Even After His Death, Jerry Falwell Causes Trouble

Last week, I posted an interview with Kevin Roose, the author of The Unlikely Disciple. He was the student who spent a semester at Jerry Falwell‘s Liberty University.

His book has since been released… and after a bit of controversy, Liberty is actually selling the book in their campus bookstore.

But it comes with a long disclaimer (emphases mine):

Readers of the Unlikely Disciple should be aware that many factual inaccuracies were identified in this book by Liberty University faculty and staff reviewers. Some examples of the factual errors: the book quotes Dr. Falwell as saying the third world doesn’t need food and water, only the gospel. He never made such a statement and often preached that Christians should not expect the hungry and the homeless to accept the gospel until Christians had first met their needs to be fed and clothed.

The book also perpetuates the myth that Dr. Falwell accused Tinky Winky of being gay. In fact, Dr. Falwell had never heard of Tinky Winky when an AP reporter asked him about an editorial in his National Liberty Journal newspaper that cited reports from the Washington Post that Tinky Winky might have been meant to portray a “gay” character. The book is well written but contains quite a bit of fiction.

In the opinion of the reviewers, these inaccuracies raise questions about the credibility of the author and the accuracy of any unverifiable statements or quotes contained in the book. Readers should be skeptical about the veracity of any information contained in The Unlikely Disciple. Readers are also cautioned that The Unlikely Disciple contains offensive sexual references that Liberty University does not recommend for student readers.

They never mention what “factual errors” are in the book, but Kevin has responded to two particular charges:

In a convocation speech he gave during my Liberty semester, Dr. Falwell said, “What is it that world citizens need most today? As hungry as some are, it’s not food. It is not material things. It is not education. What this world needs most is the word of God.”

For the audio clip of this quote, click here.

Not only does the book not perpetuate the Tinky Winky myth, it actively dispels it. From page 193:

“At one point, we’re talking about my upcoming interview with Dr. Falwell, and Max tells me that I should ask him about the time he “outed the gay Teletubby.” I remember learning that Dr. Falwell’s comments about Tinky-Winky may not have been entirely his — they originated in an unsigned editorial in his National Liberty Journal newsletter.”

It’s amazing how school officials are alleging these things. They have clearly not even bothered to read the book.

Kevin adds:

In the face of a book that attempts to portray Liberty fairly and even-handedly, formulating a sloppy, ad hominem response like the one posted in the Liberty bookstore hardly seems like the reasonable — or the Christian — thing to do.

(via Kevin Roose)

  • http://www.freewebs.com/guitarsean SeanG

    From the disclaimer:

    Readers are also cautioned that The Unlikely Disciple contains offensive sexual references that Liberty University does not recommend for student readers.

    There is no better advertising than sticking a warning label on something.

  • Troll

    Liars for Jesus. Do they never cease?

  • Vincent

    To be fair, this is true:

    the book quotes Dr. Falwell as saying the third world doesn’t need food and water, only the gospel. He never made such a statement

    (at least, if the book says he made that statment this is true – the author didn’t specifically say the book doesn’t say that)

    He said what they need MOST is the Gospel. That doesn’t deny other needs.

  • http://www.nullifidian.net/ nullifidian

    /me, while not feeding it, agrees with Troll.

  • http://reasonablyaaron.blogspot.com Aaron

    In the opinion of the reviewers, these inaccuracies raise questions about the credibility of the author and the accuracy of any unverifiable statements or quotes contained in the book. Readers should be skeptical about the veracity of any information contained in The Unlikely Disciple.

    Ummmm….Replace “The Unlikely Disciple” with “The Bible”.

    Gotta love the ol’ selective skepticism.

  • Santiago

    Actually, formulating sloppy, ad-hominem responses seems to be a popular christian pastime, not to mention attempts at censorship…

  • anti-supernaturalist

    ** Ameristan’s Taliban want to rule, OK?

    Xian authoritarians demand that their moral absolutism be accepted. They want a xian dystopia. America becomes Ameristan.

    They will not tolerate an open society, a pluralist culture, or a secular state.

    Like their muslim brethren, xians shudder at a technological world in which mental agility has replaced physical strength as a core measure of economic utility. This reordering of values strips away a core big-3 monotheist lie: god-ordained male supremacy.

    Xian ultra-rights, just like Islamic ultra-rights, demand ideological “purity,” male dominated social control, subjugation of women, unquestioned acceptance of religious tyranny.

    Moral absolutists claim a right to use intimidation and violence to attain their goals.

    Moral absolutism is immoral through and through.

    anti-supernaturalist

  • Audrey

    I just finished reading Kevin’s book this morning and it was awesome. Thanks to Hemant for tipping me off to it last month!

    I’m personally just glad they’re willing to sell it in their bookstore at all! I don’t think you could really expect them to like everything in it…

  • http://gaytheistagenda.lavenderliberal.com/ Buffy

    Why do people like him think they can rewrite the truth when we can so easily obtain the facts and refute their lies?


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X