D. James Kennedy, Super Genius

He can outsmart you.

I have a bunch of Coral Ridge Hours sitting on my Tivo. The late D. James Kennedy had a way of distilling fundie beliefs into their essences and delivering them in compact 15-minute sermons. That’s why I like to watch them every so often. It’s sort of a Reader’s Digest of stupid.

Today I finally watched one I had been sitting on for a while. It’s called “The Biblical Basis for Our Constitution”. I really thought that he’d be able to make at least a few strong arguments for his case. Instead, all I could think of as I listened to him was Wile E. Coyote. Try as he might, every contrivance that the coyote uses to catch the Road Runner ends up as a massive fizzle. Likewise, every contrivance that DJK uses in today’s sermon is also a painful fizzle. I guess we know where he buys his sermons.

DJK preparing a sermon.

(BTW, since Wile E. Coyote had enough money to keep buying all of that crap from Acme, why didn’t he just use that money to buy dinner instead?)

DJK starts by saying millions of people believe that this country was not founded as a Christian nation, it does not have a Christian constitution, and the founders were not Christian. But DJK knows better!

So here are his six “proofs” that the Constitution is based on the Bible:

1. Governance by law and not by man. (He means a specific man, such as a king.) He does not explain how this is Biblical.

DJK making a point.

2. All men are created equal. He pulls this from the Declaration of Independence—a completely different document—and that’s somehow proof that our Constitution is based on the Bible.

DJK with a strap-on.

3. Inalienable rights. The Bible mentions inalienable rights. Ipso facto, the Constitution is Biblical.

DJK denying evolution.

4. Liberty. The Bible uses the word “liberty”. The Constitution uses the word “liberty”. Wow! It’s like they have the same author!

DJK tangled in his own logic.

5. They believe that man is sinful. John Adams said that men had a certain depravity. Somehow what Adams believed is what they all believed.

DJK also says that this is the reason for the separation of powers. While it is true that we have separation of powers, that is to prevent any one person from getting too much power. That’s because there will always be individuals who abuse power. The system is protection against individuals, not all of humanity.

If the founders truly believed that man was inherently evil, then why did they even bother to form a republic? If humanity as a whole were bad, then there would be no hope for a self-governed populace. The structure of our government suggests that the founders believed that man is basically good. This is actually a rejection of Biblical beliefs.

DJK chasing some tail.

6. They give the date of the document as “In the year of our lord…”. This is actually the only place in the document that a deity is implied. So because they used the convention of the day, that’s somehow proof they were Christians.

Here’s a little experiment the fundies can do. Why don’t they go to Saudi Arabia and buy a barrel of oil? Then look at the receipt and see what date is written there. If the year says 2008, then the fundies have just proven that all Muslims are actually Christians!

Another sizzling sermon.

DJK adds:

And so we see from one end to the other, the American Constitution is based upon principles that our founders took from the Bible.

So now he’s saying that his only criterion is that a few of the principles in the Constitution come from the Bible. Well he’s on especially weak ground now. I previously showed that many of the principles of the Constitution actually come from Islam. The best he could come up with was six weak examples. I showed far more, and far stronger, examples for the Islamic basis of our Constitution. DJK just proved my earlier article! Thanks, DJ!

He should have asked for help writing his sermon long ago.

DJK finishes his Acme order with this quote:

A constitution that is hated by many people in this country today, who are doing everything in their power to dismantle it and remove all of its Christian values.

He has this backwards. There are no exclusively Christian values in the Constitution. Therefore, there is nothing for non-Christians to remove. More importantly, it is the fundies who hate the Constitution. It is the Constitution that prohibits them from creating the theocracy that many of them crave. It is the fundies who are trying to destroy the Constitution by loading the Supreme Court with revisionist judges. It is the fundies who advocate amending the Constitution to:

  • Take away the rights of some people to enter into contracts (with a “defense of marriage” amendment).
  • Curtail freedom of speech (with a “flag desecration” amendment).
  • Remove the right to privacy (with an anti-abortion amendment).
  • And on… and on….

D. James Kennedy died last year of unspecified causes, although allegedly somehow related to a cardiac arrest he suffered months earlier. These are, in fact, lies. I have discovered through my exhaustive research the true facts of his death. This is the vehicle he was driving immediately before his demise:

DJK's latest Acme order has arrived.

24 Responses to “D. James Kennedy, Super Genius”

  1. cipher Says:

    This is really brilliant! And you’re right,of course – the fundies don’t favor democracy. They’re just pissed off that they can’t have a theocracy.

    I absolutely despised that man. A living encapsulation of everything that is most hateful about Christianity.

  2. Warren Says:

    I was always under the impression that Wile E. Coyote (super genius) had a large line of credit with ACME and since ACME, which sells no food, is the only company stupid enough to extend credit to wildlife he had to resort to mechanically assisted shenanigans to procure food. Then again perhaps I’ve given far too much thought to this…

  3. The Improp Says:

    Awesome post!!!

