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Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Doing my part to irritate Republicans, fundamentalists, bigots and other lower life forms.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Falwell in the After Life: A Fantasy

News item from the Associated Press:

"LYNCHBURG, Virginia (AP) -- A month after battling pneumonia, the Rev. Jerry Falwell was hospitalized again Tuesday for an undisclosed medical problem, his ministry said."

Subsequent reports about Falwell's health claim he suffered "respiratory arrest" and is in critical condition.

Now I am definitely no fan of Jerry Falwell, but I don't wish him ill. Nor do I join in the chorus of "Burn in hell, Jerry!" coming from the left.

But I have to wonder if, in that moment when he gasped and clutched his chest, not knowing if this was "his time" to meet his maker, Jerry had one of those near-death experiences. People who claim to have had NDE's often come back from them very changed, almost as if God has shown them the errors of their ways and sent them back to earth for a second chance.

If I was going to design an NDE for Falwell, it would go something like this:

Jerry steps into the light, knowing full well he has lived a life of exemplary Christian virtue and feels himself move down a long tunnel with a woosh. He senses music and bright lights and sees vague shapes moving around as he draws nearer. Surely that must be Jesus, Jerry thinks to himself, and look, He's brought an entire welcoming committee!

Arriving with a thump, Jerry moves through the mists toward the source of the music. "'S'up, Jer! C'mon inside. We've been waiting for you," says a voice. Jerry turns toward the source and catches sight of a magnificent white wingspan that assures him he's being greeted by an angel. And what an angel! Tall, blond, muscular, a glint of something on his earlobe that catches and reflects the light a bit like a diamond stud earring. It's only as the angel opens the door and pats Jerry paternally on his derrier as he passes that it occurs to Jerry that he's never seen depictions of angels wearing leather harnesses before.

Once inside, music assaults Jerry's ears. It sounds vaguely like disco music and the bodies are gyrating on the dance floor, singing loudly along with the chorus: "Macho, macho God ... He's gotta be a macho God ..." Why, these people must be homo-seck-shuls! Jerry thinks to himself. God must be showing me what kind of torment these twisted souls are doomed to because they failed to heed my calls to repent.

At that moment Jerry feels a breeze and he's grasped in the arms of an angel who picks him up and begins to fly upward. "Yo, Jer. God's been waiting for you," the angel whispers in his ear. The angel holds Jerry tight and he can feel the angel's leather harness press against his back while another hard shape presses against his backside. His angelic host deposits Jerry at the end of a long, dimly lit corridor and points to the far end where another angel stands at attention outside a closed door. As Jerry walks down the corridor his gaze shifts back and forth to the rooms along the hall. Some of them are open and he glimpses all sorts of acts he used to describe as perversions. Even worse are the carnal sounds coming from behind the closed doors. He shields his eyes from the sights and hurries down the hall toward the angel. As he approaches, the angel reaches to open the door at the end of the hall and tell him, "God's been waiting to meet you." Then he hands Jerry a large jar of Vasoline and adds, "Here ... you'll need this" as the door swings open ...

Back in this world, Jerry awakes with a scream. It was a dream! Heaven's not a gay bath house! Jerry thinks to himself.

As doctors and nurses rush to Jerry's bedside, he tells them to bring him a phone. "I've got a Christian media empire to run," he says. "And I'm sure President Bush will want to know I'm OK," he says.

Bewildered looks cross the faces of the doctors and nurses. Finally one summons the courage to say: "Rev. Falwell, you've been out a long time. Bush isn't president any more. It's President Clinton now."

"Clinton! Hillary became president in 2008?!?!?!"

"Well ... yes, sir, she did. And again in 2012. But this is 2016 and Chelsea's president now."

An alarm sounds from the monitoring equipment at Jerry's bedside. The line tracing his heart rate goes ominously flat.