From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Larry Flynt on Jerry Falwell: "We became friends"

May 20, 2007 9:03 PM

This is kind of how I feel about Dr. Falwell. So many on the left are really ripping into him, and I just can't do it. I knew the man, he visited me in the hospital, I fixed his computer, he came to my house, he buried my mother. And there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of people who have had similar personal experiences with him. Personal experiences that are completely the opposite of his public statements and persona. Yes, he was masterfully charismatic and used his talents for evil political and religious ends... but he really cared about people, and never forgot a name.

More from the archive in Civil Liberties, Religion.

Larry Flynt on Jerry Falwell: "We became friends" (05.20.2007)

Next Entry: The President won't fire him -- but YOU can (05.21.2007)
Previous Entry: Chuck Hagel: "you might see calls for his impeachment" (03.25.2007)

Read the 5 comments.

Mike of the Great White North:

I have a very similar view. I hated this man as the public persona, and my own personal views(read bias)against religion all worked against him in life. I never had the chance to meet him personally, and i think i would have liked to, just to see if i could reason with him. Theres no way to change a mans faith no matter how illogical it is and that wouldn't be my intent, just to have a reasoned debate with him. I would have enjoyed that.

But i don't ascribe to the view a man like Hitchens takes on him, villifying and destroying the man after he's dead. If you have nothing good to say, just let it be. If you have to say something against the mans policies or ideology, confront it, but do it in a respectful way.

If Larry Flint could come to honour the man who was his 'arch nemesis' then clearly it shows for the rest of us how we ought to behave.

Tue May 22 2007 11:33 AM


Let's leave Falwell out of it for a moment and let me tell you a story about someone else.

John D. MacArthur died a few years ago. As a result, we have the MacArthur Foundation doing massive good with the money he left it.

My next door neighbor loved him because when she and her husband were furnishing a diner, John D. gave them the furniture and fixtures from his bowling alley in Lake Park. Just because he liked her poodle. What a fine and generous thing to do, no?

However there was another side to him. The side that had this motto: "So sue me" when his company, Bankers Life Insurance Company would deny death benefits to families that had missed a single weekly installment payment of five cents. They did it time after time and when the largely illiterate mine and factory workers were intimidated into not bringing action, the company became wealthier than it had a right to.

The moral of the story is that you can be a nasty, evil old bastard and still love dogs.

I don't believe we should be nice about it. We owe it to humanity to let them understand the good and bad in everyone and let them judge. The story about denying life insurance benefits was told to me by a man who worked in the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance. Bankers Life was denied access to the state on account of their behavior.

Falwell wanted the children of the U S to believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old. bleh!
Falwell wanted us to think that homosexuals are bad people. bleh again!

Tue May 29 2007 8:55 PM

Mike of the Great White North:

Bob.. i dont disagree with any point you make. But Falwell wasn't the only one making these claims... the Dobsons, Robertsons, etc.. are still here doing the same thing, and in my view even worse then Falwell. If i can give him one bit of credit for anything, its that he didn't share the same view of the Rapture as these other dangerous slimeballs. He believed in it, but not that it was coming soon or that humanity should try and steer events to bring it about.

I think instead of villifying the dead, we should direct our reason twofold on the living who preach this nonsense.

Thu May 31 2007 12:25 PM


ey, yes. quite well put. i remember those days, so glad the tables are turned now. glad you are better jim. love you. kris

Sun Jul 8 2007 6:07 PM


There's an interesting book in there for a good author. I'll even offer up a title "The Pornographer and The Preacher".

Wed Aug 15 2007 12:33 PM

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