Missing book mystery: solved: Pennsylvania sleuth helps Americans United throw the book at Jerry Falwell.In 1979, the Rev. Jerry Falwell This article is about Jerry Falwell, Sr. For the article about his son, see Jerry Falwell, Jr.
Jerry Lamon Falwell, Sr. (August 11 1933 – May 15, 2007) was an American fundamentalist Christian pastor and televangelist. wrote a book he would rather you not know about today.
The tome, America Can Be Saved!, is a 162-page paperback published by Sword of the Lord Publishers in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Its cover price at the time was a modest $2.95.
Falwell had high hopes for the book. In the introduction, the Lynchburg, Va.-based televangelist tel·e·van·gel·ist
An evangelist who conducts religious telecasts.
[Blend of television and evangelist.]
tel noted that 11 "revival messages" are included in the volume. Pointing out that the sermons had originally appeared in Sword of the Lord magazine, Falwell wrote, "I wanted them to be published in book form by the Sword This article is about the fantasy novel by Mercedes Lackey. For other uses, see By the Sword (disambiguation).
By the Sword is the name of a 1991 fantasy novel by Mercedes Lackey. because this paper, under the dynamic leadership of Dr. John R. Rice, has done more to promote revival and holy living in America during the last 40 years than any other single organization."
Falwell went on to write about his close relationship with Rice and Sword of the Lord.
"Dr. Rice and I have been friends for years," he wrote. "He preaches in my pulpit, and I preach in his conferences. I count it a privilege for him to publish my sermons. Of all the messages I have preached, Dr. Rice picked these, and if anyone knows a revival' sermon, it is Dr. Rice."
But something went wrong. The book flopped; Falwell and Sword of the Lord had a falling out. America Can Be Saved! sank into obscurity.
It didn't disappear entirely. Over the years, Falwell critics frequently resurrected one particularly inflammatory quote. On page 52, in a chapter titled "Seven Things Corrupting America," Falwell wrote, "One day, I hope in the next ten years, I trust that we will have more Christian day schools than there are public schools. 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. What a happy day that will be!"
Falwell has never hesitated to criticize public education, but as he became a national figure he seemed to realize that calling for a Christian takeover of all education was extreme. He began laboring to distance himself from that quote. In fact, he has tried to deny that he ever said it.
On April 7, 1998, I appeared with Falwell on Fox News Channel to debate the role of religion in public schools. I had come prepared and confronted Falwell with the passage from America Can Be Saved!. Falwell employed a rather surprising defense: He denied he was responsible for the book!
"That book was discredited dis·cred·it
tr.v. dis·cred·it·ed, dis·cred·it·ing, dis·cred·its
1. To damage in reputation; disgrace.
2. To cause to be doubted or distrusted.
3. To refuse to believe.
n. years ago," Falwell said. "It was printed by someone without our permission. We did not print that book. Someone like you did that.... I had nothing to do with it. I had no voice in it."
These claims clashed sharply with what Falwell wrote in the book's introduction. To get to the truth of the matter, I called Sword of the Lord Publishers in Tennessee. The business manager pulled the file on the book and confirmed that it was produced with Falwell's full cooperation. Sword of the Lord's records showed that 15,213 copies of America Can Be Saved/ were printed in April of 1979. The manager also expressed surprise that Falwell was now trying to deny his involvement.
Two months later, Falwell changed his story. Confronted with the quote by AU Director of Communications Director of Communications is a position in the private and public sectors. The Director of Communications is responsible for managing and directing an organization's internal and external communications. Joe Conn on CBS (Cell Broadcast Service) See cell broadcast. Radio's "Gil Gross Show," Falwell said, "That book was written 25 years ago by Sword of the Lord Publishers.... And they, allegedly, from hearing one of my sermons, published my sermons. We had no editing, no proofing whatsoever."
Americans United pointed out that the new explanation didn't wash either. It conflicts sharply with what Falwell wrote in 1979 in the book's introduction. In 1979 Falwell specifically stated that he wanted the sermons produced by Sword of the Lord and that the book's chapters were merely sermons he had earlier published in the organization's newspaper. Years later, he expected people to believe that Sword of the Lord issued them without his permission in some type of guerrilla publishing operation.
Unfortunately, Americans United did not have an intact copy of the book in its library, just photocopies of a few pages. In my 2000 book Close Encounters with the Religious Right, I mentioned that I was on the lookout for in search of; looking for.
See also: Lookout a copy and promised to give a lifetime membership in Americans United to the first person to send me one.
It took a few years, but someone finally has. Nicholas A. Yutko, a comic book comic book
Bound collection of comic strips, usually in chronological sequence, typically telling a single story or a series of different stories. The first true comic books were marketed in 1933 as giveaway advertising premiums. retailer and rare book collector from Bethlehem, Pa., contacted me recently and said he had found a copy of America Can Be Saved!.
