Remembering Rev. Falwell, In His Own Words

Jerry Falwell, 1999 AP (file)

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, the television evangelist who founded the Moral Majority and used it to mold the religious right into a political force, died Tuesday. Below are some of his more memorable quotations.



  • "I want the members of Congress to understand ... that the solution to America's serious moral and spiritual problem is not political. We're in need of a religious awakening." — At a large Christian rally outside the Capitol in Washington in 1996.

  • "I shudder to think where the country would be right now if the religious right had not evolved." — After announcing in 1987 that he was stepping down from the Moral Majority.

  • "All of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'" — In a television appearance just after the Sept. 11 attacks, blaming them on pagans, abortionists, feminists, homosexuals, the American Civil Liberties Union and People for the American Way.

  • "When I talked about God lifting the curtain of protection on our nation, I should have made it very clear that no one on this earth knows whether or not that occurred or did not occur." — In his apology for the remark about Sept. 11.

  • "As a Christian I feel that role modeling the gay lifestyle is damaging to the moral lives of children." — After a 1999 article in Falwell's National Liberty Journal characterizing a "Teletubbies" character as gay.

  • "If he's going to be the counterfeit of Christ, he has to be Jewish. The only thing we know is he must be male and Jewish." — Describing his view in 1999 that the Antichrist "must be alive somewhere today."

  • "I apologize not for what I believe, but for my lack of tact and judgment in making a statement that served no purpose whatsoever." — apologizing for the Antichrist remark.

  • "The NCAA has enough problems with drugs and crime and violence, sex and rape to bother itself with prohibiting prayer." — Criticizing a rule that barred football players from kneeling in prayer on the field after a touchdown.

  • "No sleaze merchant like Larry Flynt should be able to use the First Amendment as an excuse for maliciously and dishonestly attacking public figures." — After the U.S. Supreme Court in 1988 overturned a $200,000 damage award he had won against Hustler magazine.
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      Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.

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