Oct 8, 2001
On the Thursday night following the September 11 attacks, with fires still hampering rescuers at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Jerry Falwell, Christian minister and founder of the Moral Majority, spoke on the TV show of Pat Robertson, conservative religious broadcaster.
What was his message of Christian comfort to a stunned nation? Falwell blamed the attack on federal judges and "the pagans, the abortionists, and the feminists, the gays and the lesbians and the American Civil Liberties Union .... All of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.' " Later, he added, "God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve,” to which Robertson replied, "Jerry, that's my feeling."
Of course, Falwell was denounced afterward, including by the man he and Robertson had helped elect, George Bush; Falwell gave an apology in which he claimed to be "misunderstood."
But what no one can misunderstand is that network after network carried his pronouncements – even introducing him as someone to give guidance and consolation in troubled times.
What is this other than the worst kind of religious fanaticism – ready to promise eternal damnation in the fires of hell for the BILLIONS of people across this earth who don't share their religious point of view.
And it is not only on the subject of terrorists that the fundamentalists are ready to impose their views on everyone. These fundamentalists want our children to pray their prayers in all schools. They want us to forget science when it conflicts with religion. Like the fundamentalist Taliban – which they denounce – they think women should stay home, raise children and obey their husbands. Abortions should be illegal, according to them, and people who assist women to get abortions should be subject to attack, even including murder. And we should execute more people.
These views are not just told to those attending Falwell's or Robertson's churches on Sundays. These views show up in what is said by some politicians, first and foremost Bush. That good Christian president of ours is proposing we kill as many Afghan people as necessary to get bin Laden “dead or alive.”
So when the Christian right in this country denounces the Taliban for its reactionary views, they certainly aren’t doing it because of a basic disagreement with reactionary views. Only with whose views will predominate – not only over each other – but over whole populations.
This time period has seen a growth in the numbers of those who call themselves fundamentalists in every country. And, as usual, political leaders in every country are willing to make use of such sentiments to enforce their rule – and first of all, in the USA.