Dear SBC: Richard Land needs to go now

Dear Southern Baptist Convention:

A new name for the denomination won’t change the perception that you’re a parochial Southern institution clinging to mid-20th century white privilege.

As long as you employ Richard Land as your “ethics” spokesman, it will be impossible for the rest of the world to perceive you as anything but a parochial Southern institution clinging to mid-20th century white privilege.

It’s long past time for Richard Land to “explore new ministry opportunities,” to “spend more time with his family,” to “follow the Lord’s leading in an exciting new direction.”

Or, even better, just announce that you’re firing him for spouting ugly, racist garbage on the radio.

Do you really want to wait until he says something even worse?

OK, then. Thanks.

  • Nathaniel

    Fred, you’re asking the SBC to be untrue to itself. Nothing could be more un-Amercian. 

  • nirrti

    Isn’t this the same denomination that split with their Northern counterparts in order to retain their “biblical right” to own slaves? The SBC’s entire foundation is laid on the excluding and oppression of others and using the bible as a means to do so. I don’t think they have a problem with their leadership *at all*.

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    “This situation is getting out of hand,” Land said. “There is going to be violence. When there is violence it’s going to be Jesse Jackson’s fault. It’s going to be Al Sharpton’s fault. It’s going to be Louis Farrakhan’s fault, and to a certain degree it’s going to be President Obama’s fault.”

    How has he managed to overlook the fact that there has already been violence? That’s what those people he named are complaining about.

  • P J Evans

    Land thinks it’s violence only if it happens to white men. Everyone else is getting what they deserve.

  • gocart mozart

    They should change their name to “Dick Land’s Land O’ Dicks”

  • gocart mozart

    If you look at his photo, even the top of his head is a lie.

  • JessicaR

    Sothern Baptists: Determined To Be On The Wrong Side Of History Until The End Of Time.

  • Lori

    I thing that’s really “interesting” about all this harping on Jackson & Sharpton & Farrakhan is that their involvement in the issue is, AFAICT, only being covered by Right wing sources. I’ve been reading pretty widely about the Martin case. I have literally not seen any of those men mentioned in Left-leaning sources, except with respect to the fact that they’ve now become a talking point on the Right. Even Obama’s statement hasn’t been a focus of discussion on the Left. People noted what he said, talked about how it might effect the discourse and then went back to discussing the case itself.

    One would almost think that the facts are failing to support the Right’s favored view and they’re using some of their favorite boogeymen to throw up a smokescreen.

  • Pseudonym

    I’m tossing up between “Fundamentalist Takeover Church” and “Republican Party (Religious Wing)”.

  • Ian needs a nickname

    Land: White people bear no responsibility for racist violence in America.  Wow.

  • http://redwoodr.tumblr.com Redwood Rhiadra

    Land: “In reality he poured gasoline on the racialist fires.”

    OK, the very word “racialist” there tells you what kind of person Land is. It’s pretty much a word used by people who don’t want to be called “racists” because racism is bad, but still think that some races are better than others.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Why would they fire him? The reason he’s in the position he’s in is because he holds the beliefs he holds. If he weren’t a racist, misogynist, homophobic, frightened little man, he would not be fit to be the head of the SBC. 

    Being shocked and angry about the head of the SBC saying racist things is like being shocked and angry that an alcoholic is drinking a beer. Yes, he’s hurting himself and others. And you’re not going to change him.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

    The Southern Baptist Convention is a degenerate cabal and a blasphemous repudiation of everything Jesus ever said about how He wanted his followers to act. It has been such since the day it was founded for the purpose of reconciling Baptist theology with the right of plantation owners to own slaves, rape them, and sell the issue for a tidy profit. Nothing has changed since then. I dread next Sunday, because it is Easter, one of the three days of the year that I attend church as a gift to my parents. I anticipate that the bloated hog in an overpriced suit who will be bellowing from the pulpit will somehow incorporate anti-abortion rhetoric, attacks on gays, and opposition to the “feminization” of America into his Easter sermon. He’s managed to do so every other time I’ve heard him speak. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FRDTPMBW7IBKWIU3763AI6FYOM Steve

    Apparently, the word ‘Baptist’ isn’t especially welcoming to people, according to the SBC.
    Ah, of course.
    It’s the NAME that’s the problem.
    I can’t imagine how the NAME could have gained such negative connotations.
    Fixing the NAME will solve everything.

