Textual Analysis


Wright.jpgFalwell.jpgMollie, in line with GetReligion’s gimlet-eyed determination to ferret out evidence of liberal tilt in the MSM, argues that Jeremiah Wright is getting softer treatment for his “God damn America” pronouncement than Jerry Falwell did for his post-9/11 remarks. At the risk of consigning myself into the netherworld of liberal apologetics, let’s just take a look at the textual basis of her comparison. Here’s Wright:

“The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people,” he said in a 2003 sermon. “God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.”

Now Falwell:

But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. 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 ACLU, People For the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say “you helped this happen.”

Whereas Wright expressed the belief that America as a whole (and really, the government) was acting against what he took to be God’s will, Falwell pointed his finger at specific groups of Americans. What Wright did was accuse the country of self-idolatry, and suggest the need for a collective turning to the right path. What Falwell did was cast blame on a moral fifth column, and imply that something needed to be done about them. That’s why Falwell was all but universally–up to and including the White House–condemned. And why Wright has not been.