Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, has been under fire for racially charged comments he made about the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin on his call-in radio show Richard Land Live!, and for plagiarizing what he said.
Those comments come at a time when Southern Baptists are reaching out to racial minorities and are preparing to elect their first African-American president. Some Baptist leaders say Land has damaged race relations in the convention and the nation.
The commission’s trustees on Friday reprimanded Land for those comments and said his show would be canceled. But because the show is under contract with the Salem Radio Network, it will be broadcast at least once more...
Robert Parham of the Nashville-based Baptist Center for Ethics said that Land’s radio show should have been canceled years ago. He said that the show was more about politics than about religion or ethics.
Allowing Land to keep his job, despite the plagiarism, sends the wrong message, said Parham.
Along with being the head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Land also teaches regularly at Baptist seminaries.
“Allowing Land to continue as an SBC official — without even an unpaid leave of absence — will create a banquet of distasteful consequences for the Southern Baptists when it comes to how seminaries deal with students who plagiarize papers and how churches deal with pastors who plagiarize sermons.”
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