Mar 07, 2007

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today called on the Center for Reclaiming America to publicly disavow extreme statements made by Ann Coulter during a recent Center conference in Fort Lauderdale.

The Center, the political arm of TV preacher D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries, hosted Coulter during a “Reclaiming America for Christ Conference” March 2-3.

During her March 3 remarks at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Coulter issued an anti-gay slur and excused the murder of doctors who perform abortions.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, sharply criticized Coulter’s incendiary rhetoric and called on Gary Cass, head of the Center for Reclaiming America, to publicly repudiate it.

“Ann Coulter’s statements can only be described as loathsome,” said Lynn. “It is astounding to me that this type of vitriol was unleashed before a religious organization that claims to be ‘reclaiming’ America for Christ. This rhetoric must be repudiated immediately.”

In her remarks, Coulter made light of the murder of abortion doctors and clinic personnel.

Noting that seven doctors and clinic personnel had been killed, Coulter said, “Those few abortionists were shot, or, depending on your point of view, had a procedure with a rifle performed on them. I’m not justifying it, but I do understand how it happened....The number of deaths attributed to Roe v. Wade about 40 million aborted babies and seven abortion clinic workers; 40 million to seven is also a pretty good measure of how the political debate is going.”

The anti-gay slur against presidential contender John Edwards was a repeat of a remark that she had earlier made during an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Washington, D.C.

Answering an audience question during the Fort Lauderdale event, Coulter said, “I spoke at C-PAC yesterday, and I [took questions] about Obama and Hillary and Gore and global warming, and I said I was going to also have a few remarks about the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but apparently you have to go to rehab if you use the word ‘faggot.’”

In a letter to Cass today, AU’s Lynn wrote, “The fact that these comments were uttered during an event sponsored by a Christian organization and from a church sanctuary is particularly outrageous. I hope that Coulter’s remarks do not represent the sentiment of your organization and assume you will have no reluctance in making that clear.”

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.