    Wait, if Wile E. Coyote is the cartoon representation of Fundies… and Foghorn Leghorn is Fred Thompson, then maybe the liberal media is just a response to the Christian Conservative Cartoon Industry that dominated our world for many years prior to the 24-hour “news” services?

  4. Parrotlover77 Says:

    The “humanity is basically good” versus “humanity is basically evil” argument is an old one. It, in fact, is one of the subtle dividing lines between conservative and liberal political beliefs historically. Conservative ideology tends to focus more on keeping the citizenry protected from themselves and others, whereas liberal ideology focuses more on uplifting the citizenry equally. Broad brushes, I know. But it does help explain why fundies are more “at home” in conservative political parties, despite liberal political parties tending to side more with the teachings of Jesus.

  5. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Warren – But how do you explain ACME bird seed, eh?! I have poked a hole in your logic! I have proof!

    Acme birdseed

  6. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Huh, tried an <img> tag, but it didn’t work… So you’ll have to visit the link yourself. :-)

  7. Ron Britton Says:

    Parrotlover:

    WordPress doesn’t allow mere mortals (i.e., the great unwashed masses) to embed images. The primary reason is that if it did, the spammers would hit us with the most disgusting images you’ve ever seen (You wouldn’t believe some of the revolting spam the filter catches. I’d hate to see what some of that stuff actually looks like.). A secondary reason is that it’s rude to hot-link images. You might be surprised how many people do it to me.

    I added the image to your comment. Funnily enough, the web host that image is from (rr.com) is called Road Runner!

    BTW, how is the coyote supposed to open that can? I’d hate to see what an Acme can opener looks like.

  8. Warren Says:

    Foiled by evidence again! Still what self respecting coyote would eat bird seed?

  9. Josh Nankivel Says:

    Loved it! Do you have a link to videos by him so we can all enjoy?

  10. Troy Says:

    Yes, trying to implicate the constitution of the United States as a christian or even a theological document is an exercise in futility. The only mention of religion besides “anno domini” as the date is that there is to be no religious test for office. If you want a truly theistic constitution look to Iran, you’ll see what one looks like. The constitution’s make up is a combination of 18th century political theory separation of powers the chief one. It relies heavily on government experiments of pagan city states of Ancient Greece (many experimental types of government were tried during that period among them Athenian democracy). Many pagan Roman institutions were also used as inspiration, the Senate for example, a stable body of oldsters (sen same root as senile and senior) While the governmental model of the Bible remains basically twofold a period of Judges and a period of Kings (both books of the bible). Jesus is known as the King of Kings, not the president of presidents. In separating powers the constitution could have included a religious branch of the government, and I believe there was such consideration. Fortunately, it didn’t make the cut. Also it should be noted the Constitution actually renders the Declaration of Independence (as well as the articles of Confederation) null and void. Using them in a discussion is a red herring.

  11. cipher Says:

    Jesus is known as the King of Kings, not the president of presidents.

    Unfortunately, not much difference here, these days.

  12. Parrotlover77 Says:

    You know, I always pictured the phrase “king of kings” as more metaphorical than literal. But in the context of the bible, where God is the ruling body we must obey without question, it is, indeed, literal. That’s a great point about what true political influence from the bible would be. It would be a kingship. If Jesus advocated democracy, he would have told everybody to vote for him as Messiah. Hmm, that probably wouldn’t have gone over too well, methinks.

  13. Transplanted Lawyer Says:

    I hope I do not need to point out that as originally drafted, not all men were created equal under the Constitution. Some only counted for .6 of a man — a number lacking much Biblical precedent.

    Also as originally drafted, the status of women was at best left unclear. Which is admittedly somewhat better than the Bible’s treatment of women in quite a number of places.

    Troy, while you’re right that the Declaration of Independence is not a legally binding document, it is also not without significance insofar as it provides an insight into the understanding of what the Founders thought their rights as Englishmen were; it gives us a glimpse into the ancient rights that the Founders believed transcended and informed their work in drafting the Constitution and its early Amendments. It describes very general principles of rights and specific instances of how the government violated them. In that sense it could be considered part of the common law of the United States.

  14. pandora Says:

    This is a bit off topic here, but I wanted to hit a recent piece for relevance. Thanks for sticking this blog out on the web. I find the content interesting and very thought provoking. I once leaned toward fundamentalist beliefs. I am sickened by it now. I consider myself a follower of Jesus, but what I read of Jesus is not represented in today’s fundamentalist churches. The funny thing to me is that HATE is not a fundamental of Christianity. Isn’t that ironic? Fundamentalists claim to hate sin and love sinners, but it seems like they just hate anyone not like them. They say freedom of religion but mean freedom of MY religion and freedom from yours. You’d also think that tolerance would be a fruit of love (which Jesus speaks of regularly). Funny, there’s none of that either (tolerance). They spit some very hateful words, and when it is returned to them it becomes religious persecution. I could keep on going. I really like some of the subject matter covered, and I read others’ comments and see my sentiments reflected. I am, though, a little apprehensive being here because it seems that the general consensus here is that anyone who believes in God is an unintelligent, bigoted, second-rate citizen. And, well, I believe in God. I’m not here to fight but rather to be involved in the conversation from time to time. Not every follower of Jesus is obnoxious, hateful, bigoted, greedy, condescending… and the list goes on. There is real food for thought here. Thanks.

