Richard Land--ELRC head

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Speedpass, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. Speedpass

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    On another Baptist website, which mainly caters to the moderate to liberal crowd, there is ongoing talk about how bad a person Richard Land. What has he done wrong? It seems like he is accused of being a puppet for Karl Rove and the White House, ruining the Baptist tradition of separation of church and state.
     
  2. LadyEagle

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    #2 LadyEagle, Jan 24, 2007
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  3. bobbyd

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    Let's see, Richard Land is a conservative Southern Baptist who speaks on behalf of the ERLC on issues of public policy that line up with many of those of much maligned Bush Administration, and that "evil" Karl Rove. Yeah, typical rhetoric you hear from those who hate hearing the truth.
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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    Sort of. He's very well politically-connected to the so-called "conservative resurgence" group and has been a major player in the back room deals, but he hasn't "conserved" much about our Baptist heritage regarding public policy... especially the long-held Baptist doctrine of separation of church and state.


    I'm a Bush supporter, but Bush and his people are misled by people like Land regarding church and state issues.

    Not a fan of Rove.

    Sounds like you haven't spend much time with him personally. I've been with him an at least three occasions where he had every reason to believe that everyone in the room was a supporter, and his callousness for people who are different from him is astounding.

    A friend of mine who, previous to meeting Land was a big fan, was very disturbed by Richard Land calling people who have physical and mental handicaps "defectives" who shouldn't be catered to or have public policy altered by their needs. My friend was born with malformed hands and feet and personally tried to talk to Land about it during a break, but Land wouldn't back off from his remarks and shunned him for the rest of the class. (This was in an I-term class taught by Land about two years ago at Southwestern Seminary until the regime of Mr. Patterson.)

    I'll resist the obvious parallels to Nazi dogma and merely point out that Land's attitude did not resemble the compassionate and helpful attitude of Jesus toward those who have afflictions. Would Jesus refer to people with afflictions as "defectives?" How can he be a disciple of Christ with that attitude?
     
  5. Bible-boy

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    I just took a summer class here at SEBTS with Dr. Land. The class was "Ethics and the State" and it directly addressed the issues surrounding the SBC position on Church and State. I don't know where you all are getting that his position is somehow different than the traditional Baptist position. Everything he taught us lined up with the traditional Baptist position on the separation of Church and State and was based on historic Baptist documents that address the topic. The ERLC under his leadership has published a lot of material on the issue and it is all out there for everyone to read. However, so far no one has quoted a single line from one of those documents to prove the claim that Dr. Land has departed from the traditional Baptist position. All that has been offered is personal opinion stated as if it were fact. Let's have a little more intellectual honesty please.

    I'll grant you that Dr. Land can come across as a bit, shall we say, "impressed with himself." However, after having spent 4 hours a day for 10 days with him I must say that the picture being painted of him in this thread so far is not accurate. He is a highly intelligent scholarly man. Likewise, he is a rock solid conservative evangelical Southern Baptist. To attempt to paint him with a brush tainted with Nazism is simply shameful. It is laughable that such a charge would be leveled at him in light of the fact that he used the video Theologians Under Hitler to teach our class how easily the liberal German Theologians (like Kittle) of pre-Nazi Germany fell for Hitler's lies and sold out their Christianity in favor of ethnocentrism and nationalism. If you have not seen this documentary I highly reccommed that you do so.
     
  6. Baptist Believer

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  7. StefanM

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    IMO, no man who makes that kind of comment without regret should be in any position of authority within the SBC or in any church. I am HIGHLY offended.

    My father lived most of his life in a wheelchair because he was permanently injured in combat while serving in the U.S. Navy.

    My family knew the price paid by veterans. I sincerely hope that Dr. Land's view has changed, for I find it absolutely hypocritical that he so fervently supports military actions while calling those with disabilities "defectives."

    If this is true, he should be fired.
     
  8. DQuixote

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    I LOVE that quote. God grant me the ability to live up to it!

    As a delegate to the ERLC I'm a little troubled by this thread. I don't think it is up to us to paint bleak pictures of Dr. Land, or to shower him with roses. Go to his website, read what he writes, and let the record speak for itself. Disparaging words and glorious rhetoric seem to be out of place here.
     
