ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - The Rev. Jerry Falwell's newspaper, which previously claimed that a popular "Teletubbies" character is a gay role model, now asserts that the all-female Lilith Fair concert tour is named for a demon.
More than 800,000 people attended the summer concert series last year. The third and final tour begins July 8 and features artists including Sheryl Crow, The Dixie Chicks and Queen Latifah.
"Many young people no doubt attend the Lilith Fair concerts not knowing the demonic legend of the mystical woman whose name the series manifests," says the Parents Alert column in the June issue of National Liberty Journal.
According to ancient Jewish literature, Lilith was created by God as Adam's first wife, but left Eden after refusing to be submissive to Adam.
The Lilith Fair got its name from the character's original aspect, a woman seeking equality and independence, tour publicist Ambrosia Healy said Friday.
But the column in Falwell's conservative Christian newspaper says there are many conflicting accounts of the Lilith character.
According to pagan legend, it said, Lilith dwelled with demons after leavin Eden and went mad after witnessing the execution of her children. "As a result, she went on a killing spree, seducing and murdering her own demonic male offspring and then slaying their children."
Falwell was ridiculed after the same column in February asserted that the creators of the "Teletubbies" TV series for toddlers intended the character Tinky Winky as a gay role model.
"This Lilith Fair alert is certain to draw more fire, but we are willing to take the heat in order to document the truth behind the benign appearance o this music festival," said the article by senior editor J.M. Smith. A spokeswoman for Falwell, Beth Bragg, said Friday that the Lynchburg minister had not read the column in the newspaper, in which he is listed as editor and publisher, and wouldn't comment.
"But he has the highest regard and confidence in his editor," she said.
The Lilith character also became the namesake of the Independent Jewish Women's Magazine. Editor Susan Weidman said Jewish scholars demonized Lilit hundreds of years ago because they were threatened by the idea of a strong woman who insisted on equality.
"Clearly, some of that is going on now with people like Jerry Falwell," she said.
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