Center for Reclaiming America

The Center for Reclaiming America is an offshoot of Dr. D. James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries. Once again, we see a radical religious right group co-opting the word "America" to make their narrow-minded, discriminatory, intolerant agenda seem to be "American". The clear subliminal message (an oxymoron, I know) is that if you do not support the Center, you are "unAmerican".

Coral Ridge Ministries began in 1974 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Today, what started as a radio simulcast of a sermon has blossomed into a multi-medium media giant that produces The Coral Ridge Hour, Truths That Transform and The Kennedy Commentary, reaching almost 3 million people every week. The Center for Reclaiming America began in 1996 and in 2004, introduced a new executive director, Dr. Gary Cass. The Center's own website lists five areas where they focus their efforts and energies in what they call a "culture war":

  • religious liberties (again, making the claim that Christians in general are being denied rights)
  • the sanctity of life (anti-choice, anti-euthenasia, anti-right to die)
  • the proverbial (and non-existant) "homosexual agenda"
  • pornography
  • creationism

In the late 1990's, the Center was making the news quite often with a series of "ex-gay" ads that were often set to air while gay pride events were taking place. While the ad campaign was called "Truth in Love", it was nothing more than bigotry and intolerance hiding behind the mask of religion. Janet Folger, then CRA's director and creator of the ad campaign, appeared on ABC's "Nightline" in June, 1998 and stated that she supported criminal charges for homosexual "contact". In addition, pamphlets that the group mailed out as part of a fundraising effort once again fanned the flames of fear by suggesting that all gays are pedophiles and that public schools are promoting the "homosexual agenda."

With Bush one more being installed as president, CRA, who had all but disappeared from the news, has one more been "resurrected". In February, 2005, CRA met in Ft. Lauderdale for a rally. At that rally, Dr. D. James Kennedy stated:

"Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost....As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors — in short, over every aspect and institution of human society."

"Whatever the cost" should scare the hell out of everyone. They are saying they will stop at nothing. (And I believe they have done far more than most would ever suspect, but that's an entirely different can of worms.) While researching this article, I came across a posting on a site called Home School Building Connections that was posted by Dr. Cass regarding a case that is before the US Supreme Court that could overturn Roe v Wade. CRA has invested thousands of hours into this case, filed by the original "Jane Roe". This site is for homeschoolers in western Michigan— yet CRA is posting messages on their website promoting their agenda. This is indicative of the methodology of the RRR: to work their way up the ladder of power, one rung at a time by working at the very local level to win elections and then moving on to city-wide or state-wide election victories before going national.

How do we stop this kind of political take over? This "bloodless coup" of the American ideals? How can we prevent these kinds of groups from having the influence that they do? For my thoughts on that, please check The Solution section of this site.

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Click on any of the links below to read more articles about the Center for Reclaiming America.
D. James Kennedy: Reclaiming America for Christ D. James Kennedy: Reclaiming America for Christ
Synopsis: An older article (written in 1997) that goes into great detail about the Coral Ridge Ministries and the Center, including a more personal side to the members of the Coral Ridge church in Fort Lauderdale.
Reclaiming America For Christ? Reclaiming America For Christ?
Synopsis: Another older article (1999— seems CRA hasn't been in the news much lately or I'm not looking in the right places) but a very candid and frightening look at the fear-mongering and extremism of the CRA.
Issues Tearing Our Nation's Fabric Issues Tearing Our Nation's Fabric
Synopsis: WARNING: This article is more of a short ebook, written by Dr. Kennedy himself, and appearing on the site of Leadership U, the online resource hub that is associated with Campus Crusade for Christ. The lies, distortions and misrepresentations being put forth on all the issues mentioned is worth seeing for yourself straight from the horse's mouth.
Ex-gay Media Notes Ex-gay Media Notes
Synopsis: A more recent article (2003) that contains some interesting facts about Randy Thomas, who originally wrote to Coral Ridge Ministries complaining about their use of ex-gays for the promotion of bigotry. It also contains links to other articles about CRA.
Pro-life Fireball Folger Roars Through Arizona Pro-life Fireball Folger Roars Through Arizona
Synopsis: An article about the former head of CRA, Janet Folger. It is interesting to note some of the tactics used to get their agenda passed: even more interesting to note that the GOP is proud of using deception and misleading information as viable and valuable— and laudable— tools for advancing their political agenda.
For evangelicals, a bid to 'reclaim America' For evangelicals, a bid to 'reclaim America'
Synopsis: In March, 2005, Coral Ridge Ministries hosted a conference designed to teach the average Christian how to become help "reclaim America for Christ". This extensive article, appearing the Christian Science Monitor, highlights the thinking and goals of the Center as well as providing quotes from critics and pointing out some of the flaws in the RRR's "logic".

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