Hard on Falwell's heels
Coral Ridge Ministries announced today that D. James Kennedy died during the night, passing away in his sleep. The famous televangelist was struck down by a cardiac arrest last December and never fully recovered. Although not as famous as Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell, Kennedy was one of the smoothest purveyors of right-wing religious homilies. He specialized in an unctuous pseudo-intellectualism that must have been especially impressive to the ignorant or small-minded.
Religion and conservative politics were deeply intertwined for Kennedy. He pushed his political agenda with such organizations as the recently terminated Center for Reclaiming America for Christ. He staunchly denied human responsibility for global warming and never tired of attacking evolution. His was a Republican Jesus.
Death should have been welcomed by Kennedy at the end of his three-score sixteen years. It was supposed to be, after all, the day of reckoning and the time for Kennedy to join the ranks of the sheep while the unsaved get pushed into the milling herd of goats. He would occasionally gloat over the prospect. For example, Kennedy once made a snide remark about Stephen Jay Gould during one of his sermons: “He died recently, and he met the Creator face-to-face.” Kennedy was amused at the thought that the famous evolutionist would have perforce become a posthumous creationist. His smug confidence was based on a blind faith that his Christian fantasy was a correct depiction of reality. Kennedy would cluck his tongue and shake his head in serene Schadenfreude at the supposed discomfiture in the afterlife of those with whom he disagreed. The lucky man will never discover if he was wrong, since the absence of an afterlife is not attended with any disappointment.
Kennedy was undoubtedly looking forward to being admitted to the heavenly bleachers that afford the elect an edifying view of the suffering of the damned. Well, his ticket's been punched now, but I really doubt there was anyone waiting to admit him to any eternal reward.