FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5th, 2007
A Statement from The Reverend Durrell Watkins, Canon Precentor & Canon Pastor-elect of Sunshine Cathedral MCC
I would like to offer sincere condolences to the friends, family, and admirers of Dr. D. James Kennedy who made his transition this morning from this life experience to the next.
Dr. Kennedy was well known as the founding pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL and as a leader in the right wing of Protestant Christianity and conservative politics in the United States. He may be most remembered for his evangelical zeal, his combining religious devotion with nationalistic pride, and his opposition to abortion and gay rights.
That Dr. Kennedy was a strong leader cannot be questioned, and yet we must also recognize that his vitriolic rhetoric against same-gender loving people caused a lot of needless suffering in our society. While we wish comfort for those who mourn, we also wish for a day when religion doesn’t promote division, hatred, and prejudice.
We are sorry for the illness Dr. Kennedy has suffered these last several months. And we are very sorry for his loved ones who will miss him. But we are also sorry for the homophobic and intolerant message for which Dr. Kennedy was so well known. We hope for a new day when worshiping communities can grow and thrive with a message of what they are for, rather than what and who they are against.
Sunshine Cathedral, a Metropolitan Community Church affiliated with The Center for Progressive Christianity, affirms that the soul of D. James Kennedy will dwell in eternal light and love, where there is no division, exclusion, or prejudice. And from that place of eternal and all-inclusive love, we trust that James Kennedy will now be praying that all of our divisions on Earth may cease and our hatreds and suspicions will be healed.
Contact: Rev. Durrell Watkins, MA, MDiv