Candlelight Pizza & Jerry Falwell ~ BitterSweetLife

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Candlelight Pizza & Jerry Falwell

Lindsay made spicy gourmet pizza tonight, and we ate by candlelight, chasing the feast with several cylindrical bottles of fermented, fruity liquid that was assuredly not Welch's grape juice.* School started back up today, and some kind of celebration was necessary to ease the transition.

I used to jump into classes with a thud each fall, my eyes dilated like Bambi on Prozac. Now, after a few years of experience, I ease into the new semester more gradually, like a Brazilian at a Polar Bear Swim. No need to get overly excited. No need to rush. Just sit back, let the synapses do their thing, and let things ride...at least for the first day.

2006's first day was made all the more interesting by a guest appearance from Jerry Falwell of "gays-and-feminists-are-to-blame-for-911" fame. Falwell was the featured speaker at convocation, and the building was at capacity. All I'd known previously about Falwell was based on his media miscues, so I came in wary. Here's my quick take on Falwell's convocation appearance.

  • Falwell is a large man. Three hundred plus pounds large, or, as Kevin Spacey says in The Usual Suspects, "He was Orca [large]." - points
  • Falwell displayed an unexpected capacity (given his media track record) to dish out smiling barbs: "I happen to believe in the premillenium, pretribulation coming of Christ for all his church, but I don't break fellowship with those who are wrong." + points
"All Baptists without Christ will die and go to hell, and all Presbyterians and all Pentecostals, and all Muslims and all Buddhists, and all talk show hosts." - Jerry Falwell to Phil Donahue
  • Falwell indulged in some all too predictable back-then-ism, noting that "we didn't have" iPods, cell phones, the internet, MS Word, and the one year Bible "back then." - points
  • Falwell explained that in the first couple years at Liberty University, before it was accredited, he and the other three faculty members were forced to "bribe" students to enroll by paying their way to Israel (year one) and England (year two). If only my faculty had been so desperate. + points
  • Falwell failed to draw from the Bible during his talk on "What is a Christian College?" - except for an off-the-cuff reference to a scripture reading earlier in the service. - points
  • Falwell's talk featured three clear foci: the Message, Mission, and Vision (all unique) of a Christian College. Clarity in a convocation speaker is to be applauded. + points
  • Falwell followed up these points with multiple calls to action, attempting to galvanize the student body through exhortation and stories of small beginnings. However, he failed to weave in the fact that the bravest initiatives can go far wrong without the guiding power of the Holy Spirit. - points
All told, Falwell put on a better showing than I expected. It's been the kind of day that holds your attention.

* Quantities exaggerated for effect.



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5 comments:

Whole Wheat Bagel said...

Jerry Falwell was a founder of Moral Majority, a predecessor to the Christian Coalition. He used to be a big player.

As for the "cylindrical bottles of fermented, fruity liquid that was assuredly not Welch's grape juice," two glasses of that stuff would put me in a rather happy mood, so to speak. A bottle would make it difficult for me to walk. I'm glad to know you exaggerated the quantities. If you drank that much, your post probably would have looked more like something Aidan would write while banging on the keyboard.

Ched said...

Your post title sounds like the sequential timeline of a bad blind date. Candlelights > Pizza > Jerry Falwell?

Ariel said...

"If you drank that much, your post probably would have looked more like something Aidan would write while banging on the keyboard."

Who's to say that I actually wrote this post? It could have been Aidan, who did not drink on the night in question, and whose writing is surprisingly cogent for a five-month-old.

"Your post title sounds like the sequential timeline of a bad blind date. Candlelights > Pizza > Jerry Falwell?"

Nice. You got me there.

Matt Christenot said...

Thanks for the review. I'm out of town and missed the convocation. I don't know of many people more skeptical of Falwell than myself. I just hope that no one in Lawrence finds out that he spoke at my school. If they do, my church plant is toast.

Ariel said...

"I just hope that no one in Lawrence finds out that he spoke at my school. If they do, my church plant is toast."

LOL. It's probably too late to block the Lawrence IP addresses...we can only hope that "Falwell news" won't qualify as campus buzz. As I think about it, I think you're pretty safe on that count. ;)

 

Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife