Falwell earned praise, disdain

No doubt, the recent death of the Rev. Jerry Falwell is playing to ambivalent reviews in the world Jewish community.

As the founder of the religious Christian conservative political group, the Moral Majority, his influence was astounding, as he encouraged evangelicals to become more politically active, and his support for the State of Israel was very profound and unyielding.

However, on the flip side, he and his organization were constantly proselytizing, in an effort to convert Jews to Christianity.

Obviously, among the Jewish population, such action promulgated pandemic disdain and alienation.

Furthermore, Rev. Falwell’s vitriol towards homosexuals, and his endless battle to incorporate prayer into public schools, not only drew the ire and wrath of Jews, but exacerbated the political divide between liberals and conservatives.

Many times on TV I heard Rev. Falwell express his devotion and love for the Jewish people and for Israel, notwithstanding his desire to convert them to Christianity, yet his remarks on this subject propelled again, his dichotomous views on Judaism; as witness, in 1999 he told an evangelical conference that the Antichrist was a male Jew who was probably alive. Although he later apologized for this remark, he didn’t apologize for holding this belief.

Personally, I’d like to remember Rev. Falwell for the salutary things he said about the Jewish people and the state of Israel, and the decent, religious man he was — he was truly a muse to his Christian adherents — rather than to dwell upon some of the negative aspects of his life, which, sadly and unfortunately in my opinion, did not befit such a noble man of the cloth.

Gene Carton


Pro-choice law needs support

A declaration approved at the 2004 NA’AMAT USA Convention states that reproductive choice must be recognized as a matter of individual conscience outside the realm of government intrusion. It also states that health care decisions must be made by members of the medical community and not by insurance companies or the government.

Therefore, the St. Louis Council opposes the Supreme Court’s decision on the Federal Abortion Ban, a ruling that moves our country in a direction that threatens women’s freedom and privacy. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York are leading efforts to introduce the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) which will restore the reproductive rights as recognized in Roe v. Wade. FOCA will secure the right to choose for future generations of American women by establishing a federal law that will guarantee reproductive freedom.

We need the protection of FOCA now more that ever. NA’AMAT USA, St. Louis Council, does not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned and we support the Freedom of Choice Act.

Lynne Cole

Creve Coeur

President, St. Louis Council of NA’AMAT-USA