Friday, February 09, 2007

Big man at the cracker factory

DALLAS (Reuters)--His influence with normal people may be diminished even as his porcine bloat continues unabated, but his self-righteous zeal is undaunted. Christianist political operative Jerry Falwell is on a mission to keep a simple-minded Republican wingnut in the White House and get at least one more reactionary bigot on the Supreme Court.

Despite his years in the trenches of America's manufactured culture wars, Falwell--who founded the Moral Majority political movement in 1979 and helped turn America into a fascist theocracy--said a major victory in his broader crusade to restore the country's religious insanity to pre-Enlightenment levels has so far eluded him.

With abortion still legal, prayer banned in public schools and scarlet women strutting shamelessly through our streets and boardrooms, he sees a long struggle ahead. For now, he is focusing on voter registration drives and rallying the wild-eyed morons who can't see what a grubby little hustler he is to give him money and back his candidates.

"It is a long road back. We are at least one U.S. Supreme Court Justice short of a socially conservative court," Falwell said on the sidelines of an evangelist conference in Dallas. "And that makes Baby Jesus™ cry."

By a long road back Falwell was referring to his youth in the 1930s and 1940s--a period he feels brought out the best in a strong nation that adhered to "old fashioned values," such as misogyny and lynching.

Getting a Supreme Court that would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in America would be a major step down that road back to the good old days when white Christian men owned everything and everybody.

Ensuring another religious conservative Republican steals the presidency in the 2008 election is another.

Falwell, founder and pastor of a megachurch in the interestingly-named Lynchburg, Virginia, provoked a storm of derision when he said gays, lesbians and abortionists were partly to blame for the hijacked plane attacks in September 2001, which some felt diminished the responsibility of the fundamentalist Saudi suicide spies who actually carried out the attacks.

He was later quoted by CNN as saying that only terrorists were to blame but he believed attempts to secularize America had prompted "God to lift the veil of protection" that had shielded the United States from attacks in the past, such as the burning of the White House that didn't happen in 1814 or the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that didn't happen in 1941.

Supporters say the movement enjoys broad popularity in a country with 60 million evangelicals and that it harkens to the country's Christian roots, when people fleeing from oppressively intolerant state-run megachurches first settled here.

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