The Rev. Jerry Falwell's newspaper has turned its attention from warning about Tinky Winky to the "demonic legend" behind the female music tour called Lilith Fair.
Lilith Fair was created in 1997 by singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan. More than 800,000 people attended the summer concert series last year. The third and final tour begins July 8 and features diverse artists such as Sheryl Crow, The Dixie Chicks and Queen Latifah.
"Many young people no doubt attend the Lilith Fair concerts not knowing the demonic legend of the mystical woman whose name the series manifests," an editor of National Liberty Journal wrote in the Parents Alert column of the June issue.
According to ancient Jewish literature, Lilith was created by God as Adam's first wife, but left Eden after refusing to be submissive to Adam. Lilith Fair got its name from the original aspect of the mystical character, a woman seeking equality and independence, tour publicist Ambrosia Healy said Friday.
The article in Falwell's conservative Christian newspaper, headlined, "Secrets of the Lilith Fair," points out that there are many conflicting accounts of the Lilith character, and then outlines the darker aspects.
"According to pagan legend," the article said, Lilith dwelled with the demons of the earth after leaving Eden and went mad after witnessing the execution of her children.
"As a result, she went on a killing spree, seducing and murdering her own demonic male offspring and then slaying their children," the article said.
McLachlan said when she started the all-female tour that it was an effort to promote women's equality and not "a soapbox for extreme feminism. It isn't about dissing men. I just think everybody is equal."
Falwell was ridiculed after the Parents Alert column in February cited evidence that the creators of the "Teletubbies" show intended Tinky Winky to be a gay role model.
"This Lilith Fair alert is certain to draw more fire, but we are willing to take the heat in order to document the truth behind the benign appearance of this music festival," the article by senior editor J.M. Smith said.
On Friday, Falwell spokeswoman Beth Bragg said the Lynchburg minister had not read the article in the newspaper in which he is listed as editor and publisher, and declined to comment.
"But he has the highest regard and confidence in his editor," she said.
McLachlan's manager, Terry McBride, said Lilith Fair simply celebrates women in music. "To say that Lilith Fair is, in fact, a pagan event is ignoring the actual facts and trying to create a spin to it," he said.
Written by David Reed