  9. LadyEagle

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    That's why I posted the link above. These types of threads usually turn into gossip and heresay, and the person isn't even here to defend himself or herself.

    Right now, he is interim pastoring a church here in Nashville and broadcasting the radio program from here. Call him up with your questions to see how he stands on these things instead of gossipping about it and jumping to conclusions.
     
  10. Bible-boy

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    #10 Bible-boy, Jan 24, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2007
  11. C.S. Murphy

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    I think little of land or his ethics and here is why. I feel he is to busy toeing the SBC line to honestly stand for religious ethics and freedom. Several years ago I sought to purchase medical insurance thru the Annuity board of the SBC. Sadly I had high blood pressure and was not approved for the coverage. As a SBC pastor I wanted the insurance so I could feel free to change churches as the Lord might lead without the hassle of changing health insurance providers. As I looked into the insurance situation I found that the SBC insurance that would not accept me would accept me no matter my health if I was an employee of lifeway or another SBC entity. The same would be true if I was an employee of a larger church with several employees. In short a pastor of a small SBC chuch did not qualify for the same coverage and prices offered to a janitor in a larger church or a stock clerk at lifeway. I protested to the leadership at the Annuity board with no success so I then turned my story to Richard land in hopes that he would look into the unfairness of this stance. His reply to me was that my issue had nothing to do with religious ethics and in so many words urged me to struggle along in my small effort while the more important cogs in the mighty SBC machine enjoyed the fruits of our labor. No disrespect meant to anyone who feels they should support the man but I can not.
    Murph
     
  12. Bible-boy

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    Alright folks...

    This is a Moderator Warning...

    The topic of this thread is the issue of separation of church and state with respect to the SBC/ERLC and Richard Land's position on that issue. It is not a thread designed to bash Dr. Land based on your personal opinions of the man. If it continues down that road I'll close it in a heart beat. Debate the issues of the OP, but do not attempt to drag a man's name through the mud when he is not even here to defend himself.

    Got it?
     
  13. preachinjesus

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    while I don't know Dr. Land personally I will suggest that I think he has overstepped the line between our role, as Christians, as being the conscience of the state and has, instead, become an apologist for the Bush administration.

    I think this is an honest and, frankly, on target criticism of Dr. Land's methodology. If we were to examine his statements on policy and politics since President Bush assumed his position we would find a uncomfortably close association between him and the administration. In particular I believe he has crossed the line of Christianly behavior by openly advocating war when Christians should be openly advocating peace.

    In a similiar vein, I have noticed that as President Bush comes under increasing pressure and criticism Dr. Land has stepped up his personal rhetoric for the Bush administration. This is a position that is untenable for him and he should be questioned openly about these stances.

    (aside: I make no bones that while I did vote for President Bush in the two general elections I would not have done so if a better candidate were present. I believe his administration has failed in many of their original promises, and outside of the Supreme Court, they have openly mocked the Christians they were so quick to court.)

    My belief is the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission needs to be have its existence questioned. I think we could be a far better steward of our resources that trying to manipulate society with politics...rather than change it with th Gospel. While I am confident that Dr. Land is an outstanding Christian (I have heard nothing to counter that idea) I question his motivations.

    good topic.
     
  14. C.S. Murphy

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    My belief is the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission needs to be have its existence questioned. I think we could be a far better steward of our resources that trying to manipulate society with politics...rather than change it with th Gospel. While I am confident that Dr. Land is an outstanding Christian (I have heard nothing to counter that idea) I question his motivations.


    I feel the statement above is fair and I mostly agree with it. As to the Moderator warning I question it's necessity. First of all the opening post asked the question. "what has he (Land) done wrong" I feel that atleast in my experience he has done wrong, therefore I was simply answering the posters question with an example of dealings I have had with him. Secondly I feel that your call to limit all discussion to his view and stance on seperation is simply your view and should not be delivered quite so heavy handidly, especially after this was only part of the question asked. Thirdly In your earlier posts you gave your personal experience as to the fact that Land is a nice guy and a good instructor. Now pray tell what did that have to do with his seperation stance? And how does offering your personal opinion of the man differ from my right to point out my personal opinion. I hope it is not simply that my opinion differs from yours.
    Thanks
    Murph
     
  15. Baptist Believer

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    With all due respect, that's not the way the question was defined in the original post. Certainly that is a part of it, but not all of it.

