Strange Bedfellows

Jerry Falwell passed away today. This is not the news. I’m not going to neatly summarize his life.

On the other hand, one truth was revealed with his death which struck me as very odd. Just in case you haven’t seen it already, I’ll repeat it here.

Back in the early 80s, Larry Flynt’s Hustler magazine published a satirical story about Falwell’s first sexual experience. It was crude. No, it was beyond crude. It was disgusting.

Something disgusting coming from Larry Flynt should be no surprise. It’s pretty much his stock in trade.

It was also protected speech. Though Jerry Falwell was obviously upset and probably hurt by what was written, the words Flynt published were beyond his control.

After a battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court, Larry Flynt and Hustler won, Fallwell lost.

It’s that history between Jerry Falwell and Larry Flynt that made today’s comments by Flynt so tantalizing. How would Larry Flynt eulogize Jerry Falwell?

From Access Hollywood: “My mother always told me that no matter how much you dislike a person, when you meet them face to face you will find characteristics about them that you like. Jerry Falwell was a perfect example of that. I hated everything he stood for, but after meeting him in person, years after the trial, Jerry Falwell and I became good friends. He would visit me in California and we would debate together on college campuses. I always appreciated his sincerity even though I knew what he was selling and he knew what I was selling.”

That’s just one of the weirdest match-ups ever. Who brought them together? Who could have thought, after all that vitriol, they would be civil? What were their first words to each other?

What will stick with me is Flynt’s closing… the acknowledgment they both were selling something. It’s weird beyond words.

One thought on “Strange Bedfellows”

  1. I thought it was an honest statement, saying they were both selling something, especially considering Flynt became an evangelical christian for about a year after meeting with and being converted by Ruth Carter Stapleton.

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