|Jerry Falwell Encourages Anti-Gay Ad Campaign
Dismisses American Psychological Association
William F. Buckley Admits Being Gay Isn't a Choice
By Jack Nichols
"Christians must help nurture 'former homosexuals'," insists the Reverend Jerry Falwell who was once Ronald Reagan's pet minister, and a foremost spokesperson for anti-gay and lesbian causes like The Moral Majority, which he founded in the late 1970s. Falwell's most recent comments appeared in "The Falwell Fax" adapted by mainstream newspapers and reprinted across the country.
Promising accounts of the "dramatic transformations of several "ex-gays" in the September issue of his organization's magazine, the National Liberty Journal, Falwell claims to have ministered to "dozens" of homosexuals who "desperately wanted out" of their "sinful and destructive lifestyles."
Describing ads that appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and USA Today, Falwell calls upon "the redemptive power of Jesus Christ" to be used by anyone who wishes to "turn their backs on their homosexual past" and to "discover a full life in Christ." He offers no such hope, however, to non-Christians.
William F. Buckley, Jr., another close friend of Ronald Reagan's and long-time editor of The National Review a top-echelon conservative propaganda tool has—nearly simultaneously—expressed a viewpoint that conflicts dramatically with the "Ex-Gay" stance of the Rev. Falwell, saying, in fact, that homosexual orientations are not a matter of choice.
"The impulse to homosexuality is increasingly acknowledged as inherent and, by the testimony of most spokesmen, ungovernable" writes Buckley, "The domestic political question, then, is: What can reasonably be asked of a society proud to defend aberrant behavior?"
Falwell, who favors the creation of a theocratic government in the United States has boasted that while present-day Iran is a theocracy, he, Falwell offers "something ten million world's better, a Judaeo-Christian state." His ongoing litany of lies about same-sex love and affection are legendary. Among the first fundamentalist preachers to label AIDS "God's judgment against homosexuals, " Falwell bitterly scorned victims of disease in the 1980s with an ongoing stream of vicious moral judgments.
When it became clearer to the media in 1987 that the scourge of AIDS was affecting vast numbers of heterosexuals and that the disease—worldwide— was affecting heterosexuals in far greater numbers than gays, gay activists banked on this new awareness to see what The Moral Majority's founder would say. Mounting a demonstration to oppose his views as he spoke to the Tiger Bay Club, a southern Republican organization, they begged an Orlando Sentinel reporter to ask Falwell if he still taught that AIDS "punished" gays alone.
Falwell (knowing how short are the memories of his followers, and never shy about backtracking on matters that could later be easily tagged as nonsense) replied: "I think AIDS is God's judgment on America, not just on the homosexual society. Its rate is increasing faster now among heterosexuals than it is among homosexuals." (The Orlando Sentinel, March 26, 1987, p. A-1)
Anne Heche's accounts in the media of her immediate attraction to Ellen DeGeneres is being used by Falwell in his latest tirade to demonstrate that Heche had a clear choice and that she chose to be gay. Heche, he says, --a sinner-- was "transformed" from a heterosexual lifestyle.
Railing too about the conclusions of The American Psychological Association, namely that homosexuality is no disorder or disease, Falwell pits his experience as a "Christian" minister against the nation's largest organization of professional psychotherapists.
He writes: " 'Yet, homosexuals cannot experience such change,' say gay leaders and the American Psychological Association (APA). 'Medical and mental health professionals now know that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be altered,' said Raymond Fowler, executive director of the APA. 'Groups (like 'Ex-gay' ministries) who try to change the sexual orientation of people through 'conversion therapy,' are misguided and run the risk of causing a great deal of psychological harm to those they say they are trying to help.' " he says, quoting the APA's director.
Falwell then disingenuously asks: " How would Fowler explain Heche's "alteration"?
Making a manipulative "deathbed" reference to what fundamentalists routinely call "the homosexual death-style" –a reference to AIDS-- Falwell preens:
"I have ministered to dozens of homosexuals who desperately wanted out of their sinful and destructive lifestyles -- some of them on their death beds."