Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Wrong Richard--"he regularly speaks without authorization"

While scanning an article from ABP, the following statement caught my attention.

"While many of us consider Richard to be a friend, he regularly speaks without authorization for the entire organization and puts forward his own political opinions as scientific fact,"

My first thought was why are they talking about Richard Land in this article. Then I realized that they were talking about Richard Cizik, NAE's vice president for governmental affairs. He is in trouble with some of the high-powered fundies for talking too much about global warming. And while I really can't understand the fundies objections to global warming initiatives (unless they are so closely tied to conservative politics that they have lost all discernment), that is not my main concern here.

It seems to me that the "he regularly speaks without authorization for the entire organization" statement is applicable to Richard Land. I realize that he is the head of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and as such is tasked to educate and to provide resources to SBC churches and agencies on moral and ethical issues. As such the head of this commission will obviously make some public statements, but did anyone in the SBC vote to make him "spokesman on Capitol Hill for the largest non-Catholic denomination in the country" or ask him to represent "Southern Baptists’ interests in the halls of Congress, before U.S. Presidents, and in the major media"? He has turned his position into the cult of Richard Land. Look at the general publications of the ERLC, the most prominent thing in them is Richard Land. Look at the ERLC website, the first item on the menu is Richard Land. I searched the site using their own search engine with the following results:

Ethics 1730 hits
Religious Liberty 1840 hits
Abortion 1080 hits
Richard Land 2408 hits

And the winner is . . .!!!

I don't know about you but I am a member of a southern baptist church and he does not now nor ever has been a spokesman for me.

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