I'm not sure I have much to add to the numerous comments on the life and contributions of the late Rev. Falwell. But it always bothered me that someone whose primary public comments always centered on hate, vengeance, and punishment, had the chutzpah to call himself a Christian. I no longer consider myself a Christian, for reasons I won't go into here; but I grew up in the faith, and I remember principles like, "Love your neighbor as yourself", "Do unto others as ye would that they should do unto you," "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone" - I could go on, but you get the idea. Jerry Falwell seemed to me to belong to an entirely different religion. I certainly wouldn't bet money that he had ever read the New Testament.
If you look back over American history, though, you'll see that from time to time the country, or parts of it, goes through these fits of religious fervor. The first one, of course, was the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which the Puritan fathers ran as a theocracy, after leaving both England and the Netherlands because they were insufficiently moral and pure. I firmly believe that the memory of the Puritan rule in Massachusetts has a great deal to do with the separation of church and state in the Constitution.
These episodes weren't all bad: we owe the end of slavery to one of them. We also owe Prohibition to one of them, a very mixed blessing; and I'm convinced we also owe the current "War on Drugs" and "Right to Life" movements to the same turn of mind, which says, "you can't do that because we believe it's wrong, and because we believe it's wrong we're also going to make it illegal." Adherents of this position don't usually state the "we believe", either - they just say, "this is wrong."
The late Rev. Falwell fits right into this tradition. I wonder what he found when he finally go to the great Other Side. Speak no ill of the dead; which really means I have to stop right here.