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Saturday, May 19, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

Falwell in hell cartoon? That's a no-no


Canadian Cartoonist, Michael DeAdder has gotten quite an angry reaction to his Jerry Falwell obituary cartoon showing Falwell in Hell. Michael writes:

I had a three way discussion between cartoonists about what to do with Jerry Falwell. After much debate, mostly with myself, I decided I was going to put him arriving in hell instead of heaven. The irony was just too tempting.

Falwell for all his preaching about love and forgiveness, he himself practiced hate and intolerance. He has hurt many people in his life, he has done more damage than good and he has done this under the guise of doing what's "moral."

I really don't think Falwell will find himself in hell. The God Falwell preached about was far more forgiving than that. Some cartoonists have already made the point that Falwell's God was far more forgiving than Falwell himself.

But, to me, it is not off the mark to depict Jerry Falwell arriving in hell, at least in a cartoon. Especially the way it was drawn. It's not exactly Dante's Infernal. It's a cartoon hell with a cartoon character as the main element. To me it's so over the top that I didn't think people would take it that serious. It's just a joke.

But my opinion is not shared by everyone. Especially some readers at the Daily News.

I was informed by my editor when I arrived at work on the day that it appeared that Pastor Perry F. Rockwood was pulling all his ads from the Daily News. Not only this, but he wrote a diatribe against me for the next day's letters. There's another letter going to Friday's paper and I had correspondence with a few other people who took exception with the depiction. So I decided to put it up on my blog for discussion. Surprisingly, more people liked it than took offense. At least so far. It's still up for debate.

The letter from the angry preacher is below.

To the Editor:

As a 90 year-old Christian and preacher, I am very disappointed in your Editorial Cartoon regarding Jerry Falwell.

Jerry Falwell was a Bible Christian, a Bible preacher and a respected leader for those who believe in the Bible. What is wrong with that? I know his stand on homosexuality was not popular but it was a Bible stand. God's Word teaches that homosexuality is a sin. The same-sex marriage law is an abomination. The whole scene reeks with the stench of Sodom. Whoever it is, wherever and whenever it is, it has no place in Christian circles or in any decent human society.

Same-sex marriage is a perversion of sex. There is no stretch of anybody, circumstances that gets homosexuality properly defined as normal . It is the opposite of normal. It is the antithesis of right and the companion of evils. It is an attack on the family. You check biblically ­ there's no place given to homosexuality as a foundation for families. It has not been the standard for families in any nation in history.

It is a mockery of marriage. The Bible says: "And He answered and said onto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall be one flesh" (Matthew 19:4,5).

Jerry Falwell would not insist that everyone believe the Bible. He did preach that the Lord created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, not Edie and Eve. He preached that marriage was designed for a man and a woman. That has been the pattern for human society for the past 6000 years. To even ponder the possibility of same-gender couple in a husband-wife relationship is a mockery of marriage.

The legacy of Jerry Falwell is that he was a preacher of the Bible. No one is forced to believe what the Bible teaches. But in our society we still have the freedom to preach exactly what the Bible says.

It was not long ago you made an Editorial statement that you had plans to increase the circulation of your paper. There are still many thousands of Bible believers in the HRM area who believe the Bible. This Editorial Cartoon against Jerry Falwell will not be well received by any of them.

Pastor Perry F. Rockwood
Halifax, N.S.


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