Jerry Falwell's OC Connections

Noted evangelical windbag Jerry Falwell was raptured today, and we're sure God strained his back from carrying that hefty sack into the sky. In honor of his death, we submit some of Falwell's brushes with our sordid county:

• Back in the early 1990s, Orange County-based Citizens for Honest government paid individuals upward of $200,000 to come out with lurid accusations against then-President Bill Clinton. A Salon.com exclusive tied the group to Falwell; the group denied they took orders from Falwell.

• In 2003, Falwell introduced Saddleback Church's Rick Warren at his Moonie-funded Liberty University. The website states, "Warren credits Falwell with encouraging him in the ministry when the California pastor was struggling as a teenager with his call to ministry." Both Warren and Falwell were Southern Baptists but couldn't be more different: While Warren has made it his mission to fight AIDS, Falwell once said of the ravaging disease, "AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."

Falwell joined Orange County holy men Wiley Drake, Robert Schuller and Paul Crouch in a 2001 luncheon honoring the Reverand Sun Myung Moon.

That's all for now—in the meanwhile, check out Rotten.com's entry on Falwell. Off to Houston!

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