    I haven't seen any bashing.

    I'm simply reporting the experience of a friend of mine who has no reason not to tell the truth. Prior to his encounter with Dr. Land, he was an admirer. He signed up to take Land's class as an elective!

    And that's what everyone has been doing...

    No dragging, just reporting.

    And will we also hold this standard when people like Leon McBeth, Rick Warren, or Brian McLaren are discussed in this forum, or is it simply for those who hold to a certain set of religious, political and social beliefs?
     
    #15 Baptist Believer, Jan 25, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2007
  16. Tom Bryant

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    Murph sorry about the insurance stuff, but Land doesn't have anything to do with the Annuity Board or whatever they're calling it now. Give Dr. O. S. Hawkins a call. He's a good man and heads it up. He will return your call. I know he did mine. I don't know if he can or will help, but what could it hurt? :confused:

    Of course, Dr. Land toes the SBC line. That's who he works for.

    But I do agree that we - southern baptists - have become too closely tied to the republican party. Understandable since the Democrats are pro abortion, pro gay marriage. But I would hope Dr. Land would more speak about moral issues more from a righteous position than from a republican one.
     
  17. blackbird

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    The same happened to me except I didn't protest or boycott nor write Dr. Land-----but I have SBC Health Ins-----long story short---I was talking with a group of pastor friends and a few AMD's(Associational Missions Director)---one of the AMD's said that they are able to get "Group Rates" through Guidestone and the reason that us pastors could not was because we are declared as "Self-Employed" by Guidestone and thus do not quailfy----buddy---when I heard that AMD's qualified for group rates and us pastors didn't-----I got madder than a wet Hornet----but I didn't protest, though!!!
     
  18. Bro Tony

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    Dr Land is a pragmatist. He will do what he feels needs to get done in order to accomplish what he feels is important. He will join with the RCC church in order to fight against pornography. He has met with the Pope. He is a promoter and signer of the document calling for Evangelicals and Catholics to come together even for evangelistic purposes. He had one of his staff debate me in the former CLC magazine in the early 90's. When he spoke to me, he couldn't understand why I had a problem with the RCC. And he saw nothing wrong with joining with them as long as we had the same goals. Funny, I thought our goals were to share Christ and make disciples. I didn't think it was to compromise the truth and join ourselve with every religious and political group to accomplish our God given task. As I stated in a letter to Dr Land, "Gideon would have a hard time working in the SBC, he chose God not a mighty number of men."

    Bro Tony
     
  19. Baptist Believer

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    Well I don’t have time to slog through all of the ERLC’s position papers today, but let me ask you a question:

    Do you think that Richard Land’s views on church and state are congruent with Roger Williams’ views?


    Yes, I was aware of the way he, and others, are trying to use parents “for cover” so as not to appear to violate the principle of the separation of church and state. The voucher will still be redeemed directly from government coffers, even though it passes through the parent’s hands.

    In other words, he supports taking tax monies (that are received through threat of force, seizure and imprisonment) from people who do not have children, and giving them to parents to support Mormon, Catholic, Buddhist or Baptist schools.


    You’re presupposing that the cost of education is consistent from student to student. Due to differences in learning styles and natural ability, some students require more time and attention, which, in turn, requires more resources.

    And how does one determine a “bad” school? Some people determine it by its ethnic makeup. Others choose a school according to the social standing of students who go there. Others determine it by simple standardized test scores, although there may be reasons why the test scores are high. I used to work for a private non-religious college preparatory school, and the reason why the average test scores were high was that they were very selective and only took students who excelled and whose parents could afford to pay more than $10,000/year and pay for private tutoring when their children struggled (not to mention the cost of a good BMW when the students turned 16).