  • Anonymous

     Hey, it worked for Blackwater and the Sci-Fi Channel…

    Oh wait.

  • Tonio

    Well, the SBC did apologize not too long ago for supporting slavery and Jim Crow. But no apologies have been forthcoming for its support of sexism and homophobia, as well as for its goal of doing away with the Jewish religion:

    http://www.warrenblumenfeld.com/2011/06/09/will-the-southern-baptists-again-apologize/

     

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

     I’d take it a step further than that.  When the average person hears the word “Baptist,” they automatically think “Southern Baptist.”  In my former life, I had many people who would automatically make that assumption when I told them I was Baptist, at which point I’d have to explain that no, my church was actually affiliated with the American Baptist Churches.

  • Tonio

    Also, there’s a fundamental contradiction between the idea that women and men “are of equal worth before God” and the assertion that husbands have a God-given responsibility to lead families. Apparently the worth of women isn’t sufficient to treat as equals to men, particularly since the SBC no longer allows women to serve as pastors or as top executives.

  • http://heff.myopenid.com/ ronan

    Changing to a new name will help, until their hateful attitudes and bronze-age/antebellum prejudices sully the new name in the public mind.  Then it will be time for a third name, then a fourth.  Fortunately for them, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

  • Tonio

    I agree with Land on one point only – that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have a record of racial ambulance chasing. The best thing I can say about the rest of his disingenuous rant is that it conveniently ignores the brutal realities of white privilege. 

  • Lori

    Changing to a new name will help, until their hateful attitudes and
    bronze-age/antebellum prejudices sully the new name in the public mind.  Then it will be time for a third name, then a fourth. 

    Just like Blackwater Xe Academi.

  • Ken

    Also like stench, odor, smell, fragrance, scent, perfume…  English has a long history of needing a new word for “pleasant odor” every few decades, as whatever word was in use gets the connotations of “stink.” The problem isn’t the phonemes, it’s the referent.

  • Anonymous

    It’s that way all over the right end of the political spectrum, of course: the fact that an unarmed, defenseless kid just going about his business got shot dead for absolutely no reason is of less concern to them than what’s being said by people about how he was killed.

    And Richard Land is all about the politics.  Anyone expecting anything better from him than from the usual run of wingnuts just because he’s associated with a supposedly religious institution should expect to be disappointed.

    Further, anyone expecting the SBC, the supposedly religious institution in question, to rid themselves of Richard Land over these extremely unChristian remarks, will be equally disappointed.  The last thing we can expect out of the SBC is to take a stand in favor of loving one’s neighbor as oneself.  (Unless one’s neighbor is a fetus, of course.)

  • Anonymous

    I thing that’s really “interesting” about all this harping on Jackson & Sharpton & Farrakhan is that their involvement in the issue is, AFAICT, only being covered by Right wing sources.

    Some of the more despicable political cartoonists, such as the McCoy brothers, have latched onto this issue (Obama, Sharpton & Farrakhan being the primary targets) to a degree that makes Land’s comments seem measured and considerate.  Without delving into too much detail, vultures are common imagery in these cartoons; as are, in a few depressing cases, black Klan hoods.

    The silver lining in the criticism of Sharpton et al. is that it shows that conservative cartoonists are unwilling to be assholes about the murder itself.  I haven’t seen any cartoons so far saying “That kid deserved what he got!”, which means they (or their editors) recognize that that’s out of bounds, at least.

    Fortunately for them and for Land, no matter how indefensible your side is, it’s always possible to accuse the other side of milking the issue for political purposes.  The other reliable fallback position is “Well, the Left supports the murder of 35 billion [black/female/whatever] fetuses every year, how dare they be outraged!” and I expect to see many horrible cartoons to that effect as this issue goes on.

