D. James Kennedy, head honcho of Coral Ridge Ministries of Fort Lauderdale, is perhaps even more of a lying asshat than James Dobson and other megachurch mavens. I was living in the area when Hurricane Wilma hit last October, and despite losing power for close to two weeks myself, I remember getting a good laugh over seeing pictures and footage of Coral Ridge Church with its roof torn asunder, my amusement tempered only by the fact that the entire cursed building hadn’t been destroyed and carried off on the stinking, high-velocity breath of God himself, whose decision to repeatedly smite South Florida with windstorms is the sanest one He’s ever made.
I’ve decided that America really places no premium on honesty. None at all. Sure, some individuals still value personal integrity and the thought of lying fills them with discomfiture, but on the whole our society doesn’t merely tolerate bullshit, it virtually relies on it. The President bullshits the public, employers bullshit workers, spouses bullshit each other, parents bullshit their kids (and vice versa), students at all levels bullshit their professors and teachers, and even bloggers bullshit the people misguided enough to read their screeds. But leading the charge? High-profile religious figures, of course. They lie in federally funded abstinence “education” programs, they lie about evolution, they lie about physics, they lie about geology, and they even lie about what’s in their own intrinsically shit-streaked Bibles (an essential component of maintaining the claim that its contents are valid). And commoners of faith, conditioned from a young age to accept all manner of God-garbage unquestioningly, are all too eager to gulp down these mistruths. Salvation, baby!
Why bother prosecuting the thieving Lays and Milkens and Kozlowskis of the world when we freely tolerate dreck like the following taken from a link to a radio show, “Truths that Transform,” on the Coral Ridge home page?
Reclaiming Science from Darwinism (Part 2)
“Do you believe that Darwinism is a failed theory? Then you need to start acting like it! And you can! Why? Because the evidence points to a young Earth and a Creator! Want to know why? You can, when you join Dr. D. James Kennedy and his guest, Dr. Ken Poppe, on Truths That Transform.”
I didn’t listen to this or any of the other programs listed on the Truths that Transform site and I probably won’t, given that I don’t feel like running out and purchasing a new monitor after this one flies out the window and is smashed to pieces in the driveway two stories below. Kennedy, smiling paternally from two different graphics on his home page as if he’s just corn-hogged his favorite feline or farm animal, knows full well that there is no evidence for a “young Earth.” But he also knows that he can convince a great many people that such evidence does in fact exist and in so doing lure more people into the fold, said crease being the fetid crack of his prevaricating, money-grubbing ass. (Yep, I’m testy today.) And a site search for “homosexuality” of course yields a plethora of results (86 as of this writing), all of them bemoaning the far-flung evils of same-sex relations and urging visitors to actively combat this shameful solecism.
Coral Ridge also links to an outfit called the Creation Studies Institute. Here’s the CSI’s mission statement:
“It is our heart’s desire as a ministry, to serve the body of Christ by equipping you with the knowledge needed to refute the lies of evolution. We believe that through this knowledge, your faith will be strengthened, and you will be brought closer to Christ. Our goal is to prepare you to confidently share with others, the truth of Creation, as taught throughout the Bible. We also believe that when we receive the knowledge of Christ as our Creator, we are one step closer to knowing Him as Savior.”
Were it not for the aegis of religion, people spouting such drivel would likely be institutionalized; there is not one coherent sentence in this paragraph except, perhaps, for the second one, which merely promises to make adherents even more insane. Then there’s an undertaking by the CSI that the organization has termed “Operation SALT”:
“Through distribution of informative pamphlets/booklets, CSI will provide scientific evidences with qualified resources in the area of the origins of man and the universe. These will challenge the prevalent and popular evolutionary worldview, which practices deception, censorship and brainwashing. Each issue will contain information regarding a certain so-called ‘proof’ of evolution that is currently being taught in the secular school system through textbooks and lesson plans. CSI then tackles this ‘proof’ of evolution with the truth, using factual scientific evidence and quotes from the evolutionists themselves.”
I’ll start and end by pointing out that scientists don’t deal in “proving” anything. But there’s no reason to parse this nonsense any further. This isn’t a matter of religious people clinging stubbornly but innocently to a nutty belief system. Not all purveyors of “faith” are brainwashed — many of the more visible ones may have half a phallus in God’s toothless maw, but for the most part they’re about as devout as I am; they’re profiteers and racketeers, and whoever wrote the above passages is a shameless f*cking liar.
This is, if I remember correctly (and I admit may be thinking of Focus on the Family) the same church which at one point embedded words such as “gay” and “homosexual” in the META tags of certain pages on its Web site so as to lure Internet surfers to its “corrective measures” pertaining to queerdom. These were removed after a gay blogger called attention to them (and I forget the name and URL of said blog); regardless, the Coral Ridge site includes scads of material condemning homosexuality, including a stomach-turning manifesto titled “THE HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA: A BARRIER TO EVANGELISM,” written by Alliance Defense Fund president and former Reagan lapdog Alan Sears, who, given the depth of his fixation on gays’ motives, must have nightmares (or sweet dreams) each and every night about having his fudge packed by a gigantic, flouncing, tutu-wearing sodomite. Then there are the inevitable deconversion stories, which, according to the site, offer “evidence that Christ delivers from homosexuality.” That’s generous of him, since Jesus didn’t utter a word about homosexuality in the Bible. Jesus did say, “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery” (Luke 16:18), but Christians seem to pay precious little attention to this verse.
Coral Ridge, of course, offers many items for sale (the prices of which are termed “donations,” which may well fool most shoppers most of the time), among them books with titles that could make Eeyore burst into brays of laughter on his most dyspeptic, dysphoric day: Darwin’s Deadly Legacy, Evolution’s Fatal Fruit, The Collapse Of Evolution, Evidence For Creation, Evolution: The Root Of The Problem, D. James Kenedy Plays a Mean Skin-Flute. Okay, I made that last one up, but it’s the only title in the bunch that stands a chance of being true.
What’s most striking about Coral Ridge Ministries and the countless sites and outfits like it is the patency of their duplicitous, full-scale assault on reason and science. Christians, much like toddlers, are quick to bitch about being “marginalized” when they don’t get exactly what they want, when they want it; they complain bitterly when shows like Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! “mock” (the correct word is “expose”) religion. Yet these same whiners feel no compunction whatsoever about mocking “Darwinism” and everything else that scuttles their dogma — and they do it by dipping into an endless well of lies.
But take heart! It’s still early in Florida’s hurricane season.
8/16 11:49 UPDATE: P.Z. Myers has linked to his own D. James diatribe from the Pharyngula of yore. I have to admit that “lying asshat” doesn’t hold a candle to “dead-eyed, purse-lipped, mackerel-faced man,” but when reaming someone it’s important to cover all the bases.