Sarah Posner, The Guardian
In the early part of the noughties, Rev Jerry Falwell declared on national television that the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US were the result of “throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked.”
“We have sinned against Almighty God, at the highest level of our government, we’ve stuck our finger in your eye,” agreed Pat Robertson, who was hosting Falwell on his 700 Club programme.
The mockery of the hellfire-breathing duo was swift and unrelenting. Robertson and Falwell, brand names of the religious right, had become embarrassments to evangelicalism. They had outlived their usefulness, and were too old, musty, and unabashedly nutty for the new evangelical cool.
As their stars were fading, evangelicalism’s emerging celebrities were employing savvy public relations specialists and rebranding themselves as your best friend, your entertainer, or your shrink – not the mouthpiece for a vengeful God. By the time Falwell died suddenly in 2007, a “new” kind of evangelical had seized the virtual pulpit of America’s attention.
Read on in The Guardian. (Thanks to Nelu Balaj for recommending this on Facebook.)