Thursday, September 06, 2007

D. James Kennedy Dies

Yesterday, September 5th, D. James Kennedy died at the age of 76. Kennedy was not as well known as his allies, Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell, but he did at least as much as they to create the peculiar form of Evangelicalism that currently dominates American religiosity.

According to John Green, of the Pew Forum for Religion and Public life: "He [Kennedy] was never in the front ranks of evangelical leaders that were also political leaders, but he was active at every stage of the Christian right."

Despite his preference for working behind the scenes when compared to Robertson or Falwell, Kennedy founded Coral Ridge Ministries, a radio and TV "outreach" organization that claimed a weekly audience of 3.5 million people for its broadcasts. His own personal show, "The Coral Ridge Hour", has been aired on more than 400 stations in 150 countries.

Ideologically, Kennedy was not a profound man. Although he denied it, it seems he was a dominionist. Dominionism is a simple-minded ideology that asserts America must take over the world through military and political means in order to pave the way for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It envisions American as a "Christian Nation" governed by Old Testament laws (including the stoning to death of adulterers, and other barbarisms).

In 2005, Kennedy promoted the
Constitution Restoration Act: a bill that would have gutted the Constitution by authorizing Congress to impeach judges who fail to acknowledge "God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government" and by limiting the power of the federal judiciary to rule in religious liberty cases.

Perhaps his dominionism was motivated by a taste for power. In a 1996 interview with The Los Angeles Times, Kennedy said: "God should be in every sphere of life: economics, business, education, government, art and science."

In addition to his dominionist follies, Kennedy was a "Young Earth Creationist" who either could not admit, or could not understand, the weight of evidence for evolution.

He also showed further evidence of irrationality in his pronouncements on homosexuals, asserting, for instance, that gay marriage would lead to bestiality.

Essentially, Kennedy preached against the contemporary age and for a return to ignorance and barbarism.


Anonymous said...

Man, this is one narrow and bigoted commentary on D. James Kennedy. Who died and left you in charge of the universe? You sound rather dominionst to me.

Paul said...

Hi Anonymous! Welcome to the blog!

"Man, this is one narrow and bigoted commentary on D. James Kennedy."

You're welcome to give your side of the story. That might be more productive than criticizing a polemic for being a polemic.

"Who died and left you in charge of the universe?"

Do you have any facts to deal out or is this all about rhetoric?

"You sound rather dominionst to me."

Nothing could be further from the truth. Would you care to explain in factual terms how you can possibly entertain such a notion while yet being rational?