Home > Media > Jerry Falwell on The Savage Nation, 2004(?)

Jerry Falwell on The Savage Nation, 2004(?)

Here is some undated archival audio of Jerry Falwell calling into The Savage Nation, the radio show hosted by conservative Michael Savage [link], decorated with some stills for that vintage homebrew YouTube style we’ve all come to love:

They are initially discussing the Mel Gibson movie The Passion of the Christ [link], which was a going concern in 2004, so I’m guessing the interview is also from 2004. Dedicated nitpickers may remember that this was a movie with a distinctively pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic perspective on the Crucifixion successfully marketed to evangelical and charismatic Christians, making it something of an odd topic of conversation for a conservative radio show hosted by someone with a Jewish perspective.

This clip gets weird fast when Savage says the Crucifixion means “when you crucify others you crucify yourself,” and Jerry responds with a standard evangelical John 3:16 presentation of the Gospel. It’s pretty clear that either nobody did any show prep; otherwise how could Savage have expected to cast the Crucifixion in social terms and expect Jerry to agree with him? To his credit Jerry doesn’t get distracted by Savage’s attempts to return to his social theme, talking about how he believes all people are of equal worth, etc.

Savage wraps the segment by stating his belief that all religious paths lead to the same God, that all religions are spokes on the same wheel, etc. It’s pretty clear he’s kind of rattled to find out Falwell doesn’t believe the same thing.

I’d like to point out that these two are old friends and co-belligerents; I’m surprised this topic hasn’t come up before between the two of them. I have to gently suggest that this is one of the problems the Religious Right faces generally on matters great and small: not only do fiscal conservatives and social conservatives have viewpoints that are similar on some issues but rest on different foundations, but even different kinds of social conservatives differ fundamentally. I might also suggest that when folks on the right use terms like “Judeo-Christian tradition” they probably don’t have episodes like this in mind; Savage is Jewish and Falwell is Christian, and while they may agree on things like immigration reform or estate taxes when you scratch them just a little you find out that their actual “traditions” don’t have enough in common to serve as a basis for what they agree on.

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