by Scoobie Davis
Is Jerry Falwell a Murderer?
Recently, Jerry Falwell made some intemperate comment about Muhammad. Muslims in India, incensed by Falwell’s comments, rioted—leading to at least five deaths and dozens of injuries. Is Falwell responsible? If we apply the criteria the right applies to Al Sharpton, the answer is yes. Many on the right held Sharpton responsible for the death of Yankel Rosenbaum. In Slander, Ann Coulter, comparing Bob Jones and Al Sharpton, writes: "Bob Jones never incited ugly mob hatred toward Orthodox Jews culminating in the murder of Yankel Rosenbaum." Rush Limbaugh and others had expressed similar sentiments—even though Sharpton was not in the vicinity of the murder scene and there is no evidence that Sharpton called for Rosenbaum to be assaulted. Let’s also not forget, Falwell himself (along with Patrick Matrisciana) profited handsomely by concocting a fraudulent infomercial to sell a fraudulent video that accused Bill Clinton of murder.
I’m the last person to defend either Sharpton or Falwell. Both are shameless demagogues. However, the rioters in India and Crown Heights are the ones responsible for the mayhem. Falwell is not guilty of violating the sixth Commandment (Thou shalt not kill). However, because of the aforementioned video, he is guilty of violating Commandments eight and nine (Thou shalt not steal; and Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor).