Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Jerry Falwell, liberal bias, freedom of speech and stuff

Jerry Falwell was certainly a controversial figure. Is there something wrong with that? I happen to think that it is respectable to stand up for one's convictions.

For the sake of supporting a man who stood strong on his convictions, I want to share an excerpt from an article at Baptist Press, Falwell recalled as 'friend'. Franklin Graham spoke at Falwell's funeral, I cite that portion of the article:

Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, called Falwell "a giant of a man. He was a man of faith, a prophet of our generation. I'm going to miss him."

"People have asked me, 'Franklin, did you agree with Jerry Falwell?'"

Every time he opened the Bible I agreed with Jerry Falwell," Graham said to applause. "And you know what? He opened the Bible a lot."

Graham said Falwell was "a man committed to the Gospel. I guess that's what connected me to Jerry so much. He believed with all of his heart that Jesus was the way, the truth and the life, and that there was no way anyone could approach a holy God except through Jesus Christ. He believed it.

"Calling Falwell "controversial," Graham ticked off a litany of social issues championed by Falwell, such as the sanctity of marriage and human life.

"He believed in the Gospel. That's controversial.

"He believed in the inerrancy of Scripture. That's controversial.

"He believed in the sanctity of life; he was against abortion. That's controversial.

"He believed in the family, and who would've ever thought that would be controversial?

"He believed in marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

"He believed that moral decay weakened the fabric of America. That's controversial.

"He believed that political leaders should be men and women of integrity and of character and of biblical values.

"He believed in the local church. God bless him," said Graham, who noted the impact Falwell had on his own family because all of Graham's children attended Liberty University.

I will note that recently in a local newspaper article a Professor at Missouri State University was treated very sympathetically after he took part in the grilling of Emily Brooker ( Tony Messenger) .

A part of the sympathy for this professor was due to his ongoing resolve to stand firm for what he believed, "He won't back down from his causes, liberal or not," writes Messenger. The professor didn't care if his convictions were liberal or not. Why should we care that Jerry Falwell's convictions were conservative or not? He stood for what he believed.

In America one has a right to do that.

One also has the right to embarrass oneself by painting a person who took part in abusing a young woman for her religious beliefs as a victim. One has the right to claim that the Alliance Defense Fund took advantage of MSU's "toxic" social work program because they filed a lawsuit for an razed and abused student, Emily Brooker. You know, not unlike what the liberals comparable advocate, the ACLU, does on behalf of liberal plaintiffs every day of every week? I can't help but wonder if Messenger has ever accused the ACLU of "taking advantage" of circumstances....

The law suit the Alliance Defense Fund filed on behalf of Brooker was settled by MSU rather than fought.

Liberty University does not use taxpayer funding. It has had ups and downs financially. Missouri State University does use taxpayer funding, just a little aside...humor me.

One day before the funeral of the late Jerry Falwell, Sarah Overstreet of the News-Leader wrote a damning article about Jim Bakker found here. She flat out stated that a new Bakker venture is the same old shell game that he played years ago in South Carolina, where he was convicted of 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy. Where is her evidence? There is none. She doesn't need it. His past is enough to condemn him forever. Interesting.

I'm beginning to get the impression that the Springfield News-Leader is anti-Christian, anti-Conservative, anti-traditional values, but you know what? They don't pretend they are anything else. They regularly put their stamp of approval on all sorts of liberal causes du jour with a few alternative viewpoints in the form of conservative blog quotes, conservative readers' letters to the editor, etc. and this is supposed to placate the conservatives in town and cause us to proclaim what a balanced newspaper they are. Gee, thanks. We're very impressed. We're very placated.

Just remember, the News-Leader has a right to publish from whatever bias they care to, and you and me and your next door neighbor have a right to either buy the paper or not. I wouldn't silence the News-Leader any more than I'd silence Newstalk, KSGF. I like freedom of speech, that's why I exercise it. I'd encourage you to exercise it too.

One thing I've learned in all my years of on-line debate and discussion. You really can disagree with people and like them. I disagree with the News-Leader and don't particularly like it. I disagree with Messenger but find him a likable sort of guy.

Liberals feel just as strongly about their viewpoints as conservatives do and it takes all kinds. We could all do better at honing our arguments and expressing ourselves. We could all do better at being open-minded to discussion...BUT, all that said, Tony's article on Kauffman really did smell, and that's all I can say about that. ;)

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