May 17, 2007
IT WASN'T JUST OUR CULTURE HE CHANGED:
Jerry Falwell: A right-real influence (Bill Berkowitz, 5/18/07, Asia Times)
[F]alwell also had a significant impact on US foreign policy over the past 30 years, and was one of the founding fathers here of so-called Christian Zionism - the belief that the modern state of Israel is the fulfillment of biblical "End Times" prophecy and thus deserving of political, financial and religious support.
From his pre-Moral Majority days when he preached against religious folk involved in the civil rights movement, to his support for president Ronald Reagan-backed contra movements in Central America and Africa that were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people, to his invective against Nelson Mandela and South Africa's African National Congress and his support for the apartheid regime, Falwell was a Republican Party stalwart and a dependable voice of reaction.
Today, conservative evangelicals are a formidable lobby group in the United States and a key component of the Republican voting base. However, they had largely stayed out of politics until the mid-1970s, when Jimmy Carter's declaration during the 1976 presidential campaign that he had been "born again" rejuvenated the political activism of the evangelical community.
But Carter's more liberal positions on some social issues, and his support for a Palestinian homeland shortly after his election in 1977, alienated right-wing Christian Zionist leaders in the movement, like Falwell and New Right figures Paul Weyrich and Richard Viguerie, who steered evangelicals toward the Republican Party - where they remain today.
Christian Zionism was a particularly important movement as American Jews became post-Zionist or even anti-Zionist. Posted by Orrin Judd at May 17, 2007 7:26 AM