pandagon links to an online article by max blumenthal in the nation with regard to the history of falwell's attitudes and their roots. blumenthal states that while today the xian right is involved in sexual politics, e.g., anti-abortion and anti-homosexuality, its origins lie in segregationism and racial resentment. in blumenthal's own words:
"But for Falwell, the "questions of the day" did not always relate to abortion and homosexuality--nor did they begin there. Decades before the forces that now make up the Christian right declared their culture war, Falwell was a rabid segregationist who railed against the civil rights movement from the pulpit of the abandoned backwater bottling plant he converted into Thomas Road Baptist Church. This opening episode of Falwell's life, studiously overlooked by his friends, naïvely unacknowledged by many of his chroniclers, and puzzlingly and glaringly omitted in the obituaries of the Washington Post and New York Times, is essential to understanding his historical significance in galvanizing the Christian right. Indeed, it was race--not abortion or the attendant suite of so-called "values" issues--that propelled Falwell and his evangelical allies into political activism."
read the article for the full story. i am a bit shocked about my ignorance in this area. i am not so shocked about the bottom-kissing of the republican presidential candidates as noted by blumenthal:
"On the day of Falwell's death, Republican presidential frontrunners fell over one another to memorialize him. Arizona Senator John McCain, who in the 2000 presidential campaign had called Falwell an "agent of intolerance," then spoke at the 2006 graduation ceremony at Liberty University, praising Falwell as "a man of distinguished accomplishment who devoted his life to serving his faith and country."
Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor whose Mormon faith is listed as a cult by Falwell's Southern Baptist Convention, hailed him as "an American who built and led a movement based on strong principles and strong faith.... The legacy of his important work will continue through his many ministries where he put his faith into action."
Rudy Giuliani, the thrice-married prochoice former New York City mayor, gay rights advocate and erstwhile cross-dresser, was also profuse in his praise of Falwell. "He was a man who set a direction," Giuliani said. "He was someone who was not afraid to speak his mind. We all have great respect for him.""