As I am a rage-aholic you'll understand that when I turned on Fresh Air with Terry Gross last night on NPR, I could not turn it off even after learning that her guest was D. James Kennedy, the founder of Evangelism Explosion International. Even more telling, Kennedy started the Center for Reclaiming America (for Christ) and "he runs the Statesmanship Institute, designed to give holders of public office tools for integrating biblical principles into lawmaking." But I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, so I stayed tune, only to find myself in the midst of a massive rage-ahol bender.
Seriously, I almost drove off the road, screaming "What?!?!? WHAT?!?!?!" as he spoke.
The timber of Kennedy's voice is soothing and friendly and it's easy to see why his mega-church, Choral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida has 10,000 members. Unfortunately, I am unable to listen to NPR at work and I can't replay the interview and quote some of the stuff he said. Just click on the Fresh Air link above if you want to hear it.
First off, Kennedy insists that the founding fathers never intended for there be a separation of church and state. He's a well-read man and he has a whole bunch of quotes from John Adams and John Jay to back that opinion up. Of course, there are an equal number of quotes that could counter that, for instance, Thomas Jefferson was a huge believer in the separation of church and state:
"Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."
But never mind that. Terry Gross is a skilled interviewer, but she's no Steve Inskeep - her talents lie in getting people to really say what they think, but she doesn't necessarily go after a person for contradictions. Of course, Bill O'Reilly disagrees with me, but what else is new. (My favorite part is when O'Reilly claims that his interview with Terry is the only one he's ever terminated... god, he lies easier than he breathes. Whatever, I can't get started on Bill right now, he makes me so mad.) Anyway, listening to this guy Kennedy made me want to yell at Terry to start challenging him. She did a little, but I think she's softened up on conservatives ever since the O'Reilly debacle.
Okay, Kennedy thinks that it's the duty of Christians to support other Christians in political office, and that Christians ought to fervently pursue their biblical agenda, namely smiting gays, getting rid of pornography, making abortion illegal, and yes, promoting creationism (i.e., ending the teaching of evolution in schools). No mention about helping the poor or loving your neighbor as yourself, because apparently those Christian tenets are not important.
When Terry asked Kennedy if he wondered what Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, and secularists thought about all the stuff he had to say about how we ought to be a country based on Christian beliefs, he basically said that this country was founded as a Christian nation and we ought to abide by that. And gee whiz, why should they be pissy about me supporting Christian politicians who aggressively pursue my agenda? I don't tell them they can't support secularists! Great logic. Actually, douchebag, didn't you just say that our country shouldn't be secularist? This guy basically just said that he doesn't give a rat's ass about what people of other religions think because we're a country founded on "Christian morals." Okay, so it's at this point that my rage is at full boil.
And then he dropped the bomb. He compared proponents of evolution to Nazis and Communists. Honey, you are definitely losing an argument when you have to drop the H bomb - that's the Hitler bomb. Yep, he said Hitler was an ardent evolutionist, and that there is a direct corrolation to The Origin of the Species and the mass genocide of the Holocaust, and in fact all genocide. I'm not being hyperbolic. He actually said that.
Listen to it if you get a chance. I'm seriously going to have a stroke someday while listening to the news. But it's so good, I can't stop myself. Ahhh, rage-ahol.