Richard Land openly embraces the mendacious lifestyle

Richard Land openly embraces the mendacious lifestyle November 6, 2011

I noted the other day that I was glad to see Southern Baptist lobbyist Richard Land saying some reasonable things about immigration and commending a more civil approach to politics.

“Instead of attacking the person,” Land said, “we deal with issues.”

Kyle Mantyla of Right Wing Watch notes that:

This would be the same Richard Land who said that Oprah is “unimaginably dangerous,” that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would bring “God’s judgment on our nation,” and that gays are recruiting children in order to bring about the “outright sexual paganization of society.”

Richard Land very rarely deals with issues. He has a habit, rather, of “attacking the person.”

I have no problem with criticizing a person’s character in addition to their stance on particular issues. I think it’s not only acceptable, but sometimes necessary to do so. Like now, for instance: Richard Land has a long track record of saying outrageously nasty things about those he deems his political opponents even though he knows these outrageously nasty things are not true.

In other words, the official “ethics” spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention is a habitual liar.

This man says things he knows are not true. For Jesus.

See the links above for plenty of evidence demonstrating that to be the case. Or — for a particularly nasty piece of dishonesty — see this one: “Land: Obama and Company Are Literally Nazis.”

Yes, he went there. He goes there a lot. The subject in this case was the wholly debunked lie about “death panels.” Richard Land lied and lied and lied about this, in the nastiest terms he could muster:

“I want to put it to you bluntly. What they are attempting to do in healthcare, particularly in treating the elderly, is not something like what the Nazis did. It is precisely what the Nazis did,” said Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Land was the keynote speaker for the 20th anniversary “God and Country Banquet” of the Christian Coalition of Florida.

“Let’s remember,” Land added, “the first 10,000 victims of the Holocaust were not Jews, they were mentally handicapped German children who were gassed and burned in ovens because they were considered to have … lives unworthy of life,” citing the Nazi ideology used to rationalize the Holocaust. …

Land said he has bestowed on Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the president’s chief healthcare advisor, the “Dr. Josef Mengele Award” for his advocacy of healthcare rationing. Mengele was the German SS officer and medical doctor dubbed the “Angel of Death” for his role in the Holocaust.

Richard Land needs to repent of the sin of lying. And the Southern Baptist Convention needs to consider what sort of message they’re sending to the children by allowing this openly practicing proponent of the mendacious lifestyle to serve in such a public capacity.

In evangelical circles, what I have just done there is considered out of bounds.

Ponder that for a moment. It’s not considered a sin or even incivility to bear false witness and call others “Nazis” for seeking to provide health care for the uninsured. Richard Land is a respected figure in evangelical circles despite decades of such openly sinful behavior.

But it is considered “incivility” to note that someone deliberately misleading others by saying things he knows to be untrue is “lying.” It is considered uncivil to point out that someone who talks about “homosexual recruitment of children” when he knows that it is not true is bearing false witness against homosexuals. It is considered uncivil to point out that someone who compares politicians to Adolf Hitler because they support “death panels,” when he knows that there is no such thing as “death panels,” is bearing false witness against his neighbors. When Richard Land bears false witness, it is not permitted to say “Richard Land is a bearer of false witness.”

How perverse it that? Seriously, how many wrong turns does it take to arrive at a place where that makes any sense at all?

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  • “Land: Obama and Company Are Literally Nazis.”

    “Land: Obama and Company Are Literally Nazis.”

    “Land: Obama and Company Are Literally Nazis.”

    I just don’t even.

    (O_O)

    *stunned*

    People like that man who think they can avail themselves of this kind of incendiary language when they are stating demonstrably false things – how can they square that with their lived experience that such things are not happening? That there are no such “death panels”, no “jackbooted thugs forcing health care on everyone”?

    The worst of it is that the kind of gangsterism that characterized the early years of the Nazi regime is the kind of thuggery Republicans have no compunction about engaging in, yet such supporters of that party feel free to try on the character assassination of calling the Democrats “Nazis”. X-(

  • People like that man who think they can avail themselves of this kind of incendiary language when they are stating demonstrably false things – how can they square that with their lived experience that such things are not happening?

    Doublethink superdoubleplusgood!

  • Words and fact stopped mattering for these barbarians decades ago. They can literally say that Obama is a Kenyan Marxist Nazi Muslim Atheist Socialist in an unbroken string, and they don’t really feel that any of that is a contradiction. 

    To those who aren’t liars and aren’t stupid, well, we might have a problem swallowing such a contradictory statement. Many of those categories above are mutually exclusive things.

