You've probably heard that Jerry Falwell died a couple weeks ago.
Many people celebrated this occasion.
Should they have?
I'm going to use the late Reverend as an example to help us draw the line between evil people (whose deaths are to be celebrated) and mean people (whose deaths are not to be celebrated).
Jerry was a jerk. Especially towards gays. But I don't think that's enough to get him qualified as evil. After all, if you were to make irrational hatred a hanging offense, there'd be nobody left to operate the gallows. Jerry hated gays and said we should hate them too. I hate George Clooney and I say you should hate him too. Big goddamn deal.
It takes more than a thought crime to be evil. Jerry said some mean things about gay people, but he didn't go around beating them up. He didn't fleece his followers, either, like many of his cohorts have done. He was just a source of hot air. You didn't have to pay attention to anything he said when he was alive, and you don't have to pay attention to him now.
Jerry Falwell: Mean jerk. Not evil.