Homosexual Minister Mel White on CNN: Falwell Rhetoric 'Kills Us’
Less than 10 minutes after it featured Christopher Hitchens hate-filled remarks against Jerry Falwell, Tuesday night's “Anderson Cooper 360" featured another critic of the late evangelist, Mel White. White, an openly gay minister, runs a radical homosexual activist organization called Soulforce. White wrote two books for Falwell before coming-out as a homosexual. While he expressed his sadness upon hearing of his former colleague’s death, White expressed his belief that Falwell caused the deaths of homosexuals by his rhetoric.
After asking White what he was feeling after learning of Falwell’s death, and about his own strained relationship with the late evangelist, host Anderson Cooper asked, “Personally, do you think he [Falwell] hated gays?” White responded,
I like to say that I hate Jerry's sins, and I tried to love Jerry the sinner, right back at him. The fact is, I -- I think he was really sincere about his feelings that homosexuality was a threat to the nation, really sincere that, by welcoming gays to this great country, that God would take his hand of blessing off this country and, thus, allow 9/11. He was -- to call him a huckster is really dangerous, because he was a sincere believer. And that's much more difficult to deal with. I don't know what he hated. I would say he thinks he loved us. But, in fact, he showed all the signs of hatred, and created a lot of hatred against us by his rhetoric.
White then continued this line of thinking.
Yes, Jim Dobson, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, they all say, our rhetoric doesn't lead to any suffering and death. Well, they're wrong. We have -- I've buried so many young gay people who have killed themselves from Christian families, who have been influenced directly and indirectly by this rhetoric. And I have buried a lot of young gays who have been bashed to death by gay people -- by anti-gay people who quote these guys, who quote the Scriptures, to give them a reason, an excuse for killing us. So, I think their rhetoric condemns, it caricatures, it kills us. And I think we have got to deal with that rhetoric.
Towards the end of the interview, Cooper and White discussed how Falwell supposedly profited from his clashes with homosexuals.
COOPER: There was an incident I read about where you were riding in a limousine with him, and there was a demonstration.
COOPER: And he was speaking about gay people. What was it he said?
WHITE: We were surrounded by gay protesters. That's when I thought I was sick and sinful myself, before I realized that homosexuality is a gift from God to be accepted and celebrated. But, in that limousine, he said to me one day: I just love these gay demonstrators. Without them, I wouldn't get near the attention I get. If I didn't have them, I would have to invent them. So, we played into his hand, in many ways.
COOPER: You think it was, in some ways, a way to raise money? I mean, he needed to raise a lot of money every year.
WHITE: Oh, yes. He raised more money off the gay threat than any -- than off any other single cause. Maybe abortion ties with it. But he used these incredible pictures of gays as promiscuous, as gays as child abusers, as gays a threat to the nation, to the family. He went on and on, and undermining the American values. He said these things. He created us as a scapegoat. And then he said, now, send me money, and I will create an environment here in Liberty University campus where young people will be trained not to be gay, where they will get over their sexual orientation problems.