The Passing of D. James Kennedy

D. James Kennedy, the longtime leader of the Coral Ridge megachurch in Florida has died at the age of 76.

Since suffering a heart attack late last year, Kennedy’s health had steadily declined, leading to the shuttering of his Center for Reclaiming America for Christ in April and his official retirement from Coral Ridge Ministries last week, after which we put together a profile of his lengthy and influential career.

PFAW has long monitored Kennedy and his affiliate organizations, leading him, at one point, to claim that “the diabolical mission” of People For the American Way was “to crush the influence of the Christian religion in American society.”  

Below are some other memorable quotes from his years as a leading right-wing figure: 

Separation of Church and State

“There are some who would accuse us of trying to Christianize America. Am I trying to Christianize America? You bet your boots I am!” (Broadcast, 7/2/1985)

“As the vice-regents of God, we are to bring His truth and His will to bear on every sphere of our world and our society. We are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government… our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors – in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.” (Christian Science Monitor, 3/16/2005)

“I trust that the day is soon coming when there will be someone who’ll be willing to take the fight all the way to the Supreme Court and to this godless, atheistic, evolutionary, amoral, collectivist, socialistic, communistic religion right out of the public system of our nation.” (10/14/84)

Kennedy also said that the idea of the separation of church and state is an erroneous one and is a “huge axe which is being used to demolish every vestige of Christianity in this nation.” (10/27/85).


“With other dangerous and contagious diseases, all sorts of efforts are made to identify those carrying the disease, and to minimize their contact with the public. And yet, here we have homosexual rights groups working day and night to make sure AIDS victims ARE NOT IDENTIFIED! … Until action is taken, AIDS victims are free to infect anyone …” (Newsletter, 1989)

Another newsletter item featured a photograph of very young children under the headline, “SEX WITH CHILDREN? HOMOSEXUALS SAY YES!” The newsletter went on to assert that “Adult sex with children has been a crucial component of the homosexual movement all along.”

“Whatever four members of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts may say, the intimate coupling of two men or two women is not marriage. It is a pale and misshapen counterfeit that will only serve to empty marriage of its meaning and destroy the institution that is the keystone in the arch of civilization. … If homosexuals win the right to ‘marry,’ expect further similarly argued claims challenging legal barriers to polygamy, bestiality, and child marriage.” (Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, 10/2003)

Other Quotations

“We need to do something about one of the great impediments to freedom in the world. I speak not of the Politboro, but of the radical liberals in the House of Representatives in this country who have passed laws cutting off aid to the freedom fighters in Angola…who have cut off aid to the Contras and are doing everything in their power to keep freedom fighters from being successful. These acts are absolutely unconscionable and border on treason. To have the gall to first pass a law making such acts illegal and then declare those who favor them are supporting illegal activities.” (2/3/1985).

“Hitler and Nazi Germany is only the kindergarten of evil whereas Soviet Russia is the graduate school.” (9/15/1985).

“The President has kept his promise. He pledged to nominate justices who ‘will strictly interpret the Constitution and will not use the bench to write social policy.’ John Roberts is, by all accounts, a judge who will hear cases and issue opinions in complete faithfulness to the text of the Constitution and the original intent of the Framers. He will not legislate from the bench.” (Center for Reclaiming America, 7/19/2005)

“To put it simply, no Darwin, no Hitler. … We have had 150 years of the theory of Darwinian evolution, and what has it brought us? Whether Darwin intended it or not, millions of deaths, the destruction of those deemed inferior, the devaluing of human life, increasing hopelessness; Darwin’s theory has been deadly, indeed. … The time has come to recognize that evolution is a bad idea and should be, frankly, discarded into the dustbin of history.” (2006)