The Legacy of Richard Land

Discuss current news and trends taking place in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Moderator: William Thornton

The Legacy of Richard Land

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:57 am

I've written a somewhat lengthy profile essay on Richard Land and his legacy that is up at Religion Dispatches.

Richard Land Steps Down, But Not Out of the Culture Wars

I plan to write some more for the Baptist Studies Bulletin on Land's religious liberty legacy.

I'd like to hear what folks think is Land's legacy. Good or bad, what's been his contribution to American religion & politics and more specifically the SBC over the last 25 years?
User avatar
Big Daddy Weaver
 
Posts: 2494
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:15 am
Location: Waco, TX

Re: The Legacy of Richard Land

Postby Dave Roberts » Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:28 am

Just a quick response. I think Land did a lot of good in race relations. At the same time, he seemed to confuse his religious liberty assignment with having to take positions opposite that of those organizations from which the SBC had withdrawn funding, probably for political reasons. He certainly has been responsible for pushing the SBC into the Republican Party.
"God will never be less than He is and does not need to be more" (John Koessler)

My blog: http://emporiadave.wordpress.com/
User avatar
Dave Roberts
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7205
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:01 pm
Location: Southside, VA

Re: The Legacy of Richard Land

Postby Sandy » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:18 pm

I think you hit on Land's legacy pretty closely. Ultimately, his political fortunes were tied to his support for the Bushes. He was probably more influential among the right wing politically active evangelicals than he was among Southern Baptists at large.

Land may have played somewhat of a role in moving the SBC toward racial reconciliation, as his close buddies will give him credit for doing. He probably spoiled his legacy in that area with his remarks about the Trayvon Martin case, but that doesn't change the work he did and the results of it up to this point. The claim that Foy Valentine and "progressives" in the SBC laid a foundation and had some influence over it comes from a perspective that is out of touch with the SBC of today, and even with where it was three decades ago. No progressive or leader from before 1979 has the kind of standing needed to influence the denomination on issues like this.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 8704
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago

Aaron Weaver and Sandy

Postby Stephen Fox » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:17 pm

Weaver is much more precise coverage of Land than Amy Sullivan's piece in New Republic I linked in separate thread, before Aaron posted his thoughts.

What BDW should do, and should encourage the full force of Baylor's Baptist explorations, even in conjunction with Wake Forest, and Curtis Freeman at Duke is either themselves explore or encourage some secular journalist of the likes of Jane Mayer who did the recent piece on Fischer for New Yorker; have them explore deeper into the dark belly of Richard Land.
BDW never mentioned Karl Rove, or the strong likelihood Land worked fist in glove with Karl Rove's designs. BDW does not explore the pungent suggestion of Tom Edsall in his 83 New Politics of Inequality the oil community of Judge Pressler motivated Pressler's designs on the SBC in concert with Jesse Helms and the Bircher Albert Lee Smith.

In regard race, I fear Dave Roberts may be a little naive. Chandler Davidson should be brought back into the conversation to explore the reservations Judge Pressler and his network had with Marney in the 50's when Marney was at Austin; and how Inerrancy was a cover for race politics that quickly morphed into culture war stoked matters in which Land and Rove are joined at the hip to make returns for the oil benefactors that now fund Rove's American Crossroads social welfare group who 22 plus major donors are suspected to be of the far right oil community in and around Houston.

While BDW is to be commended, there is much yet to be examined in the fundamentalist Baptist cabal that goes to the heart of the cancer now eating away at America's Center.
"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
"Midget, Broom; Helluva campaign". Political consultant, "Oh, Brother..."


http://www.foxofbama.blogspot.com or google asfoxseesit
Stephen Fox
 
Posts: 9119
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:29 pm

Re: The Legacy of Richard Land

Postby Sandy » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:17 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:Just a quick response. I think Land did a lot of good in race relations. At the same time, he seemed to confuse his religious liberty assignment with having to take positions opposite that of those organizations from which the SBC had withdrawn funding, probably for political reasons. He certainly has been responsible for pushing the SBC into the Republican Party.


I don't think he pushed it there. Southern Baptists, by and large, were much more widely influenced by their preachers who were locally televised, and then by a few that got national exposure. W.A. Criswell was inviting Republican presidential candidates into his pulpit before anyone knew who Land was. If there's a single individual responsible for engaging more Southern Baptists in Republican partisan activity than any other, it would be Ralph Reed and his mentor Pat Robertson. And Jerry Falwell and the so-called "Moral Majority." They had more influence than Land ever did.

Land made a mistake when he didn't hook up with Huckabee in 2008. I don't think it would have made much difference in the outcome of that particular election, but his leaning toward Romney was noticed by a lot of those who are active in the political right, and that put him crossways with a lot of conservative Evangelicals, including some influential Southern Baptists. It made him look like the Christian, spiritual aspect of right wing politics wasn't as important as the money interests, which is exactly what the critics were saying. Ultimately, Land's failure to boost Huckabee's support is a major reason behind why Huck isn't running now, and why Obama will have a relatively easy cruise into a second term over a fading, incompetent campaigner like Mittie.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 8704
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago

Comment at reldisp.org

Postby Stephen Fox » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:27 pm

Linda McMillan • 4 days ago
−+

I am glad to see him go, and I'll be even happier when his pal Paige goes too. These guys have just about done in a once relevant and vibrant denomination. Richard Land, Paige Patterson, and Albert Mohler have injected so much hate and ignorance into the Southern Baptist Convention in the last 20 to 30 years that I actually doubt it can make a come back. The passionate lovers and followers of Jesus that I once knew have either become Episcopalians or dropped out all together. Only the mentally feeble and hateful remain.

