Young activist speaks on the passing of Jerry Falwell

No class… You have no class.

No he didn’t say this to the recently departed Jerry Falwell. Tully Satre issued his statement to the LGBT activists and bloggers who “rejoiced” in his passing.


No class
Some gays and lesbians greeted the news of Jerry Falwell’s death with guffaws and cheers.

By Tully Satre

An exclusive posted May 24, 2007

News of the May 15 death of the Reverend Jerry Falwell was warmly welcomed by hundreds of LGBT bloggers. I find this to be a horrible representation of the LGBT community.

In my opinion, this sort of display deserves criticism not only from mourning right-wing conservatives but from our own LGBT peers. It is in times like these that our wit and will is tested and we must stand with dignity—despite the actions of a man who has opposed us throughout his life’s ministry. Although I do not support the politics of the Reverend Jerry Falwell, I do not support the celebration of his death or the promotion of a sense of “gain” for our cause.

I am reminded of a quote from the film Lord of the Rings, when Gandalf says that “Many that live deserve death and some that die deserve life…do not be too eager to deal out death and judgment.” As minorities, we ask to be respected as human beings. We expect people to treat us with dignity and to look beyond our sexual orientation or gender identity. Why then do so many people focus on the politics of Mr. Falwell and find in them reason to celebrate his death? We condemn hate speech and inhumane conduct, and in the same way we should also condemn any attempt from LGBT activists to publicly celebrate the death of a fellow human being.

If anything, take after Mr. Andrew Sullivan, who wrote of the Reverend Falwell, “Since I can think of nothing good to say about him, I’ll say nothing. And pray for the repose of his soul.”

Satre is a regular contributor to

Thank God someone finally said it.

8 Responses to “Young activist speaks on the passing of Jerry Falwell”
  1. Chris says:

    It’s unfortunate that you feel that the public expression of relief was inappropriate. I fail to understand that after decades of being demonized, and used as a fund raising punching bag by Falwell, you would expect anything else.

    Here in Minneapolis, there was a collective sigh of relief and a bit of giddyness when news of his demise hit the local news. Hell, I bought the bar a round outta celebration.

    Given your age, I understand your desire to raise the level of discourse and show how civilized the GLBT community can be. You seem to forget that for years our community has “played nice” and “showed respect” for the people who want to see us wiped from the face of the earth. It’s gotten us nowhere and our lack of willingness to attack has resulted in the continued denial of our basic human rights.

    Falwell and his ilk don’t deserve “respect” in death. Frankly, when Robertson and Dobson follow suit (soon please!) I’m having a parade.

  2. Matt says:

    Thanks for your opinion Chris. With respect, I’ll have to disagree on “celebrating” anyone’s death.

    “Sigh of relief” – maybe not all that bad. Of course, a person has the right to feel relieved knowing that Falwell is no longer here to bash us.

    Celebrating when his family is still in mourning? No. You wouldn’t want your family to experience joy from others when news of your death hits and Falwell’s family shouldn’t experience it either.

    Also… I’m tired of “my age” being the reason why I have the political thoughts I have. I’m sure there are plenty of people twice as old as I am who have similar thoughts politically and ideologically.

  3. Rob says:

    “Sigh of Relief” I think is the way most gays and lesbians responded…not necessarily celebrating.

    I think most activists, while not exactly celebatory, did however feel it was most important that the media not eulogize Falwell as a saint or anything. (Like Reagan was.) We did celebrate the fact that some media coverage actually gave equal time to describing the wrongs of Falwell.

  4. Matt says:

    Thanks Rob.

    It was good to see equal coverage. I’ve said on my site before that there is a difference between trash-talking a person and having an intelligent, legitimate discussion and debate on the merits of one’s life and legacy. I’m glad most people and the media were able to take part in the latter.

  5. Chris says:

    You have a valid point on my comment about your age.

    To clarify: Being younger you are more optimistic and idealistic. And you darn well should be, you are the future of our community. I’m hitting 39 and after watching demogogues like Falwell make a buck off of advocating our extermination I feel it’s time to stop being nice and let ’em know how we really feel. I’m darn near jumping for joy with his passing.

    To paraphrase Bill Maher: We’re just giving Jerry some of what he did so often.

    We’ll have to disagree on this one but do keep up the great work.

  6. Joe T. says:

    Matt: Given “your age”, you can certainly teach some of those older activists a thing or two.

  7. RogerNDC says:

    There’s a good “review” of Falwell’s funeral at,654.765.html
    It’s on page 52. Scroll down to “Falwell’s Funeral”.
    Written by Shakestheground.

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