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Your e-mails: Mixed feelings about Falwell's death

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(CNN) -- The Rev. Jerry Falwell is dead at 73. Ron Godwin, executive vice president of Falwell's Liberty University, said Falwell had "a history of heart challenges" and was found unresponsive Tuesday at the university.

CNN.com asked readers what they thought of the legacy of the sometimes controversial television minister, responsible for founding the Moral Majority in 1979. Below is a selection of the responses we received, some of which have been edited for length and clarity.

Kimberly Reamey of Appomattox, Virginia
I have known Dr. Falwell since I was a year old. My dad was one of the first students to graduate from Liberty University (Lynchburg Baptist College). My mom was one of his secretaries many year ago. Dr. Falwell preached at my mother's funeral in 1984. He would come up to me and give me a hug, and if there was anyone around, he would let them know that he remembered when I used to ride my tricycle up and down the hallways of the school. Dr. Falwell will be missed greatly. He was loved by so many and hated by some. He was a great man of God. I love him dearly, but he is in a better place, and now he is with my momma.

Kathy Eastwood of Cornwall on Hudson, New York
Although I am sorry to hear of his death because he was a husband and father, he did have extreme Christian beliefs pointing to the weird at times. What I can remember is his "outing" of Tinky Winky, a character on a PBS cartoon for toddlers, as well as SpongeBob SquarePants. I also remember Rev. Falwell years ago in his attempt to take over the PTL [Praise the Lord] ministry, the PTL TV network and Heritage USA run by Jim Bakker due to adultery in the late '80s.

Kenneth of Dallas, Texas
You never want to see anyone die. As with all people, he now is being remembered by family and loved ones, and you have to feel sorry for them.

I personally will not miss him, and I hope that the news stations do not waste time upon his death as they did with Anna Nicole Smith. People die every day, and most die unrecognized. We should not be inundated with news stories of his death. Get buried and let's move on.

Tug Chamberlin of Fayetteville, West Virginia
My mother went to teach at Liberty Baptist College in 1975 before there was a campus or anything such as the world-class facility that is located in Lynchburg today. I attended school there for a while before moving to West Virginia to become a professional whitewater guide. One day, while back in Lynchburg visiting my mother on campus, we ran into 'Jerry' in the dining hall. He called me by name even though I had not seen him in at least five years and I now had much longer hair -- mid-back length -- and a full beard. Neither of these hair styles were or are permitted at Liberty University. He asked me if I was married and I responded, "no." He told me if I moved and transferred back from Davis & Elkins, where I finished undergrad work, that I could find a nice girl here at LU. I thanked him and respectfully declined his offer.

"Jerry" was a great man both of this world and for God. If he had not done what he accomplished in Lynchburg, that town would be another Southern roadside attraction. He brought the world to Lynchburg, the largest city in the U.S. without a connecting interstate. He never wavered from his conviction, and while all the other tele-evangelists were falling prey to scandal, I always knew Jerry would not get into that situation. I did not always agree with his politics from the pulpit, but I firmly believed in the truth that he spoke from God's word! He will be missed! I don't look forward to telling my mother. Thanks for the forum.

Doug Wilson of Washington
A man has to stand for something or he'll fall for anything. Right or wrong, there you have/had Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Ken Owens of Winter Park, Florida
I will remember Rev. Falwell for his hatred of the lifestyle that I did not choose and for him condemning myself and my gay sisters and brothers and fighting to deny us rights that we feel are our birthrights as Americans. I will remember him making me feel angry and bitter toward the religious right and toward fundamentalists and constructionists who choose to take one perceived sin from the Bible and make it their obsession. I will regret that these people are not at the courthouses protesting murderers, but are, instead, at our small annual Gay Pride celebrations protesting our freedom and openness that in no way infringes upon them, except for their weak little minds that choose not to think independently.

Amber Cross of Lynchburg, Virginia
As a Liberty student, I so appreciate the opportunities that I have had to learn from such a great man. While I differ from some of his political views, I respect his earnestness and sincerity in everything he did. He taught me to dream.

Shannon O'Connor of Atlanta, Georgia
As a committed Christian, I think Falwell's legacy can already be seen in the negative attitudes so many people have toward Christianity. His intolerance and hate-filled rhetoric drove people away from God, rather than drawing them closer. I know that wasn't his intent, but you know what they say about good intentions.