    The issue is, then, that the Right no longer uses words the way human beings do, to attempt to communicate information. They just use it like animals do; when they feel a certain way, they make a certain noise out of their mouths.

    Oh, also, they’re an enormous pack of craven, amoral lying motherfuckers, so they’ll say whatever they need to in order to accumulate more power.

  • Anonymous

    Is it just me, or are Land’s eyes facing different directions in that picture?

  • The issue is, then, that the Right no longer uses words the way human
    beings do, to attempt to communicate information. They just use it like
    animals do; when they feel a certain way, they make a certain noise out
    of their mouths.

    The word “duckspeak” vividly came to mind at this. It is astonishingly descriptive in this context.

    http://www.newspeakdictionary.com/ns-dict.html#duckspeak

  • Dick Land is an apt description of the entire Republican party.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    Well, it feeds their fear and persecution complex, which feeds their righteous superiority complex, therefore, President Obama is a Nazi.

  • Three items:

    1.  A good chunk of the Evangelical subculture simply does not comprehend the idea of “fiction”.  As a result, they lose the distinction between a “lie” (a false statement intended to deceive) and a “story” or “parable” (a (possibly) false statement intended to illustrate a point).  To them, it’s all the same thing.  There is no difference between The Good Samaritan and “Obama is literally a Nazi”.

    2.  In the Evangelical subculture, it is essentially forbidden to criticize another Evangelical.  After all, they’re a Person of God.  This leads to a total absence of self-criticism — it doesn’t matter if he’s eating live kittens for breakfast, they’ll support him.

    3.  A problem with the wider culture is the non-comprehension of the word “literally”.  If Obama were literally a Nazi, he’d have to be a member of the National Socialist (Nationalsozialist) party — something that not even the loopiest right-wing crazies have claimed.  Here’s a brief tutorial on the proper use of “literally”, from the BBC. (Warning — keep liquids away from the computer …)

  • Matri

    The Implied Facepalm.

    When something is so ridiculous that a full and proper facepalm is not even necessary.

  • P J Evans

     It isn’t you.
    He looks like he should be selling used cars.

  • Anonymous

    Is it just me, or are Land’s eyes facing different directions in that picture?

    @Spalanzani:disqus and @2b8e9565b320bc8df44b6b6a5c477dc9:disqus — please don’t engage in lookism. 

  • CharityB

    I think it’s a perspective thing.

  • muteKi

    What they are attempting to do in healthcare, particularly in treating the elderly, is not something like what the Nazis did. It is precisely what the Nazis did.

    See, here’s my thing with that. This implies that the government will somehow enforce the euthanization of the elderly in order to save money on their own health care costs.

    If this were even true, the only cost-effective way I can see this happening is by simply refusing to pay for whatever essential medical coverage they may need.

    Given that perhaps the main reason that anyone wants public health care is that the insurance companies are not paying out for these procedures under the excuse of the sufferers having a pre-existing condition, etc. 

    So someone’s clearly going to have to sit me down and explain this one to me very slowly, as I’m really not seeing the fundamental difference here.

  • Kim

    Eating live kittens for breakfast is one thing: thinking gays and atheists and foreigners and WORSE-! gay atheist foreigners! are people worthy of respect means either a) you’re not an evangelical and therefore not worthy of support or b) oh who am I kidding, just a).

  • Lori

     When something is so ridiculous that a full and proper facepalm is not even necessary.  

    I knew exactly which picture that was going to be before I even clicked. I love that one. The first thing I thought of though was this one:

  • CharityB

    He’s just plain wrong, muteKI. Aristotle was not Belgian. The central
    message of Buddhism is not “Every man for himself.” The London
    Underground is not a political movement. And Barack Obama is not a Nazi. Those are all mistakes, muteKI. I looked them up.

    Furthermore, he said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have
    ever heard. At no point in his rambling, incoherent statement was he even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought.
    Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award him no points, and may God have mercy on his soul.

  • Lori

     So someone’s clearly going to have to sit me down and explain this one to me very slowly, as I’m really not seeing the fundamental difference here.  

    Gov Ern Ment Baaaadddddd. 

    Freeeee Maaarrrket Goooooood.

    Slow enough? 

  • Even used car salesmen don’t lie that much to their customers. Unlike Land, they actually have to be worried about lawsuits for breach of contract, misrepresentation of the material facts of a product, and other stuff like that.

