Ding Dong the Witch is Dead or Who’s REALLY Wicked?

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 Way—all of them who have tried to secularize America—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.”


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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  1. Let us know how the play was. I read the book and liked it, but I don't know whether the play softened the story.

    Oh, Fallwell? Ass.

  2. I read "Wicked" and enjoyed it as well; a very quirky, post-modern look at Oz.

    As for Falwell, it's a relief that he's gone. Alas that the ignorance, intolerance and bigotry he built a career and fortune on are still quite present.

  3. I would have thought that Sylvia would be the Witch, and so when I saw the title of the post… damn you for leading me on, woman!

  4. I was about to post some witty rebuttals to some of Falwell's quotes, but then I remembered what forum I'm on and realized that the quotes themselves were offered up as objects of ridicule… making my responses completely redundant. (if only the rest of the world could see this man for what he is, instead of kissing his dead ass for being such a "good man of faith")

    I'm going to go see Wicked next month, though, and I'm way excited! The book is on my long "To Read" list.


  5. The play was great. I definitely recommend, but it is very different from the book. It does deal with some of the same themes, but in a much lighter way. Well, it's a musical, isn't it? And it uses a lot more comedy than the book. It also has a different ending than the book, so you can read the book without spoiling the play and vice versa.

    Oh, and here are some more lovely bigoted quotes from JF:

    Falwell launched on the warpath against civil rights four years after the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision to desegregate public schools with a sermon titled “Segregation or Integration: Which?”

    “If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made,” Falwell boomed from above his congregation in Lynchburg. “The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.”

    Falwell’s jeremiad continued: “The true Negro does not want integration…. He realizes his potential is far better among his own race.” Falwell went on to announce that integration “will destroy our race eventually. In one northern city,” he warned, “a pastor friend of mine tells me that a couple of opposite race live next door to his church as man and wife.”

  6. I sometimes wonder what his beliefs really were. Im sure he believed some of what he said, but other parts just seemed to be intended to make him get noticed.

    Some people seem to think this might result in a big power struggle over assets, wonder how that will turn out.


  7. writerdd, you forgot the best one from 1999

    "He is purple — the gay pride color; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle — the gay pride symbol. The character, whose voice is that of a boy, has been found carrying a red purse in many episodes and has become a favorite character among gay groups worldwide. … Role modeling the gay lifestyle is damaging to the moral lives of children. These subtle depictions are no doubt intentional and parents are warned to be alert to these elements of the series."

  8. Surely the antichrist would be the opposite of jesus, not a counterfeit. We should be on the lookout for non-jewish women, they'll lead us astray by writing blogs or something…

  9. I'm an atheist and a skeptic and all that … but I've also watched a lot of Teletubbies in my time and frankly I think Tinky-Winky _is_ a bit gay, or at least effeminate. It's not just the handbag – he also love to wear "the skirt", unlike Dipsy who runs away when it's his turn.

  10. I'm not sure it's relevant that he(?) likes to wear the skirt: plenty of crossdressing men fancy women (: I've been told "most," but I haven't seen the data :p

    How do we know that the character is supposed to be male, again? Is it just that the voice actor is male? Nancy Cartwright (the actress who voices many of the Simpsons characters, including Bart) may beg to differ with that argument…

    And all that, of course, is setting aside the point that I consider including gay characters in TV for kids to be a good thing (: These people exist, and there's no reason to hide that. It's just another step toward teaching our society that gender preference is just not that big a deal.

  11. I listened to 'The Last Word' on BBC Radio 4 yesterday, and there was an obituary of Falwell.
    Program available to listen to until Friday, the Falwell segment starts at ~10 minutes in. The bit from Mel White (~16:30 onwards) is interesting. ~17:20 covers the Teletubbies thing, which is apparently dubious of origin.

  12. Even if all the Tele Tubbys are gay so what? Is it wrong to be gay? EHH, I don't think so.

    Then again I live in NZ that has had female prime ministers ( rumored to be gay?) for over a decade. Has numerous openly gay MP's & at least one transgender MP. Your man Jerry would have been rageful here.

    We have our own Jerry, one Brian Tamaki: dope smoking lumber jack turned self proclaimed Bishop & tele-evangelist. On a much smaller scale seems as skilled as his Northern Hemisphere colleagues at exploiting the poor & ill educated: taking their weekly tithes for the glory of god & to fuel his SUV & boat.

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