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Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Drawing on Jerry Falwell
Three unique toons, one hot button issue. This week our “Drawing on” cartoonists felt compelled to offer their takes on the late Reverend Jerry Falwell. Check out the drawings below, then tell us which one hits closest to the mark. (Check out the earlier rounds here: Paris Hilton, Immigration, Gun control, Don Imus, Barry Bonds, "300" , U.S. attorneys, Gas prices, Walter Reed, Academy Awards, Iran and Iraq, Anna Nicole Smith.)

Scroll down to see them all, then let us know which one you like best -- and why -- by posting a comment. Better yet, send your own cartoon response.

Dean Turnbloom Take 1: 'Thomas Road’
From cartoonist Dean Turnbloom
See more of his work

Brixton Doyle Take 2: 'St. Peter at the gate'
From cartoonist Brixton Doyle
See more of his work

Jim Brenneman Take 3: 'Her regards'
From cartoonist Jim Brenneman
See more of his work

So there you have it. Now, sound off by sending a comment, but make sure you leave your name. CNN.com does not post anonymous comments. You can also pick up your pen and draw your own take on this week's topic.
The audience made the man. Falwell said those things and got good ratings. He was a plunderer, a public huckster. Very un-Christian of him, but then so many of the Christians in his audience aren't very Christian, either. Perhaps some, maybe millions, will turn away from the hucksters and practice a more prudent, more patient and peaceful path.
All rhetoric aside, I think that the comments from those that had personal interaction with Rev. Falwell speak the loudest about the man. It should be suprising to his detractors that even many of his opponents speak kindly of the man personally. Further, most of the clergy who have commented, even those who are not of his denomination have spoken kindly of him. It seems only those who did not know him personally and those that do not have a theological background see fit to ridicule him. Telling, don't you think?
Jerry Falwell participated in the public forum willingly and gladly. I do not think it inappropriate to judge him based on that participation. Many people are egregious in public and charming in private. That does not make them anything other than hypocritical. He did a lot of damage in his life, and I for one am not unhappy to see the last of him.
Interesting you would talk about having two sides, Joe. You are apparently irritated with his public life for harm he caused- which means you would prefer he would have been nicer (charming) whether privately or in the media. So now you have come and publicly slandered him in his family's time of mourning, in the name of morals he somehow failed. I don't see how you're different.
Steve, your comment in response to mine is so misleading and wrong, I hardly know where to start, but let's give it a go, shall we?

First, I don't really care how "nice" he was in the media or privately, I care about the harmful things he said during his life. Horrible and distasteful things that I will not repeat here, but that are well documented elsewhere. By pointing this out, I am hardly committing slander (incidentally, if I were being untruthful about him, it might qualify as libel but not slander - slander is spoken).

I'm sorry, but when someone dies, it does not give them a free pass on the things they did while alive. I was responding to the comment above mine that implied that it was "telling" that those who did not know him personally or have the necessary qualifying theological background were the ones who "see fit to ridicule him." Pointing out Mr. Falwell's bigotry and hatred is hardly ridicule. It is not slander. It is not even libel.

It is the truth.
Nice dissembling from Mr. Daugherty. All Joe from Massachusetts said was that Falwell's disturbing, public persona can't be erased or mitigated, merely because he was supposedly a lovable person in private. Precious few times, if any, Falwell's private niceties made it out of his public mouth, so they're completely irrelevant as far as the public goes.

Daugherty states, "So now you have come and publicly slandered him in his family's time of mourning, in the name of morals he somehow failed."

There it is. The time of mourning, when even critics should restrain themselves. Really?

Explain then why Falwell, the very day after 3,000 plus folks were incinerated in the 9/11 attacks that Falwell couldn't restrain himself, and instead chose to tell those suffering immensely that their loved ones- men, women, children, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters- died because God
turned his back on them? That he was a vengeful, indiscriminate God, who would let innocents perish because of the slight of 'secularization'.

And there's the great canard of Falwell's public discourse; secularization, that Christ was being erased from American life. Untrue. Christ was and is the most compelling figure in history, the apex of love and virtue. His example rightly is followed and his counsel sought by world leaders and
ditch diggers and everyone in between, and rightly so.

What Falwell really wanted was the imposition of Evangelical Christian orthodoxy on local, state and federal law. One law, Christian law. And that's where his hypocrisy lay. Not stating the obvious. Misdirection about secularization, where the real aim was the installation of Evangelical political power.

As a devout Christian, I believe in Christ. I don't believe in violating the 3rd commandment, taking His name in vain, by attaching it to raw political
ambition, as Falwell did.

One of the first lessons I ever learned as a toddler would ring in my ears when Falwell would make yet another hateful remark. Bears stating simply.

Jim Brenneman
A former Marine and current cartoonist who penned this, this, this and this

Jake Novak
CNN producer by day, comedian by night

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