Sylvia Replogle of Denver, Colorado
I will always remember The Rev. Falwell as a man who did not understand the Constitution of our country, e.g., the noble idea of the separation between church and state. Alas, I will remember him as a man that did more harm than good.

Kate Soden of Lynchburg, Virginia
In our first convocation of the 2006-2007 school year, Rev. Falwell stood before us and declared this our year of Jubilee. Now at the close of our school year, our chancellor, leader, pastor and friend has gone on. What a moment of Jubilee for him. Rev. Falwell was never too busy for one of his students. As a college, we are saying goodbye with hope, for we know exactly where our Chancellor is.

Ken Cooke of Palm Desert, California
I remember taking his picture at the NCAA regionals when I worked as a newspaper photographer. A very likeable man. I did not share his politics, but I liked him, because he was sincere in his beliefs. He was great as a debater. We will miss him.

Keith LaLande of New York
He stated that the attacks on September 11, 2001, were the result of God removing a protective barrier from the United States as punishment for the nation's acceptance of homosexuals and feminists and blamed the politicians for "allowing it to happen," a sentiment that show host Pat Robertson readily agreed with. Contrary to popular belief, neither Falwell nor Robertson ever apologized. He will be remembered as a hypocrite. People that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Gene Mims of Nashville, Tennessee
As a trustee of Liberty University, I can say that we are saddened by the loss of our great leader. Dr. Falwell will be remembered for his vision, leadership and Christian spirit. Anyone who knew him will remember his friendship, compassion, generosity, humor and focus. He and Liberty University will be forged together inseparably. We mourn his passing but look forward in faith to a great future which he provided.

Adam Taylor of Lynchburg, Virginia
I will remember him as a very kind, personable man. I used to work at Liberty as a network technician and heard stories about how generous he was. Every time I met him, I never felt like I was in the room with someone famous. He was modest, friendly and genuine. He may have said some brash things in his life toward those whose lives went against his beliefs, but that doesn't make him a bad person, it just means he's human and he was a devoted follower of Christ. He will be greatly missed by those of us here in his hometown, any by the millions he's affected in his very active life. God bless him, his family and friends and those whose lives he helped mold.

Don Wiggins of Hoover, Alabama
My first memory of Jerry Falwell was in the early 1970s when my mother would call me in from the other room to see this preacher on TV. It was the Old Time Gospel Hour, and they had good music and then Falwell would preach. He was a very good, genuine, committed Christian preacher. He was a good man and will be missed.

Michael Toguchi of Washington
I had the opportunity to meet and chat with Rev. Falwell on a number of occasions. He was an extremely articulate, passionate man who loved to debate the issues he cared about. He was a gifted speaker, and he used to hold an open Q&A session at Liberty University's annual debate tournament banquet. Most of that community is left-of-center politically, but he loved the verbal jousting and offered a great blend of substantive points with sharp one-liners. And you could always count on him to talk about sports, which he loved.

I'm sure plenty of the coverage will emphasize his "controversial" political advocacy, but he really was an extremely nice person who genuinely believed in the good works that he did.

Fred Miller of Campbellsville, Kentucky
I am a Baptist minister who has followed the work of Rev. Falwell for over 30 years. He was a man of vision and obedience to the teachings of Scripture. He made mistakes, most of which were magnified by the media, but he did a lot of good for a lot of people by leading them to a relationship with Jesus Christ and teaching them to live according to the standards of the Bible, albeit from a very conservative perspective.

The church has lost a great ambassador for impacting the culture at a grassroots level. His legacy will be lived out in the lives of the students of Liberty University (where I took two graduate courses years ago) who know well how to integrate their faith with their vocation. His journey ends. His reward begins.

Ashlie Tilley of Lynchburg, Virginia
He was a Godly man of God. God blessed him so much, and it's so sad to know that he is not with us anymore. But I know that he is in heaven with His father and is dancing on the streets of gold, and he is watching over his university and family and friends.


story.falwell.tilley.irpt.jpg

Ashlie Tilley saw the Rev. Jerry Falwell sitting nearby at a Liberty University basketball game and had this picture taken.

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