Yutko, an Americans United member for more than l0 years, found the book on eBay, the popular online auction site. He paid $2.99 for it and was the only bidder.
In an e-mail message, Yutko explained that he has found many rarer books over the years and considered tracking down the Falwell tome a personal challenge.
"For the past several years, I've been doing searches of eBay at least once a week," Yutko said. "Further, I was regularly searching other online book sources. Plus, every time I went to a used book sale or a used book shop I always searched the religious books for this elusive--ahem--gem."
Yutko had another reason for wanting to find the book: He and I are longtime friends. We met when we attended the same university in western Pennsylvania Western Pennsylvania consists of the western third of the state of Pennsylvania in the United States.
Pittsburgh is the largest city in the region, with a metropolitan area of about 2.4 million people, and is the cultural center for Western Pennsylvania. in the early 1980s and these days keep in touch regularly through e-mail.
I spent a weekend poring over the book and could understand why Falwell wanted so desperately to keep it under wraps. It's a true cornucopia cornucopia (kôr'nykō`pēə), in Greek mythology, magnificent horn that filled itself with whatever meat or drink its owner requested. of Religious Right crackpottery. In addition to calling for the abolition of public education, Falwell makes a number of other extreme statements. He insists that the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. was founded to be a Christian nation, says Watergate was "blown out of proportion by a very liberal press," asserts that communists lead African Americans African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. to commit crimes and says that anyone who dares to protest publicly against "true Americanism" should be deported to a communist country.
Speaking of his politics, Falwell says bluntly, "If you would like to know where I am politically, I am to the right of wherever you are. I thought Goldwater was too liberal!"
Extreme and mean-spirited views surface throughout the book. Falwell's attitude toward the poor and unemployed is a good example--especially in light of Jesus' frequent concern for the less fortunate. Falwell assumes that everyone without a job is lazy and unwilling to work. He calls people on state assistance "that lazy, trifling bunch lined up in unemployment offices who would not work in a pieshop [sic] eating the holes out of donuts donuts - (Obsolete) A collective noun for any set of memory bits. This usage is extremely archaic and may no longer be live jargon; it dates from the days of ferrite core memories in which each bit was implemented by a doughnut-shaped magnetic flip-flop. ."
It's worth keeping in mind that these nasty passages appeared in a book that was published in 1979--a time, like today, when many people were unemployed through no fault of their own. The sluggish economy Sluggish Economy
A state in the economy in which the growth is slow, flat or declining. The term can refer to the economy as a whole or a component of the economy, such as weak housing starts. of the late '70s threw millions of Americans out of work. Many could not find jobs even though they were eager to do so. (The unemployment rate in 1979 was about 6 percent, just a little lower than it is now.)
Falwell had no sympathy.
"My edict A decree or law of major import promulgated by a king, queen, or other sovereign of a government.
An edict can be distinguished from a public proclamation in that an edict puts a new statute into effect whereas a public proclamation is no more than a declaration of a law for them is, Let them starve starve
1. To suffer or die from extreme or prolonged lack of food.
2. To deprive of food so as to cause suffering or death. ," he wrote. Later, he compared the jobless to dogs, telling an anecdote anecdote (ăn`ĭkdōt'), brief narrative of a particular incident. An anecdote differs from a short story in that it is unified in time and space, is uncomplicated, and deals with a single episode. about a friend who once gave him two Irish setters Irish setter, breed of large sporting dog developed in Ireland in the 18th cent. It stands about 26 in. (66.0 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs between 50 and 70 lb (22.7–31.8 kg). that were used to eating only expensive cuts of meat. When Falwell gave them regular dog food, the dogs at first turned up their noses but soon began to eat it, realizing there would be nothing else.
Comments Falwell, "And if we let these bums get hungry enough, they will find a job and they will go to work and become productive citizens."
"This book is Jerry Falwell raw," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn Reverend Barry W. Lynn (born 1948 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) has been the Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State since 1992. , executive director of Americans United. "All of the bigotry Bigotry
See also Anti-Semitism.
Beaumanoir, Sir Lucas de
prejudiced ascetic; Grand Master of Templars. [Br. Lit.: Ivanhoe]
middle-aged bigot in television series. and intolerance are here in an embryonic form. After reading just a few chapters in this unpleasant and disturbing book, I could see why Falwell wanted to keep it hidden."
In mid July, Yutko visited the Americans United offices to officially present the book to me. His lifetime membership in Americans United was also activated at that time.
"It was exciting for me to find this book after searching for so many years," Yutko said, "and I'm just happy that I could do something helpful for an organization in which I believe so strongly."