Thursday, May 24, 2007

Liberty University student made bombs to kill Falwell funeral protesters

In the 60's, the slogan was "Kill a Commie for Christ!"

Now, it seems, it's "Jihad for Jesus!"

Those who didn't like my Blogs Against Theocracy posts during the Easter weekend, or my list of quotations from Jerry Falwell the other day, should stop reading here.

A student at Falwell's Liberty University has been arrested for making bombs to be used against any protesters who showed up at Falwell's funeral. Yes, one of Jerry's kids was willing to kill to keep his beloved preacher's funeral pure. Three more people, including a soldier at Fort Benning, Ga., and a high school student, are being investigated as possible accomplices.

Falwell was a hate-monger. He preached contempt for those who didn't believe as he did. He was an equal opportunity hater — gays and lesbians, liberals, Jews, Teletubbies... he even reportedly called Rev. Billy Graham a tool of Satan. And his university is teaching 20,000 young people to think and act just like he did.

Where in the Bible does Jesus say it's okay to kill in his name?

Our new bumperstickers should say "God save us from your followers!"

I grew up in a large Southern Baptist church. As hypocritical as things were there when I was growing up, I always kind of had a weird sense of pride that at least my church wasn't as wacky as those television preachers like Falwell, Jim Bakker, Ernest Angley, Ed Tilton, and Jimmy Swaggart.

My parents — God love 'em — are still devout Baptists, and still attend and support the church I grew up in.

But they're not happy.

A new, young minister of music was hired a year or so ago, and he's "modernized" things with multimedia extravaganzas and guitars and trumpets and new melodies for old hymns. His 21st century showmanship is not doing what it's supposed to — attracting younger new members — and it's irritating the bejeebers out of the older members who've been paying the bills with their hard-earned tithes for most of their adult lives. The older people stand up and stare instead of sing. They miss their old standards; they miss the good ol' days. They can't even read the movie screens with the song lyrics on them; they want their hymnbooks back.

I attended Easter service with my parents last month, and saw firsthand the cocky 20-something they'd hired to lead their music.

My misplaced pride that "at least" my old church wasn't as dopey as the TV evangelists was dissipated like vapor when I heard the young minister of music say, after leading us in a 10-minute "hymn" no one had ever heard before, "When I was at Liberty University, Jerry would have us all greet each other by saying 'He is risen!', so stand up and shake hands with your neighbor and say that to each other."

The next few moments were a din of noise as most everyone shook hands with each other murmuring what they'd been told to repeat. I paid them scant attention, though. My mind couldn't get past the bizarre image of 20,000 myrmidon borg-like zombie-students bustling from classroom to classroom, chirping to each other "he is risen, he is risen," like something out of an SNL Coneheads sketch.

I wonder how many of those 'droids had a bomb in their backpack?

Image: Virginia authorities arrested Liberty University student Mark D. Uhl after officials discovered several homemade bombs in the trunk of his car.

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  1. Hmmm. Where to begin.

    I guess I'll simply say that after reading a number of your posts, I think I understand your position Christianity, and I only ask that you not throw the baby out with the bath water. Like just about any group, Christianity does have its share of wackos. But so do atheists, Mormons, Muslims, Jews, gays, conservatives, liberals, and yes, probably even Teletubbies.

    As a Christian, I can only say that the majority of Christians I have come in contact with have been certainly more civil, respectful, and "Christ-like" than those you describe above. So please don't judge all Christians for the misguidedness of a few....

  2. Bro. Jim,

    I didn't in this post generalize about Christians; I generalized about 20,000 students at Liberty University, all of whom I'd guess are brainwashed into the Falwellian cult. Maybe all of them wouldn't kill for ol' Jer, but I'm guessing many of them would.

    — W.S.

  3. Thanks a lot for a bunch of good tips. I look forward to reading more on the topic in the future. Keep up the good work! This blog is going to be great resource. Love reading it.
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  4. Hey Brother,
    I am 100% in agreement with your views on this subject. Nothing disgusts me more than the hypocrisy of religious fundamentalists. Regardless of the faith Fundamentalism always seem lead to violence regardless what the religion professes.
    The good news though is that we don't have to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are a growing number of Christians that are finding that they can not reconcile their beliefs with the messages of hate that come from people like Falwell. I highly recommend the movie Lord Save Us From Your Followers by Christian filmmaker Dan Merchant. I can't say enough about it.

    Here is a link to their website:

  5. Lots of truth to this blog. According to the Bible, It is never ok to kill innocent people for any reason (one could say for the cause of Christ, but this was more for the cause of Jerry). It's also ridiculous to see the attempts of the traditional Southern Baptist churches who hire in arrogant young guys to make their church more appealing to 20somethings.

    But, I am a Liberty grad and current online student. It's different than you think, there has always been a lot of love and admiration for Falwell's stance on Christian principles (or at least the public view of Christian principles). Classes were way different, teachers were not Jerry followers, and students were not like the funibomer.

    I'm also one of those arrogant pricks who works in traditional Southern Baptist churches... not a worship pastor though (Thank God).

    I say all that to say... don't reject the truth because of crazy people. You are totally right in some of the things you said about Jerry and the kid with the bomb. But that doesn't change our responsibility to a God who created us and loves us.


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