From the CNN news story:
(CNN)—The Rev. Jerry Falwell, the television minister whose 1979 founding of the Moral Majority galvanized American religious conservatives into a political force, died Tuesday at age 73.
Falwell was found unconscious and without a pulse in his office at Liberty University, the college he founded in Lynchburg, Virginia, said Ron Godwin, the school’s executive vice president.
Though paramedics tried to revive him at his office and en route to Lynchburg General Hospital, “Those very timely and very efficient and effective efforts were unsuccessful,” Godwin said.
Godwin said he had breakfast with Falwell Tuesday morning and said they talked about the future.
“He seemed to be in good spirits,” Godwin said.
Godwin said they finished breakfast about 9:50 a.m. ET and Falwell went into his office. He was found there about 11:30 a.m. ET.
The minister, who had a history of heart trouble, was pronounced dead of heart failure at 12:40 p.m. Tuesday, his doctor, Carl Moore, told reporters. He had been hospitalized twice in early 2005 with acute onset pulmonary edema, or congestive heart failure, and at one point was placed on a ventilator.
Moore said it was “a little early to speculate” on what caused Falwell’s death, but said he did have a heart condition.
I’ll admit that my first impulse is to break out in a rendition of “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”, but I must be getting old because I honestly feel that wouldn’t be appropriate so long as Pat Robertson is still alive. I wouldn’t go far as to say that I hated the man, but he annoyed the shit out of me to no end and as such I’m not particularly upset that he’s shuffled off his mortal coil. While I can still sympathize with the people who did care about him over the sense of loss they must be feeling at the moment, it’s safe to say I’m not feeling that loss myself.
In the interest of trying to say at least one thing positive about this turn of events I’ll note that there’s one less person that’ll cause my blood pressure to rocket out of control in the future.
Update: The folks at Boing Boing linked to this entry at Voices of American Sexuality that collects some of Falwell’s stupidest comments which I thought I’d share here as a reminder of why the man annoyed the shit out of me:
- “AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals”
- “It appears that America’s anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying, thank God, and is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men’s movement which may become the foundation for a desperately needed national spiritual awakening.”
- “If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.”
- After the September 11 attacks Falwell said, “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.”
- “Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions”
- “[Homosexuals are] brute beasts…part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven.”