The Corner

Jerry Falwell

Ralph Reed on his political legacy:

Falwell’s liberal critics saw him only through the prism of secularism, and so they never grasped what a groundbreaking progressive he was within fundamentalism….

When he founded the Moral Majority in 1979, he awakened the slumbering giant of the evangelical vote. The marriage of that vote to an ascendant, confident Republican party is among the most important political demographic changes of the last century. One could see the shadow of his presence on the stage at the South Carolina Republican presidential debate last night in Columbia, as the ten aspirants for the GOP nomination sought to connect with the evangelical voters who will decide the outcome of that primary, and probably the Republican presidential contest. The Republican majority that exists in states like South Carolina and other states across the south and midwest would have been unthinkable without the voters that Falwell helped energize.

Though not without controversy, Jerry Falwell led an enormously consequential life. 

Ralph has more here, along with political remembrances from Fr. Neuhaus, Michael Novak, and more.