  15. Ron Britton Says:

    Pandora:

    Thanks for your comment. I’m glad I’m not scaring all of the religious folk away.

    My main beef is with the fundamentalists and people who behave like them (e.g., Bill Donohue, Ben Stein, etc.). My objection is entirely with their behavior, not their beliefs. You can believe the craziest stuff for all I care, just don’t try to impose your beliefs onto others.

    I do take generalized pokes (hopefully not too hard) at all religion from time to time, but it’s usually just to point out that I disagree with the whole idea of supernatural entities and miracles and just accepting things on faith. I try to reserve the savage beatings for the fundies.

    I do think the human race would be better off without religion, but I accept the reality that it seems to be wired into the brain somehow. Since we seem to be stuck with it, we need to find a way to live with it without letting it get out of control. Sometimes I get frustrated at all religion, because I feel like we’re losing the battle to keep it contained.

    I don’t expect (or even want) my readers to agree with everything I write. I’m gratified to see that I have some readers who feel that the stuff they agree with is good enough that they’ll overlook the stuff I write that they disagree with.

  16. OtherRob Says:

    It describes very general principles of rights and specific instances of how the government violated them. In that sense it could be considered part of the common law of the United States.

    IANAL, but my understand is that, unlike England, there is no such thing as “common law” in the U.S. While the DoI is, IMHO, one of the most important things ever written, it has zero force of law in the U.S.

    I am, though, a little apprehensive being here because it seems that the general consensus here is that anyone who believes in God is an unintelligent, bigoted, second-rate citizen.

    Unfortunately this is an attitude I’ve seen a bit of in the skeptical community. I’ve got more to say on this subject, but I keep erasing and trying to start over. I’ll have to organize my thoughts better…

  17. pandora Says:

    Ron–Thanks for the answer to my post. I take no issue with anything you said, and I do accept your brand of badgering of religion because it is making a valid point (and I have to admit I like it). You’re witty and smart. Another thing I’d like to say is that I am actually a skeptic by nature and like to be around and read people who do not have the same beliefs as me. It is a way to keep myself in check and it usually brings up points of view that I may not have thought of. Intelligent dialogue is good food for the mind too. So, in short, thanks for clarifying.

    OtherRob–I agree it’s unfortunate, but I understand where the sentiment comes from.

  18. Sue Blue Says:

    Want a taste of theocracy? Visit Kentucky, the only state magically protected by God from terrorist attacks.

  19. OtherRob Says:

    Sue, I just read that article. Scary. And so who, exactly, would get the blame should a terrorist attack occur in Kentucky?

  20. Bunkie Says:

    OtherRob, don’t you know? Let’s see. Not all prayer is answered the way you want it to be answered. The people did not pray enough/were not faithful enough, so god is teaching them a lesson. It’s because of the godless people/the homosexuals/the whatever and god is punishing the people for not converting them/for allowing them to be there. The list could go on and on. What will not be on the list is that it was god’s fault or that god doesn’t exist.

    Isn’t that how it always is?

  21. OtherRob Says:

    Pandora, I do understand where a lot of it comes from — the frustration of making the same argument, showing the same evidence, over and over and over again without that making any difference. I just think that, even as justified as it might be, such tactics hurt “the cause” more than they help.

  22. Sue Blue Says:

    OtherRob, I believe it would be the gays. God’s aim is notoriously bad; if he allowed terrorists to attack Kentucky, it would be because of those gay weddings in Massachusetts or Connecticut, or because Prop 8 got overturned in California. Bunkie has it right. God don’t like him all that tolerance.

    That being said, Kentuckians might bring it on themselves because they’re not demonstrating quite enough faith in god. They still have police and fire departments, don’t they? And emergency services, hospitals, and courthouses? Why not really give god the credit (not to mention cutting the state budget down to zero) by doing away with all those services? Let God sort it out.

  23. OtherRob Says:

    Oh, that’s right. I forgot all about those homosexuals that God hates. Yes, the ones who want to enter into committed, loving partnerships with each other. The ones who want the same rights as Britney Spears (who could get legally married tomorrow, get a divorce, and get legally married next month) or Elizabeth Taylor who has been legally wed, what, eight times. What was I thinking??

    Though, seriously, if something should happen to Kentucky, they would say that folk just didn’t believe strongly enough.

  24. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Want a taste of theocracy? Visit Kentucky, the only state magically protected by God from terrorist attacks.

    That’s fantastic! At work we E-Vault all our system backups to Kentucky in case of regional disaster (we’re on the east coast). Now that I know God magically protects Kentucky, I’m glad I chose that location over the Tennessee E-Vault (our only other choice sufficiently far away from us).