Falwell admits he once accepted gays, abortion

Evangelist tells Texarkana Baptist congregation his opposition to gay marriage, abortion arose after he became a Christian

Associated Press/February 16, 2006

Texaarkana — The Rev. Jerry Falwell told members of the First Baptist Church that, while growing up in a home with an agnostic father, he didn’t show animosity toward gays or abortion.

“I never had a problem with abortion or gay marriage until I became a Christian because I never confronted anyone about it before then,’’ Falwell said. “But the things that were true 50 years ago are still true today. Violating God’s principles brings a nation or family to shame, but following them will make you great in the way the Lord wants you to be great.’’

Falwell is the founder of the Thomas Road Baptist Church and Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. “I was not raised in the home of a Baptist preacher. I didn’t even own a Bible when I got saved,’’ Falwell said. “My father was agnostic and one of the largest distributors of whiskey during Prohibition. He was also the sheriff, but he died from overindulgence of alcohol by the time he was in his mid-50s.’’

In his address, Falwell lamented the nation’s high divorce rate and absentee fathers. “A 50 percent divorce rate is unacceptable. Somehow we must get attention of the fathers as to their priestly responsibility to their wives and children and that has to be done through the local churches,’’ he said.

“The church has been asleep at the switch. That is why one million babies are aborted each year, and some want to take ‘one nation under God’ out of the pledge and legalize same-sex marriage. Politicians can’t save our country, but the church can,’’ he said.

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