Silence of the Sheep Herder
Mainstream Baptist printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 10:31:25 AM EST
Before the last national election, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, was front and center in the Religious Right's drive to herd their sheep to the polls to vote their "values."

After the President was re-elected, Land was in the forefront of those receiving credit for helping swing the election to Bush.  He was among a select group of religious leaders who consulted with the White House on a weekly basis.

Now that the President he helped elect has 1) been exposed as using false information to launch an unjust pre-emptive war (in violation of God's law and just war doctrine), 2) presided over a "cabal" that conspired to break Geneva Conventions and International Law in the treatment of detainees and prisoners (condoning the use of torture), and 3) admitted he ordered that the Constitution and the laws of the United States be set aside in order to eavesdrop on the American people --  Now that all these foundational rules of law and order have been discarded by the President and administration that Richard Land championed, what does he have to say about these egregious violations of American and basic human "values"?


And that in sharp contrast to all he had to say about how a previous President's lies over a sexual incident with an intern would destroy the "rule of law."

Maybe this silence will be useful as voters could learn that what really drove Land and other Christian Right leaders was not a passion for values or principles but a passion for political power.

Will these leaders eventually join Judge Moore and other more explicit Christian nationalists in their more "principled" drive for political power?

by Carlos on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 11:44:22 AM EST

Roy Moore has been a prominent speaker and guest of honor at Southern Baptist assemblies.

I would not be surprised to see Land and/or other SBC denominational leaders supporting his candidacy for Alabama Governor.

by Mainstream Baptist on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 01:32:47 PM EST

My experience has been that to Christian Fundamentalists and conservative Evangelicals, "If it doesn't involve sex, it doesn't involve sin."  The obsessive focus on sex in their moral system thus excludes George W. Bush's violations of law and human decency, unless, perhaps, particular acts of torture were sexual in nature.  I'm at a loss to explain where this prurient, even pornographic, notion of sin and morality came into the moral tradition.  I suspect it was with Augustine, whose understanding or original sin was sex-centered.

by dricey on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 12:02:12 PM EST
Neither Augustine nor any of the other church fathers would have condoned pre-emptive war.

Richard Land, on the other hand, was the chief evangelical cheer leader for going to war with Iraq.

by Mainstream Baptist on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 01:30:29 PM EST

is the eerie parallels between their deeply felt sexual morality - you're quite right everything with this crowd is about sex - and the ultimate "survival of the species" mandate it perfectly encapsulates.  In much the same way that ancient dietary rules had a practical as much as spiritual value, I think fundamentalist old-testament sexual morality (extreme homophobia, tolerance of polygamy, opposition to sex beyond reproductive function, extreme opposition to abortion while endorsing the death penalty, opposition to contraception) maps pretty well onto a society which maximizes reproduction - a fundamental biological imperative.  This is, of course, pseudo-scientific speculation, much like the biology of attraction (big hips and boobs are appealing to men - the better to birth and rear children, big muscles and wallets to women - the better to provide), but it certainly provokes thought.

How that must ultimately really burn these folks: Darwin dictates even the basis for their metaphysics.  

by montpellier on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 02:41:00 PM EST

No, not really.  But I think it is about time we call them what they really are.  Political preachers.  They are only interested in things that further their political agenda.  And that is another word I would like to see used more - Agenda.  Because that is what these political preachers have - a political agenda.  It has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus.  They feed on the fears of people -  fear of gays, fear of women power, fear of secularists.  Their agenda is to hold on to their power.  That is why they say nothing negative about Bush.  They have invested their hopes in Bush.  He is the born-again Christian president who is going to save America from those people who, they believe, are usurping their power.

These political preachers are about power.

by LynChi on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 10:27:09 PM EST

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