That afternoon, I was told to shower twice with this special soap before my operation. They told me it would take about four hours and that they would stop my heart and I would have my blood pumped and oxygenated by a heart-lung machine. I really didn't like thinking about it, especially when they told me of all the tubes that would be inserted into me. During an operation for cancer about three years ago, I had the floor of my mouth removed and I woke during the operation. I told them to just keep me out, I didn't want to wake up with my chest open like a scene from CSI. My Doctor, a man who gave me much confidence because of his age and demeanor, promised me that they would not let that happen.
After my first bath, I was alone in my room with my thoughts. I really felt very uncomfortable with those thoughts of surgery and dying, so I turned on the TV. I hadn't brought my glasses and I had a hard time flipping the channels located on the side of the bed, so I settled on a D. James Kennedy video about the founding fathers and religion. I had known Dr. Kennedy in Ft. Lauderdale, so I figured I would sit down and listen to a historical viewpoint of religion and the founding fathers as told from the evangelical right. I had heard some people at the college I work at bring up the subject, and claim that the successive generations had gotten the separation of church and state wrong. That the United States was founded as a Christian nation under God, and that the separation of church and state was misunderstood. I figured I'd take a look-see and hear D. James Kennedy tell me the "real" truth. Boy, was that a stupid thing to do! He used to call himself Dr. D. James Kennedy, now it seems, the Doctor part has been thrown out. I believe I now know why, after watching that piece of right wing religious propaganda.
The video was a rambling litany of supposed statements made by our founding fathers from Ben Franklin to John Quincy Adams. It talked about the "Freedom of Religion". This was he said, also one and the same as a Christian America. That our founding fathers had always thought of America a nation "under God", and that secular "extremists" were consistently trying to stop America from coming into it's own as a Judeo-Christian nation, under the "bible".
At the end of the video, Kennedy goes on to beg for money to stop the evil "secularists" from pushing their views of a secular America down the throats of good honest Christians (and Jews, for now). He said that for $25 he could bring this video to every American home. That they could, with their $25.00, also fight the secularists with him. I used to see Kennedy and his family drive into Coral Ridge Church every Sunday. I saw the brand new white Lincoln Towncars that they drove there in. I suppose he also needs gas to get to church too.
That video I watched before open-heart surgery made me promise myself that if I survived this operation, the very first thing that I would do upon my recovery, is write this. I hate revisionists. Whether they are right wing, left wing, religious or secular. We have a hard enough time getting fact separated from fiction without people changing history on us. Even Jesus Christ supposedly said that his Father's kingdom is not of this Earth. D. James Kennedy should stick to his pulpit and stop trying to remake history and our nation into something closer to what his vision is. All I have seen theocratic governments do is oppress people under God's name. Many people of the same religion have a completely different idea of God than the person sitting right next to them. Some people seem to need religion to exist, to make life meaningful. Whatever works for them is great, but don't shove your religion down other peoples throats. I'm sure that if you ask Kennedy what religion our founding fathers wanted for our Christian America, he would be glad to tell me...for another $25.00.