September 26, 2007

Another Falwell

Just when you thought that the death of Christian extremist Jerry Falwell might bring some temporary relief, we have news out of Virginia that there is another Falwell at the ready to take up Jerry's legacy. According to this editorial by Elizabeth Strother in The Roanoke Times, Falwell's son, Jonathan, has taken over his father's Thomas Road Baptist Church and is now hoping to mobilize voters around "family values."

Jonathan Falwell does not seem ready for nationwide efforts just yet, but there appears to be little question about his aspirations to do so eventually.
So far, son Jonathan's sights are set more modestly, on Virginia, where every seat in the General Assembly is up for election in November. But, like his father, he'd like to make his family values your family values -- by law. And, like religious leaders on both the political left and right, he has to try to do it without risking the tax-exempt status of his church.
Strother has an excellent suggestion for those of us who oppose efforts to impose the values of Christian extremism on the rest of us.
Voters uncomfortable with the Family Foundation's view of a better society need to galvanize "values voters" of their own.

The political value I hold most dear, and feel is most at risk from the demonstrated power of the religious right, is secular governance. It's the cornerstone of the religious freedom that I enjoy and that Jonathan Falwell and his followers enjoy every day.
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