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A Matter Of Pride And Prejudice?

September 01, 1996

It's too bad that Pat Jordan's otherwise interesting article on the Rev. D. Jaems Kennedy of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., ('The Calling," July 28) was marred by the author's ad nauseam use of the minister's speech inflection ("ahem") and by his attempt at second-guessing Kennedy's facial expressions ("He smiles what he believes is a pained smile, but it's more a smirk").

The editors who permitted all this to go to press may have considered these quasi-journalistic tactics amusing, but most of your readers will recognize a cheap shot when they see it.

Mark Stover

Thousand Oaks


While not even a Christian, let alone a Presbyterian, I was appalled by Jordan's McCarthy-style attack on Kennedy.

With one exception ($250,000 spent on music, $70,000 on programs for the poor), nothing of substance was discussed in the article. Rather, Kennedy was attacked for his stiff and calculated mannerisms and made guilty by association (Dan Quayle spoke in Kennedy's church; Dan Danziger, a church member, was involved in a scandal).

Now that doesn't strike me as professional reporting.

Dennis Gura

Santa Monica


Jordan stated that member of Kennedy's congregation were "more worried about making their way in this world than the next," but did he interview the congregation? I don't think so.

And while Jordan admits that Dr. Kennedy drives an '89 Mercury, lives in a modest house and has never been found guilty of any wrongdoing, the writer still seems to be sneering at the minister.

Nema Williams

Manhattan Beach


I won't attempt to evaluate Rev. Kennedy's brand of Christianity, but I will say he is miles off on his views of the separation of church and state. The Constitution as written says: "Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . . ." That makes it plain that the intent was to protect churches from the tyranny of government--and vice versa.

Earl Eager Albert

Temple City


The people who so readily accuse evangelical Christians of pride or judgmental attitudes are often the ones who themselves arrogantly judge the person accused.

Jordan fits that description. His innuendo-laden and misrepresentative writing, which made for excruciating reading, revealed prejudice throughout.

Ruth G. Kayser

Capistrano Beach


Jordan leaves a misimpression in that he simply refers to the minister and his congregation as "Presbyterian" without noting which Presbyterian denomination they belong to. Kennedy and Coral Ridge are not part of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the nation's largest and oldest Presbyterian denomination, which, with about 3.5 million members and 11,000 local congregations, represents some 90% of American Presbyterians. It's the denomination that most have in mind when they say "Presbyterian."

Instead, Kennedy and COral Ridge are affiliated with a right-wing offshoot called the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), which as about 250,000 members and some 1,200 congregations. PCA separated from the larger denomination in 1973 to protest, among other things, the ordination of women as ministers.

Jeff Book

Beverly Hills

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