The Southern Baptist Convention is getting rid of the radio show of Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, over charges he plagiarized and made racially-charged comments while speaking about the Trayvon Martin case. The Southern Baptist Convention is the official organization of America’s Baptists, and is believed to be the “world’s largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members as of 2010. It is also the second largest Christian body in the United States, after the Catholic Church,” according to Wikipedia.
Calling Land “a major Religious Right figure and cheerleader for the GOP,” Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch writes:
Back in April, we reported that the leader of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) said that African American “race hustlers” were using Martin’s death to “gin up the black vote” for President Obama, whom he said “poured gasoline on the racialist fires.” After his remarks generated controversy, as his denomination has been working to improve its relationship with the black community as a result of its racist past, Land pledged to never apologize. Later, Land issued a non-apology apology that blamed others for having “misunderstood” him, which only intensified the outcry from black pastors in the SBC.
Moreover, Baptist blogger Aaron Weaver found that Land plagiarized part of his remarks on the Martin shooting from a Washington Times column, and also plagiarized columns from other conservative publications like the Washington Examiner and Investor’s Business Daily in previous broadcasts. The ERLC promptly pulled his radio show archives off his website while Land tried to claim that it isn’t plagiarism when other people’s words are lifted on the radio.
Land eventually offered a second apology and the ERLC launched an investigation, and today released two reprimands for Land’s racially-insensitive remarks and “for quoting material without giving attribution.” The ERLC said Land’s “hurtful, irresponsible, insensitive, and racially charged words” regarding the Martin shooting had “re-opened wounds,” and acknowledged “that instances of plagiarism occurred because of his carelessness and poor judgment.”
The ERLC concluded that “the content and purpose of the Richard Land Live! broadcast” are “not congruent with the mission of the ERLC” and will be pulling the show once its contract with Salem Radio Network ends.
Richard Land‘s biography on the SBC’s website currently reads:
Princeton (A.B., magna cum laude) and Oxford (D.Phil.) educated, Dr. Richard Land has served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission since 1988. During his tenure as representative for the largest Protestant denomination in the country, Dr. Land has represented Southern Baptist and other Evangelicals’ concerns in the halls of Congress, before U.S. Presidents, and in the media.
In 2005, Dr. Land was featured in Time Magazine as one of The Twenty-five Most Influential Evangelicals in America.
As host of For Faith & Family and Richard Land LIVE!, two nationally syndicated radio programs, Dr. Land speaks passionately and authoritatively on the social, ethical, and public policy issues facing our country. Listeners can hear these broadcasts on over 700 radio stations across the country and on-demand on the Internet.
Regular readers are familiar with Dr. Land, a virulent homophobe, who this week on his soon-to-be-canceled radio show said that “the devil takes pleasure in anything that causes destruction in human society and the homosexual lifestyle does cause destruction.”
Sadly, that was not cause for firing by the Southern Baptist Convention.
Nor was Land’s participation in April in a short film that attacked Hillary Clinton for supporting the rights of gay people as “human rights,” and advocated for the criminalization of homosexuals in this country and abroad.
Nor was Land’s participation in another short film, again in April, that portrayed heterosexual, righteous, “moral” Christians as the Titanic, and homosexuality, aka the “radical homosexual agenda” as the iceberg.
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