Jerry Falwell is dead. The leader of the moral majority, the man who blamed 9/11 on homos and the ACLU. The clown prince of American Christiandom. Falwell was to reason and tolerance what Yogi Berra was to English syntax: "If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being." "AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals." "The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country." Falwell failed to surpise years before his death.
But now he's dead, and I hope in a place where that kind of bigotry is not tolerated.
It's time for liberals and progressives to get past Falwell. His star was eclipsed last November, when the American public kicked the Republican theocrats out of power. He has been irrelevant ever since.
So why all the anger? The comments at various liberal blogs are lit up with the worst kind of bile. "While you're in hell, tell Hitler he's an asshole for me, ok Jerry?" says Jason at Crooks and Liars. "Hell for this guy should be having to tortured by everyone killed at the WTC as he explains how their deaths were brought about by homosexuals in the US," opines SupremeCommanderThor at Atrios. In all fairness, both blogs asked readers to be civil, but to little avail. The anger was just too great.
Let him go. Any psychologist will tell you that anger and fear are two sides of the same coin. Falwell can't hurt us anymore. He's gone.
It's time to stop being afraid. The grown ups are in charge now.