Jerry Falwell was the founder of one of the first of the newly formed Christian Political Organizations that sprung up after the Supremos ruled in favor of legalized abortion. He called it the Moral Majority and it exercised some minor influence during the 80's (Ronnie Ray Guns was much more interested in saving us from the Communist) before dissolving in 1989 (He revived the group as the Moral Majority Coalition in 2004).
The sex and drug scandals that brought down the two other members of the God squad (Swaggert and Bakker) had a serious effect on the cash flow of all the other televangelist, and the good Reverend was reduced to pedaling conspiracy videos about President Clinton to finance his ministry.
This was not enough however, and Falwells Liberty University accumulated some $80 million debt before his bailout by a couple of businessmen (who received their money from the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. This stuff is true, even if freaky) in 1995.
Update-31 May 2007
I'll end this here. I never did finish it because I had to abandon this blog for the last 3 weeks do to personnel issues. Sufficient to say that the Rev Falwell's influenced had diminished to the point of no longer being welcome to speak at the Republican Convention of 2004:
- Religious leaders such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson say that not only have they not been offered any speaking roles at this year's convention, but just three weeks before the event, they have yet to be invited.
Could it be that in a race so tight every swing vote is being chased like the most popular kid in school, the Republicans don't want to alienate moderates with the in-your-face religious oratory of its most partisan supporters?