Reverend Jerry Falwell, national chairman of the Faith and Values Coalition and Moral Majority founder, labeled the National Organization for Women (NOW) the "National Order of Witches," said he was going to invite People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to Christian men's gatherings called "Wild Game Night" so that they "can sit there and suffer," and called Americans United for Separation of Church and State "an anti-Christ" group.
From Falwell's November 21 televised service, broadcast from his Thomas Road Baptist Church:
And we're going to invite PETA [to "Wild Game Night"] as our special guest, P-E-T-A -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. We want you to come, we're going to give you a top seat there, so you can sit there and suffer. This is one of my special groups, another one's the ACLU, another is the NOW -- the National Order of Witches [sic]. We've got -- I've got a lot of special groups.
From the November 22 edition of FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes:
FALWELL: Up until this generation with the influence of the American Civil Liberties Union and anti-Christ groups like Americans United for Separation of Church and State --
COLMES: Oh "anti," that's not true, Reverend. They're not "anti-Christ."
FALWELL: It is true. I know those guys and the fact is they're so anti-religious, anti-Christian that they have tried to secularize the country.
Reverend Barry Lynn, an attorney and ordained minister, is the executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Other Christian leaders serve on the group's board of trustees. According to its website, "Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom."
Calling NOW the "National Order of Witches" was far from Falwell's first expression of his opposition to feminists. Falwell mobilized opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment through his organization The Moral Majority (founded in 1979 and disbanded in 1989). In 1989, Falwell stated:
I listen to feminists and all these radical gals ... These women just need a man in the house. That's all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it, and they're mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They're sexist. They hate men; that's their problem.
And shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Falwell accused feminists, gays and lesbians, and a variety of progressive groups of having "helped" make the attacks happen.
Falwell is pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church, a 22,000-member church in Lynchburg, Virginia, affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Falwell's weekly services, titled "The Old Time Gospel Hour" are broadcast from the church and reach global audiences by television, radio and internet. Falwell is founder and chancellor of Liberty University, operates the Liberty Channel cable and satellite network, publishes the National Liberty Journal, and writes a weekly column published by conservative news outlets such as WorldNetDaily.com and NewsMax.com. Falwell endorsed President George W. Bush's reelection.