May 22, 2007
Thousands are turning out to say goodbye to the Reverend Jerry Falwell.
"He was a great man of God and a spiritual leader, a friend to all who
knew him," said Angie Woody, a funeral attendee.
The founder of the Moral Majority, the Old Time Gospel Hour and Liberty
University died last week of heart failure. After lying in repose at the school, he's now being remembered at the place he founded in the 50s, the Thomas Road Baptist Church.
"People would not necessarily agree with his politics, but he wouldn't
compromise in the word of God," said funeral attendee Darin Waters.
Falwell, who once vowed to stay out of politics, ended up being very
political. His influence with the Christian right helped elect Ronald
Reagan and give Republicans control of the Senate in 1980.
Though Falwell is being laid to rest, there are many in this country who have no problem speaking ill of the dead, especially when it comes to the Virginia minister.
Falwell was a polarizing figure, and he was never bashful about
speaking his mind. He accused gays and lesbians, as well as abortionists, feminists and liberals, for the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
"I point the finger in their face and say you helped this happen," said Falwell in an interview.
He later apologized.
Falwell's son says the day before his father died, the two drove up to a
mountain overlooking his beloved Liberty University.