When the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ shut down earlier this year, all eyes were on its founder, televangelism titan D. James Kennedy, who passed away a few months later. But what about its low-key director, Gary Cass—whatever happened to him?
Well, he’s recently set up a new group called the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission. Like the Catholic League front group Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation, Cass’s organization plays on the reputation of the Anti-Defamation League to signify that there is currently a trend of “bigotry” against Christians in the U.S. on par with the anti-Semitism that marked the period leading up to the Holocaust.
The “persecuted majority” theme is nothing new on the Religious Right; nor is it new territory for Cass, who spoke at the “War on Christians” conference in 2006. Cass has apparently written a book called “Christian Bashing”: “It is time for Christians to stand up and call bigotry by its rightful name and to fight back when defamed,” he cries.
And now Cass is turning to the presidential primary. He denounced Rudy Giuliani after the candidate said he didn’t take the biblical story of Jonah and the whale literally. “It’s either Jesus and Jonah or Giuliani. I prefer Christ’s approach to the Bible,” wrote Cass. When Mitt Romney gave his religion speech, Cass was quick to tread where few other religious-right activists would go, attacking Romney’s “Mormon dollars” and the church’s alleged “hostility to Christianity”:
As a Bishop in the Mormon Church, Mitt Romney is free to believe Mormonism’s doctrines, practice their secret rituals and take their sacred vows, but Romney’s Mormon beliefs are not Christian. More importantly, he has not renounced Mormonism’s historic antipathy toward Christianity. This is an important aspect of any evaluation the American voters make regarding his fitness for office.
And last week, rather than follow in the footsteps of Mike Huckabee-booster Janet Folger, Cass’s predecessor at the Center for Reclaiming America, Cass endorsed the slumberous campaign of Fred Thompson. Thompson, who appears to be hoping for a “strong third” in Iowa, said that he was “deeply grateful” and that Cass was “held in high regard by conservative Evangelical Christians across the country.” So can we expect Thompson to liven up his campaign by alleging widespread “bigotry” against Christians and muttering about the “secret rituals” of his opponent’s religion?