Local color

Two of the four articles on the front page of the local paper, “The Holland Sentinel” are about religion today.

The first is an article about Jerry Falwell. I have to admit when I heard that he had died all I could think was “well, there’s one less purveyor of hate in the US.” I’m not proud of that, but it was an involuntary thought.

The article is an AP article but they have added some frightening local stuff:
“I’ve been to a few meetings with him…. He could make friends real easy, you know?” This is Ron Conkiln’s quote. He served on Falwell’s Liberty U board of regents. He lives in Zeeland.

“Roger Ver Lee, a Hudsonville resident who served on the baord of Calvary Baptist Church in Holland, said he first met Falwell at the ground breaking of Liberty University in the early 1970s, and describes Falwell as ‘probably my best friend.'”

Ver Lee goes on, “We were flying in his jet…. He told the pilot to roll the plane, so we went and rolled the plane once. He was always playing a lot of jokes and haviang a lot of fun.”


Is it just me or is that incongrous? The Moral Majority must be about more than hating abortion and gay people, huh? Making money must be in there too…..

Later in the article, “Matt Foreman, executive director of [the] National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, extended concolences to those close to Falwell, but added ‘Unfortunately, we will always remember him as a founder and leader of America’s anti-gay industry, someone who exacerbated the nations’ appalling response to the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic, someone who demonized and vilified us for political gain and someone who used religion to divide rather than unite our nation.”

Couldn’t have said that better myself.

The other article was about a Zeeland Area Prayer Initiative which “consists of ministers from several denominations.”

Call me silly, but this atheistic church musician is reminded of the injunction to pray in a closet not publically (and probably not in front of a photographer). Oh well, probably too many gay people in that prayer closet locally anyway.

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