Jerry Falwell: The Biggest Decision of His Life

Last night on Hardball, Chris Matthews put the, ahem, screws to the Rev. Jerry Falwell:


MATTHEWS: How old were you when you chose to be heterosexual?

FALWELL: Oh, I don't remember that.

MATTHEWS: Well, you must, because you say it's a big decision.

FALWELL: Well, I started dating when I was about 13.

MATTHEWS: And you had to decide between boys and girls. And you chose girls.

FALWELL: I never had to decide. I never thought about it.

Just let me say, on behalf of fag hags everywhere: Thank God.

Full exchange, in all its delicious logical fallacy glory, after the jump.

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. We are back with Reverend Bernice Powell Jackson of the United Church of Christ and the Reverend Jerry Falwell, chancellor of Liberty University. Reverend Falwell, thanks for joining us.

JERRY FALWELL, CHANCELLOR, LIBERTY UNIVERSITY: Sure.

MATTHEWS: What do you think of this ad, this UCC ad, That showed these bouncers keeping people who were apparently a gay couple and some people who were African-American from coming in the church? Should the networks have run that? (CROSSTALK)

FALWELL: I think networks should have run it. I have no problem with the ad. The United Church of Christ had a dual purpose. One was a positive one. Everybody is welcome. Every church should say that. Two, apparently, they are trying to say there are churches out there that everybody can't get in.

MATTHEWS: Right.

FALWELL: And I think they even have a subtler message. They're saying that the African-American, the Hispanic, the handicapped and then the gay couple or all four bona fide minorities. I would disagree. The two ethnic persons are as God made them, as I am Caucasian.

MATTHEWS: Right.

FALWELL: The handicap person, behind his power, his handicap.

MATTHEWS: Right.

FALWELL: And the gay couple. They chose to marry each other.

MATTHEWS: How did they get to be gay, though?

FALWELL: Well, we probably differ there.

MATTHEWS: I'm asking.

FALWELL: But I think all behavior is chosen.

MATTHEWS: I'm open. I don't know.

FALWELL: I think that...

MATTHEWS: Did you choose to be heterosexual?

FALWELL: I did.

MATTHEWS: You chose it? You thought about it and you came up with that solution? That lifestyle? (CROSSTALK)

FALWELL: Put it this way. I was taught as a child that's the right way to...

MATTHEWS: But did you feel an attraction toward women?

FALWELL: Oh, of course.

MATTHEWS: When people are born and they find themselves having an attraction to somebody from the same sex, do you think that's a choice?

FALWELL: I think you can experiment with any kind of perversity and develop an appetite for it, just like you can food.

MATTHEWS: You don't think it's nature? You think it's nurture.

FALWELL: I don't think any -- I don't think anybody is born a bank robber or born a hostile left-winger or a hostile right-winger or gay or a promiscuous heterosexual. I think there comes a time in childhood where environment may be a part of it, whatever, teaching, instruction, one chooses, I will do this or that. And that's why good, godly parenting... (CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: How old were you when you chose to be heterosexual?

FALWELL: Oh, I don't remember that.

MATTHEWS: Well, you must, because you say it's a big decision.

FALWELL: Well, I started dating when I was about 13.

MATTHEWS: And you had to decide between boys and girls. And you chose girls.

FALWELL: I never had to decide. I never thought about it. (CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I think it's a ridiculous proposition that you actually sit down and decide. Let me see, boy or girl this week. Anyway...

FALWELL: I don't think anybody does that.

MATTHEWS: But let me ask you about this ad again. Do you worry that the networks are exercising a kind of reverse sort of liberal censorship, saying we are afraid that the conservatives will be mad at us?

FALWELL: I think it's a corny ad. I think it's a corny ad.

MATTHEWS: Right. Well, that's a good word for it.

FALWELL: Because, really, it's a left-wing slap at a lot of churches. And I don't know where those churches are.

MATTHEWS: Right.

FALWELL: I don't know where I can walk up and I can get in.

MATTHEWS: What do you think of John Danforth as a member of the Supreme Court, if he gets nominated, should he be? He just stepped as the U.N. ambassador. (CROSSTALK)

FALWELL: Because he's pro-choice -- he is a great man. He's had an illustrious career. But because he is pro-choice, I would object to it.

MATTHEWS: OK, thank you very much for joining us.

FALWELL: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: Thanks for fighting the traffic, Reverend Jerry Falwell.

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