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Remembering Rev. Falwell, In His Own Words

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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