Today I am going to see Wicked, a play based on Gregory Maguire’s book of the same title that is a fictional biography of the Wicked Witch of the West from Oz, whom Maguire dubs Elphaba (for the initials of L. Frank Baum, the author of the original Oz novels).
Since I’ll be thinking about wickedness all day, I think it’s very timely to ring some bells of joy to announce that the Wicked Witch of Fundamentalism, Jerry Fallwell, is Dead. Yes, capital-D, D E A D. I know someone mentioned it earlier in the week but I was out of town on a writing retreat with no access to the internet, no TV or radio, and no phone. So I didn’t get to light any fireworks at the time. So I’m going to say my piece now.
America, and the World, is much better off without this hateful bigot. The only thing I’m sad about is that he didn’t die 20 years ago or more. In case you think you might want to feel sorry for him or his family, and be tempted to say “We should respect his family at this time of sadness” or “We should respect the dead,” and not continue to speak out against his idiocy, here are a few things he said over the duration of his career as a hate monger, compliments of Slate.
On Sept. 11: “The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Wayâ€”all of them who have tried to secularize Americaâ€”I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.’ ”
On AIDS: “AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals.”
On homosexuality: “I believe that all of us are born heterosexual, physically created with a plumbing that’s heterosexual, and created with the instincts and desires that are basically, fundamentally, heterosexual. But I believe that we have the ability to experiment in every direction. Experimentation can lead to habitual practice, and then to a lifestyle. But I don’t believe anyone begins a homosexual.”
On Martin Luther King Jr.: “I must personally say that I do question the sincerity and nonviolent intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left-wing associations.”
On Martin Luther King Jr., four decades later: “You know, I supported Martin Luther King Jr., who did practice civil disobedience.”
On public education: “I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again, and Christians will be running them.”
On the separation of church and state: “There is no separation of church and state.”
On feminists: “I listen to feminists and all these radical gals. … These women just need a man in the house. That’s all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they’re mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They’re sexist. They hate men; that’s their problem.”
On global warming: “I can tell you, our grandchildren will laugh at those who predicted global warming. We’ll be in global cooling by then, if the Lord hasn’t returned. I don’t believe a moment of it. The whole thing is created to destroy America’s free enterprise system and our economic stability.”
On Bishop Desmond Tutu: “I think he’s a phony, period, as far as representing the black people of South Africa.”
On Islam: “I think Mohammed was a terrorist. I read enough of the history of his life, written by both Muslims and non-Muslims, that he was a violent man, a man of war.”
On Jews: “In my opinion, the Antichrist will be a counterfeit of the true Christ, which means that he will be male and Jewish, since Jesus was male and Jewish.”