    What the hell would you sue Land for? That said, I’d love to see him be ultimately proven to have perjured himself in a court of law, and thus proven a liar. As opposed to being able to flimflam his way out of anything after being called on it just by making the right noises to the right audience.

  • pharoute

    I thought Evangelicals used to stress whether or not it was ok to lie to the Nazis if they were hiding Jews. Now I’m beginning to think they would deliberately lie and say their neighbors were Jews

  • Anonymous

    I am reading a biography of Stalin and I got to say: he knew what to do with such jackasses

  • Anonymous

    Some people’s eyes do face in different directions. My wife’s. My cousin who is one of the most genuinely christian (lower case to avoid trademarking) people I know. It doesn’t make them bad people. It doesn’t make Land a bad person.

    There are plenty of other things to pick on if you want to have a go at Land.

  • Tonio

    I’m not the first to suggest that seeing Obama elected had a deep emotional effect on many whites, where nothing makes sense to them anymore. Imagine Land’s reaction if Obama were to proclaim that whites would be herded into concentration camps, and then said “Psych!”

  • Hawker40

    IF Hillary Clinton had be elected President instead of Barrack Obama, we would see the exact same thing… except it would be misogynist, instead of racist.

  • Anonymous

    @christopher_young: I’m very sorry, I won’t do it again.

  • WingedBeast

    I’m finding that words have no actual definitions anymore.  There are no meanings, only emotional attachments.

    “Kenyan” doesn’t mean a specific country.  It means foriegn, with a specification of somewhere in Africa.  In other words it means “Not one of us and with more melanine”.

    “Marxist and Nazi” don’t mean anything to do with economic philosophy.  They mean “evil” which, itself, only means “not on our side.”

    “Muslim and Atheist” similarly only mean “not one of us in religious terms.”

    “Socialist” means anybody who thinks that people who aren’t “me” should have any benefit from this government.

    Nothing means anything anymore.  In a world where one customer support rep can be called a terrorist because of phone service that was cancelled due to no payments (not me, it was a friend of mine) everything only has a vague emotional value of “good” or “bad”.

    Pretty soon, the language will have to devolve to match.  And, there will only be grunts.  With the grunt-only language, people such as Land will have to jump up and down and grunt, at which point the rest of us will get on with our jobs while he jumps up and down.

  • Jenny Islander

    Yeah, when assorted mendacious and/or credulous soundbiters were ranting about proposed end-of-life care counseling being equivalent to “death panels” (because if we don’t talk about dying we’ll never die, I guess), somebody pointed out the obvious: We already have death panels.  They’re called lifetime insurance caps.

  • I am reading a biography of Stalin and I got to say: he knew what to do with such jackasses

    Put them in charge of the KGB?

  • Matthew Funke

    This deliberate lying for Jesus has long struck me as one of the more terrifying shameful things I fear people will think I’m on board with whenever I mention that I’m an Evangelical Christian.  The rationalization people seem to make for this kind of behavior is to pretend that it preserves political ends.  According to this way of thinking, when someone says something in service to a particular political end, it is excusable, even laudable, no matter how malicious or mendacious it may be; when someone says something that puts those political ends in jeopardy, or might even cause people to question them, then that expression is considered rude and unacceptable, no matter how true it is or how much needless suffering a proper understanding of the issue might avoid.

    And shamefully, the boundary between right-wing politics and Evangelical Christianity seems to have been utterly erased from many American minds.  The smallest concession to a different political idea from the ones the leaders we have appointed with our dollars advocate is equivalent to advocating exactly the opposite of any and every attempt to form a moral stance.  (After all, in the minds of many of these people, the only possible moral stance is a Christian one.)

    See also: Young-Earth Creationism, Global Warming Denialism.

  • Gov Ern Ment Baaaadddddd. 

    Freeeee Maaarrrket Goooooood.

    And now I am imagining a bunch of zombies groaning that.  

    To quote Bart Simpson, “Oh no, the dead have risen and their voting Republican!”

  • Anonymous

    sexual paganization of society

    He says that like it would be a bad thing.

  • Anonymous

    People like Land do make me rather wish for a second coming of Jesus. I want to see him try to explain that he’s a lying asshat whose lies have the potential to risk the lives of other people, and that he’s doing it all for Jesus. The expression I imagine on Jesus’s face is something between Implied Facepalm and Iminant Smackdown. And I don’t see Land realizing his mistake until Jesus goes all Moneychangers in the Temple on him.
    Given that I don’t think Land will get his well deserved epic smackdown any other way, it’s an appealing fantasy.