Sunday, May 4, 2008

Jerry Falwell & The Old Time Gospel Hour

Remember how I wrote that one video was 3+ hours of hate? This is the one. Brace yourselves. I'm not kidding. If you want my usual tongue-in-cheek stuff, you'd better wait for the next post.

Saying Jerry Falwell was anti-gay is like saying the sun emits light in the visible spectrum. Nevertheless, for those who need proof, this is it. Made in 1993 and broken into five segments, the tape contains two episodes of Jerry's Old Time Gospel Hour show, followed by a series of "exposes".

First, though, there's an advert for Liberty University, "a distinctly Christian university." Jerry asks viewers to send him the names and addresses of high school students, so he can send them information on the place. If you do send him some names, you get a free lapel pin! Next, there's an introduction from Jerry, where he expresses his desire that this video will be 'a blessing'.

Then we're on to the meat of the tape, starting with a Gospel Hour episode titled "It's High Time for Christians to Come Out of the Closet." By this he means Christians need to stop hiding their beliefs behind "political correctness" and fear of being called a bigot - they must stand up for what they believe in, and stop those "perverts" and "weirdos" from taking over the country. Yes, he actually uses those words to describe homosexuals. And he really does think they are trying to conquer the United States. "The future of America depends on Christians coming out of the closet now," he says, because failure to change the current sate of affairs "may well bring the Judgment of God upon this land." He's also against homosexuals as Scout leaders, because "you don't put the fox in the henhouse."

Then he insults feminists for no obvious reason. "If you're going to overcome political correctness in the schools..." he tells the nations' parents, "new age doctrine and feminism and all that, you have to live Christ in front of your children 24/7."

And that's just the first hour. The next episode is titled "The Deafening Silence of America's Pulpits." Basically, its Jerry whining about how other priests don't preach anti-gay scripture the way he does.

I got bored and skipped ahead to the next bit, titled "The Roberta Achtenberg Scandal Tape," and it is hilarious for being not much of a scandal at all. He reveals that Achtenberg, then-Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a lesbian. So? A little research shows she's been 'out' since the '80s, and from the tape it appears she's quite happy about it.

The bulk of this section is a 17-minute tape of the 1992 San Francisco Gay/Lesbian Pride Parade, filmed and sent in by a devoted Christian. Jerry stresses the footage is for adults only, because the material is "shocking" and will "turn your stomach." Maybe to you, Jerry. However, anyone who's seen a Gay Pride Parade, and all the costumes and naughtiness and sense of fun that goes into one, won't be shocked at all.

The tape starts with Roberta Achtenberg sitting on the back of a convertible with her partner, then-San Francisco Municipal Court judge Mary Morgan, and their son Benji. As the car goes by, the two women put their arms around each other and kiss. The tape goes into slow motion here, just to make sure we don't miss anything. "What a terrible roll model for America's young people," Jerry says, before telling us the tape hasn't been edited in any way. That's a lie right there, Jerry. Not only is there the aforementioned slow-mo, there is also the issue of the time index in the lower right-hand corner. It clearly jumps around from one o'clock to twelve o'clock to two o'clock and back again. Unless the cameraperson was a time-traveller, that's editing. Also, the Achtenberg-Morgan kiss appears twice, and all the nudity is pixilated. I can understand the pixilation, but that still counts as editing, Jerry.

The next two parts of this video, "Expose of the Clinton Inaugral Galas" and "Expanded Expose of the Radical Gay and Lesbian Agenda Volumes 1 & 2," continue to draw from the same bag of bigotry. President Bill Clinton was pro-gay rights, so many in the gay and lesbian community came out to his inaugural gala to celebrate. Jerry seeks to show us "what really happened," the sort of things the "liberal media" didn't show us. All Jerry reveals, however, is that homosexuals want the same rights and freedoms that straight Americans enjoy, including the right to marry or join the army. The tape ends with Jerry making a plea to Christians to stop proposed legislation that would grant homosexuals equal rights. I'm not sure which is worse - that gay human beings have had to live without those rights, or that people like Jerry Falwell would fight so hard to suppress them.

On May 15, 2007, Jerry Falwell, organizer of the Moral Majority and founder of Liberty University, passed away. This tape serves not as an expose of homosexuals but an expose on him, revealing the hate that hides behind the cross. He clearly was a hate-filled man - he wouldn't call homosexuals weirdos and perverts if he was speaking from a place of love. What a sad, terrible legacy to leave behind.

This is the worst thing I've had to review so far, and I'm glad it's over. Goodbye, Jerry Falwell. It hasn't been pleasant.

Likely To Convert - 0
Production Values - 5
Acting/Direction - 7
Likely To Be Sat Through - 1
Unintentional Hilarity - 3
Level of Disturbing or Offensive Content - 10


Anonymous said...

Realzing this is an old post, but can you post video clips?

Timothy Carter said...

I'm not web-savvy enough to know how to do that, NG. Plus, I don't know where to get the clips if I did (the item I reviewed was a VHS tape).

Besides, even if I could, do you really want to see that guy again?