.

--- Jonathan Karlin <jonathanrkarlin at gmail.com> wrote:

> His comments on 9-11...
> "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.'"
> Falwell, pastor of the 22,000-member Thomas Road
> Baptist Church,
> viewed the attacks as God's judgment on America for
> "throwing God out
> of the public square, out of the schools. The
> abortionists have got to
> bear some burden for this because God will not be
> mocked."
> We shouldnt be happy died, but he was in fact a
> "bigot".
> On 5/16/07, Adam Farra <adamhfar at umich.edu> wrote:
> > 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
> > 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:
> > 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
> >
> >
> > Like the way Microsoft Office Outlook works?
> You'll love Windows Live
> > Hotmail.
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
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