Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

'There were times that Dad's pranks bordered on cruelty' (no shit)

A lot of American commentators have been writing lately about Jerry Falwell, a right wing preacher, who just died. He seems to have been a very unpleasant person. He's the one who said gays, feminists and pagans were responsible for 9/11 because they brought god's curse on America - it's about the only thing he ever said that got publicity in the UK. Anyway, he doesn't hardly register on my mental radar, but this quote (below the cut) from his autobiography stunned me. Falwell acted like a psychopath in some ways, but this quote makes me think that his father actually was a psychopath - what effect this must have had on his son, what it made him believe about morality and the 'father god' he worshipped. It makes me shudder.

'There were times that Dad's pranks bordered on cruelty. One of his oil-company workers, a one-legged man he nicknamed "Crip" Smith, complained about everything. Dad and Crip's co-workers got tired of the old man's bellyaching and decided to take revenge. One morning Crip called in sick and Dad volunteered to send by lunch to his grateful but suspicious employee. Dad and his chums caught Crip's old black tomcat, killed it, skinned it, and cooked it in the kitchen of one of Dad's little restaurants. They called it squirrel meat and delivered it to Crip on a linen-covered tray. When Crip returned to work the next morning, Dad and his co-conspirators asked him how he liked his meal.They knew he would complain even about a free home-cooked lunch, and when Crip called it "the toughest squirrel meat" he had ever eaten,they were glad to tell him why.'


Falwell seems not have realised what he revealed about his father here. I know it's only a small part of the story, but nicknaming a disabled man 'crip' is indicative - it's that instinct to find weakness and hurt the weak. That is the psychopath at work. Killing animals for fun is a textbook sign.

Brad De Long says 'Falwell's childhood must have been a complete hell--and it is no surprise that Falwell made God in his own father's image. Given the hand that he was dealt, I cannot judge Jerry Falwell.' A generous point of view.
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