  • Anonymous

    I do hope (without much hope ) that you’re wrong. What vile subjects for an Easter Sunday “sermon”.

  • http://from1angle.wordpress.com emilyperson

    Those all used to be positive descriptors? Wow, English really does evolve.

    I think scent, fragrance, and perfume still have positive or neutral connotations. People here, at least, always use sarcastic inflection when they use them negatively. Actually, stench is the only one I’ve never heard or seen in a neutral context.

  • Richard Hershberger

    “Isn’t this the same denomination that split with their Northern
    counterparts in order to retain their “biblical right” to own slaves?”

    My thought on reading Fred’s post was that has it wrong.  The SBC isn’t about maintaining mid-20th century white privilege.  It is about maintaining mid-19th century white privilege.

  • Richard Hershberger

    “In my former life, I had many people who would automatically make that
    assumption when I told them I was Baptist, at which point I’d have to
    explain that no, my church was actually affiliated with the American
    Baptist Churches.”

    The word “Christian” has the same problem.  If asked, I will usually identify myself as Lutheran rather than Christian.  This is wrong on many levels, but more useful for actual communication.

  • Anonymous

    Verbwise, I’d add “reek”. It used to be neutral, just describing something that smelled, whether good or bad. (I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve mentioned this in connection with Sonnet 130. HE’S NOT SAYING SHE HAS BAD BREATH. It’s something of a pet peeve.)

  • Anonymous

    You should hear what passes for a Catholic sermon these days. It’s even worse, simply because the sermons were not “Vote Republican!!!” six months ago, they were what a sermon actually should be: “Here’s how to be a better Christian.”

  • Anonymous

    Besides, she already has black wires growing out of her instead of hair. :P Why pick on her more?

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    When I asked my grandmother why we were Methodists, she said it was because the only other church in the small Alabama town they retired to was Southern Baptist.

  • http://www.metagalacticllamas.com/ Triplanetary

    The real victim here isn’t Trayvon Martin, it’s all white people. Because now black people are saying mean things like “racism exists” and it’s hurting our feefees.

  • Tonio

    Heh. That sounds just like men who focus more on false accusations of rape than on rape itself.

  • Steph

    “Republican Party (Religious Wing)” is also a good description of the Catholic Church.

  • Anonymous

    “‘This situation is getting out of hand,’ Land said. ‘There is going to be violence. When there is violence it’s going to be Jesse Jackson’s fault. It’s going to be Al Sharpton’s fault. It’s going to be Louis Farrakhan’s fault, and to a certain degree it’s going to be President Obama’s fault.’”

    Jon Stewart said it so well in reference to another so-called “Christian” figure, but I think it fits here too: “Shut yer pie-hole, Old Man!”

  • The Lodger

    Some of the Baptist churches west of Portland have quietly eliminated “Baptist” from their names. They are now “Harvest” or “Community” churches. They’re still sponsoring Awana youth groups, though, which is a giveaway if you don’t want to spend too much time investigating.
    (I have no special knowledge or opinion about Awana other than it is an indicator of Baptist affiliation.)

  • The Lodger

    I never associated “Baptist” with “Southern Baptist” mostly because I could drive on the highway north of Valley Forge, PA and see a big round office building with “AMERICAN BAPTIST” on the top. Also, the one Baptist minister I know (the mailroom guy at a former employer) was American Baptist and pretty OK with his atttitudes.
    Also, Fred and his story.

  • The Lodger

    This. There’s a reason my tagline says Episcopalian, not Christian.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Catholic laity is actually pretty reliable democratic country. The leadership, not so much, but they get shockingly little respect from the rank and file. Which gives me a little hope. 

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    Or how about just “Dickland”?

    I think I’m ashamed of myself now.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TBWADDAT5HQU6BY62RKHSU3KIM NotYourTypicalNegro

    Land will be gone by Friday.   You heard it here first.


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