LYNCHBURG, VA– Jerry Falwell, the larger than life televangelist who launched the so called moral majority movement, is dead. He was found unconscious in his office at Liberty University, a conservative Christian university in this southern town. He was rushed to the hospital in “grave” condition, and was later pronounced dead.
A cardiologist from Lynchburg General Hospital said Falwell may have died as a result of a cardiac abnormality.
He was found in his office shortly after 11:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, and was declared dead at 12:40 p.m. He had no pulse when he was found.
Falwell began the Moral Majority in 1979, to organize Christians politically. It was disbanded in 1989.
“Once you reach the place where your words are respected, then what you say does have impact,” Falwell said in a 2000 interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper. “Occasionally, I’m accused of saying things that I didn’t say. But usually, I’m guilty and by intent, I say what I believe. If it isn’t controversial, it isn’t worth talking about.”
Following the Sept. 11 attacks on NYC and Washington, Falwell told viewers on Pat Roberton’s 700 Club that it was homosexuals and other secularist’s who were responsible for the attacks.
Leaders in Michigan’s LBGT community say Falwell leaves a legacy of hate, bias and danger for LBGT people all over the country and the world.
“The legacy is one of hate and bias. Unfortunately it came from a man of god. Someone who professed to be a man of god speading hate, bias and anger towards a large segment of our community,” says Derek Smiertka of Michigan Equality.
Jeffrey Montgomery, executive director of Triangle Foundation, concurs. “There is something sad about this passing. Its that here’s a man who is going to be known by much of the world for having expounded and developed and pursued and promoted immense discord in our country.”