Freedom Writer - September 1995
10 years ago:Is Falwell the phony?
This summer's visit to South Africa backfired on Jerry Falwell. Thinking
he could come back to America waving the banner for white Christian
South Africans, he went so far as to call Nobel Peace Prize winner
Bishop Desmond Tutu a "phony" (he later apologized, claiming he was
misunderstood). According to Falwell, contributions to his broadcast
ministry have fallen sharply since his return from South Africa. In
a fundraising letter he pleaded for increased support, as "contributions
dropped off $500,000 in two weeks." According to the September 2,
1985 issue of _Time_ magazine, Falwell needs $2 million each week
to continue his broadcast ministry.
Falwell had hoped to get Americans to support a white minority-ruled
South Africa by urging Christians to purchase Krugerrands. Recent
news wrecked his plans. In a surprise change of policy, President
Reagan banned the further importation of the South African gold coins.
Falwell supports the government of P.W. Botha because Botha's government
is, in a sense, a theocracy. On September 15, 1984, Botha was sworn
into office as South Africa's first president under a new constitution.
That constitution gives Botha virtually unlimited powers.
During his inauguration, Botha referred to the pioneers who established
the white minority in South Africa. He said they "heralded the advent
of a new civilization here, which decades later met with other communities
and their civilizations, thus forming part of God's plan for mankind."
He added, "We are part of God's great design."
During the ceremonies, an invited Dutch Reformed clergyman prayed
for President Botha to "have the spiritual courage and grace to follow
that divine will." He continued to say that those who rebel against
authority, quoting from the Bible, "rebel against what God has ordained."
It is obvious that the Botha government feels that it is of divine
Many of the South African laws fit into the Religious Right's way
of thinking. It is no wonder that Falwell supports South Africa.
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