If the marriage of conservative Christianity and the Republican Party had a matchmaker, it was the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who diedtoday in Lynchburg, Va., at age 73. His Moral Majority became the foundation of the religious right that has so influenced American politics for nearly three decades. His significance was not diminished even by the frequent controversies in which he found himself — such when he said after Sept. 11 that the ACLU, "abortionists," gay rights and the courts had "helped this happen."
For example, though John McCain counted Falwell among the "agents of intolerance" in the GOP in 2000, McCain concluded last year that he would need Falwell if he wanted to win the White House in 2008.
It will be interesting to see how Falwell is eulogized in the coming days, then who rises among social conservatives to take his prominent place in politics.
Posted by Rhonda Holman
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