John and Jerry - New York Times: "Maybe it was Mr. Falwell's TV appearance with Mr. Robertson on Sept. 13, 2001, during which the two religious leaders agreed that the terrorist attack two days earlier was divine punishment for American immorality. 'God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve,' said Mr. Falwell, who also declared, 'I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the A.C.L.U., People for the American Way Â all of them who have tried to secularize America Â I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.' 'This guy will accept anyone or anything in order to be President. He would sell out his own mother if he thought it would bring him the next presidency, no matter what. This man has no pride, shame or respect for himself. He will do, say or lie anything to become the supreme commander in chief.
Or maybe it was Mr. Falwell's appearance on '60 Minutes' in October 2002, when he declared, 'I think Muhammad was a terrorist.' Muhammad, he said, was 'a violent man' Â unlike Mr. Falwell, I guess, who said of terrorists that we should 'blow them all away in the name of the Lord.'
After each of these incidents, by the way, Mr. Falwell issued what were described as 'apologies.' But they weren't apologies Â they were statements along the lines of, 'I'm sorry that some people were upset by what I said.' It's clear that in each case Mr. Falwell's offensive remarks were not a slip of the tongue; they reflected his deeply held beliefs.
And that's why it's important to hold someone like Mr. McCain Â who is still widely regarded as a moderate, in spite of his extremely conservative voting record Â accountable when he cozies up to Mr. Falwell. Nobody thinks that Mr. McCain shares all of Mr. Falwell's views. But when Mr. McCain said that the Christian right has a right to be part of the Republican Party, he was in effect saying that Mr. Falwell's statements are within the realm of acceptable political discourse.
Just to be clear: this is a free country, and Mr. Falwell has a right to say what he thinks, even if his views include the belief that other people, by saying what they think, brought down God's wrath on America. By the same token, any political party has a right to include Mr. Falwell and his supporters, just as any politician has a right to make a political alliance with Mr. Falwell.
But if you choose to make common cause with religious extremists, you are accepting some responsibility for their extremism. By welcoming Mr. Falwell and people like him as members of their party, Republicans are saying that it's O.K. Â not necessarily correct, but O.K. Â to declare that 9/11 was America's punishment for its tolerance of abortion and homosexuality, that Islam is a terrorist religion, and that Jews can't go to heaven. And voters should judge the Republican Party accordingly."
I expect my politicians to lie, but he has no shame.