The Other Kennedy

D. James Kennedy died today. Though much less well-known in mainstream circles than Falwell, Robertson, or Dobson, Kennedy was at least as influential as those three in the evangelical community. Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Kennedy’s congregation, is among the more powerful right-wing churches in the country, reaching an audience of 3.5 million people a week on television and having a membership of close to 10,000. Tom DeLay, Sam Brownback, and John Ashcroft have all accepted awards from Kennedy. Kennedy was a card-carrying Dominionist, stating that “our job is to reclaim America for Christ.” In other words, he was a quietly pernicious influence on our national religious and political culture. Steve Benen has compiled a list of the man’s “greatest hits”. Some highlights:

* “As the vice-regents of God, we are to bring His truth and His will to bear on every sphere of our world and our society. We are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government… our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors – in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.” (Christian Science Monitor, 3/16/2005)

* “With other dangerous and contagious diseases, all sorts of efforts are made to identify those carrying the disease, and to minimize their contact with the public. And yet, here we have homosexual rights groups working day and night to make sure AIDS victims ARE NOT IDENTIFIED! … Until action is taken, AIDS victims are free to infect anyone …” (Newsletter, 1989)
* “To put it simply, no Darwin, no Hitler. … We have had 150 years of the theory of Darwinian evolution, and what has it brought us? Whether Darwin intended it or not, millions of deaths, the destruction of those deemed inferior, the devaluing of human life, increasing hopelessness; Darwin’s theory has been deadly, indeed. … The time has come to recognize that evolution is a bad idea and should be, frankly, discarded into the dustbin of history.” (2006)


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