    To the contrary, there would be many losers. Children with special needs, learning disabilities, or language skill problems would likely be barred from many of the “good” schools and would be stuck at woefully underfunded public schools. Furthermore poorer families would have a more difficult time locating a quality school for their children if the funds were absorbed by the exclusive schools.


    I think all Baptists can agree with position you have just stated, but land is a bit slipperier than that... He wants official government institutional time used for public expressions of religion, if that expression is voluntary. What’s wrong with that? I’ll give you an example:

    Children are forced by law to go to a school (with the exception of home schoolers and certain private tutoring situations) where their officially-mandated time might be used for the expression of an Islamic prayer, a prayer to the “Blessed Virgin Mary”, a voluntary* recitation of a creed or theological principle, a voluntary* assertion that Joseph Smith, Jr. is a prophet of God, or worse.

    Until Land’s stated position, the government’s representative (the teacher) has no right to intervene or censor religious expressions of faith during official time. (That’s a big change from the way I grew up. Teachers restricted our freedom of speech all the time and told us to “be quiet” or else.) As a practical matter, in order to maintain control of the classroom, a designated time would have to be schedule for religious expression (probably at the beginning of the day) which would serve the purpose of promoting religious faith (or at least the appearances of religious faith).

    And what about that rebellious teenaged boy who voluntarily prays out loud that he wishes his "godless, immoral teacher would get saved before she burns in hell for her fornication”? The teacher could not censor or oppose his prayer because that would violate this freedom of religious expression...

    And eventually, there would be a very carefully defined set of parameters regarding religious express which would take the form of the local majority opinions and sense of propriety. Woe to the Baptist child in Salt Lake City!

    Instead, the historic Baptist viewpoint has been to avoid government entanglements in religion as much as possible to prevent government from afflicting religious faith, and religious faith from controlling the government (and those under that government who do not share the majority faith).

    ----
    * With children in a school classroom, very few group activities (especially those sanctioned and/or encouraged by adults) are truly voluntary. The fear of being different and the nature of children to bully those who do not conform pretty much assures that your child will “voluntarily” go along with whatever religious observances take place during the official school day.
     
    #19 Baptist Believer, Jan 25, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2007
  20. Baptist Believer

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    I don’t agree with the movement because of what it says, does and has done. I don’t have any problems with the Scriptures, so don’t pretend to cast this as a rebellion against the authority of Scripture.


    Not gossip, but testimony from a credible witness who was involved in the exchange. I am repeating the evidence, which in a court of law would be considered hearsay evidence. But this is not a court and I don’t have the resources to track down all the witnesses and have them appear here in your court, with you as the judge.

    I can tell you that the class was held at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, either in early January or Spring Break of 2006, and was taught by Richard Land. Much of the class consisted of the students viewing video of Land appearing in talk shows and news programs, presenting sound bites and participating in panel discussions. Land only entered the class occasionally and led a few discussions.


    Perhaps he is moderating his speech since the confrontation with my friend at Southwestern in early 2006?


    That’s a good thing.


    Obviously it was a simplification. I didn’t feel the need to recite the entire program of dehumanization of the handicapped before they murdered them. I assumed that most people here have some sense of history.


    You’re the one who is oversimplifying... For several years before they were murdered, there was a systematic campaign to dehumanize handicapped people, homosexuals, Roma (Gypsies), Eastern Europeans, Jews, and many other groups by using terms such as “defectives”, “vermin”, and “parasites.” When they enacted the Final Solution, the populous was generally ready to accept it since they had been subject to a steady diet of that rhetoric. And that’s where the similarity is. Richard Land’s use of the word “defectives” dehumanizes those with handicaps and makes them easier to ignore, dismiss and mistreat. (Just like his use of the word “liberal.”)


    I regret bringing it up since you obviously missed my point and have gotten worked up thinking that I’m calling Land a “Nazi”. I don’t think Land is a Nazi, but at least in one recent incident, he displayed an attitude that is congruent with the way Nazis dehumanized the handicapped.


    Okay. I can’t prove it to you, but I suggest to you ask him about it. Mr. Land is rather confident about his opinions and he just might surprise you.



    Amen. And just for the record, both sides of my family found Nazism and Japanese aggression.
     
    #20 Baptist Believer, Jan 25, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2007

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