I will travel fairly long distances to take part in conferences on the Civil War. The chance to interact with fellow historians who are as passionate about this period in American history is always an invigorating experience for me. One of my readers passed on this link for a conference on the Gettysburg Campaign which is being sponsored by Liberty University. It looks like a super line-up, including Steve Woodworth, Ethan Rafuse, Kent Masterson Brown, Eric Wittenberg, and Tom Desjardin. I thoroughly enjoyed Woodworth’s book on the Army of the Tennessee as well as Rafuse’s biography of McClellan and Brown’s study of Lee’s retreat from Gettysburg. I hope to get around to Eric’s and J.D.’s book at some point in the near future. Lynchburg is only an hour from Charlottesville, but even if it was right around the corner from my home I would not attend. Simply put, I wish to have no connection whatsoever with this so-called institution of higher learning which was founded by such an incredibly hate-filled lunatic Of course, I am speaking of Jerry Falwell.
While I disagree with much of what Christopher Hitchens thinks about politics and culture I thought he hit the nail on the head in this interview with Anderson Cooper following Falwell’s death.
Falwell’s madness hit home after 9-11 when he suggested the following:
God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.
And, I know that
I’ll hear from them for this. But,
throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court
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."
As someone who lost a cousin on 9-11 you can probably guess that I am pretty sensitive to such blatantly moronic statements. I could list other claims made by this nut case over the course of his public career, but there would be little point in doing so. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t spend much time worrying about Falwell or the other charlatans out there who make their home on my channel 20.
As much as I would like to hear some of the speakers lined up for this conference I can find no justification for shelling out money that will be used to help perpetuate an extension of that man’s sick moral outlook.