Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Death Humbles Us All

American Evangelical Rev Jerry Falwell died yesterday, and there has been a large amount of media coverage within the Uk about this. A very interesting discussion was had on "The World Tonight" about his influence and legacy - was he really responsible for the stratification of religious political opinion within the US? Anyway, Jim Wallis (of Sojourners) blogged about this in a way which reminded me about the above Not the Nine O Clock News Sketch.
Jim Wallis: The Passing of Rev. Jerry Falwell I was saddened to learn that Rev. Jerry Falwell passed away this morning at age 73. Rev. Falwell and I have met many times over the years, as the media often paired us as debate partners on issues of faith and politics. I respected his passionate commitment to his beliefs, and our shared commitment to bring moral debate to the public square, although we didn’t agree on many things. At this time, however, what matters most is our prayers for comfort and peace for his family and friends.
[EDIT: Here we have a wee linkcovering some of the more repulsive quotations from Rev Falwell, before you think I am trying to say is viewpoints pronounced were delightful because, they often weren't) It is bizzare how the most fierce enemies can often be just that, but only that in the political sphere. On the discussion last night it was said that Rev Falwell was very open towards homosexuals in a "don't ask, don't tell" manner and this was in stark contrast to his public persona. What this all reminded me was the sudden ability, when someone is gone to remember all the good over all the bad. Whilst they are there, living and breathing it is very easy just to think the worst, yet once they are gone you cannot be further confirmed right or wrong in your personal bias. Suddenly all you have are the memories and they shape your final perception. Maybe though there is a deeper lesson in it for us all, for with Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley suddenly sharing government can we not begin moves towards peace and reconciliation whilst we are alive instead? After all, if we are all dead there is nothing to work for. Instead we should be seizing each and every opportunity to look for the best in ourselves and in others, fine we may annoy people and all that, but that is what makes life so great. The variety and unexpectedness of what people will say or do next. Yet if we allow instead a veritable straw (wo)man to be built up, we can fail to see the great good they can be doing, even if it is shrouded in (what you may perceive as) evil. Ultimately, it reminded me of the great Ghandi saying "An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind" Take Care Y'All John (Hat tip to Dave at the Cartoon Church BlogCartoon Church blog for alerting me to the blog post)

1 comment:

  1. I love that video from Not the Nine O'Clock News. Says a lot.

    I am sorry for Jerry Falwell's family and find his death sad. However, I cannot say I found much of his ministry edifying.