"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
"Midget, Broom; Helluva campaign". Political consultant, "Oh, Brother..."


http://www.foxofbama.blogspot.com or google asfoxseesit
Stephen Fox
 
Posts: 9119
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:29 pm

Re: Comment at reldisp.org

Postby Sandy » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:30 pm

Stephen Fox wrote:
Linda McMillan • 4 days ago
−+

I am glad to see him go, and I'll be even happier when his pal Paige goes too. These guys have just about done in a once relevant and vibrant denomination. Richard Land, Paige Patterson, and Albert Mohler have injected so much hate and ignorance into the Southern Baptist Convention in the last 20 to 30 years that I actually doubt it can make a come back. The passionate lovers and followers of Jesus that I once knew have either become Episcopalians or dropped out all together. Only the mentally feeble and hateful remain.



Well, not quite. Looking at the numbers and doing a comparison, Southern Baptists stand a much better chance of being around long after the Episcopalians are gone, at least at the present rates of decline.

Mandatory retirement age does have some benefits. Unfortunately, in a provincially organized denominational structure steeped in Southern culture, individuals can hang on to influence, prestige and prominence for as long as they can breathe. From what I've heard from friends in Houston, Pressler has a leg in the grave already, in a wheelchair with oxygen and a breathing tube. But he's still an influential figure. Still, leadership that is rising up in the denomination appears less connected to the old guard, and more progressive, but not yet aggressive enough to make a play for the mantle of power in the convention. One day, they will be.

I don't think we are far from the day when there will be virtually no denominations showing any kind of numerical growth. Non-denominational churches have become the place where church growth is happening, but mainly because many of them are megas that drain people out of smaller, denominational churches, there is very little, if any, real evangelism happening, so the total numbers of people in churches is dropping. I believe we are headed toward the same kind of secularization Europe has experienced since the Second World War. Part of that will come as a result of things which are happening now in the knitting of conservative evangelicals into the fabric of the Republican/Tea Party. There is a lot of hypocrisy involved in all of that. The Mormons are certainly taking advantage of it, to claim legitimacy. Looking at Land, it is very hard to tell whether he thought conservative politics was more important than the gospel. Frankly, I never heard him preach the gospel, or testify to its power in his own life.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 8704
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago

Karl Rove

Postby Stephen Fox » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:51 pm

Everything is not about growth. I am looking forward to some exhaustive exploration of the intersection of Richard Land and Karl Rove in Judge Pressler and Jesse Helms grand design.
"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
"Midget, Broom; Helluva campaign". Political consultant, "Oh, Brother..."


http://www.foxofbama.blogspot.com or google asfoxseesit
Stephen Fox
 
Posts: 9119
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:29 pm

Re: The Legacy of Richard Land

Postby Tom Parker » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:15 pm

Why was Richard Land not fired for plagiarism? How does this fit in with ethics? It must have something to do with his major part in the "TAKEOVER"
Tom Parker
 
Posts: 255
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:34 pm

Re: The Legacy of Richard Land

Postby Sandy » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:49 pm

Tom Parker wrote:Why was Richard Land not fired for plagiarism? How does this fit in with ethics? It must have something to do with his major part in the "TAKEOVER"


He was. His radio program was a separate entity, and he was fired from it. He was also forced to retire.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 8704
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: The Legacy of Richard Land

Postby Tom Parker » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:07 pm

Sandy wrote:
Tom Parker wrote:Why was Richard Land not fired for plagiarism? How does this fit in with ethics? It must have something to do with his major part in the "TAKEOVER"


He was. His radio program was a separate entity, and he was fired from it. He was also forced to retire.



Sandy:

Maybe. But when you get 15 months of pay before you retire, it will not appear to many that he was forced to retire.

Remember he is retiring on the 25th anniversary of becoming a big player in the TAKEOVER and ruination of a great denomination--the SBC. :brick:
Tom Parker
 
Posts: 255
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:34 pm

Re: The Legacy of Richard Land

Postby Sandy » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:50 pm

Tom Parker wrote:
Sandy wrote:
Tom Parker wrote:Why was Richard Land not fired for plagiarism? How does this fit in with ethics? It must have something to do with his major part in the "TAKEOVER"


He was. His radio program was a separate entity, and he was fired from it. He was also forced to retire.



Sandy:

Maybe. But when you get 15 months of pay before you retire, it will not appear to many that he was forced to retire.

Remember he is retiring on the 25th anniversary of becoming a big player in the TAKEOVER and ruination of a great denomination--the SBC. :brick:


The pattern for golden parachutes, given by insider trustee boards to "retiring" denominational executives was a common practice in the SBC prior to 1979, when a very tightly nit mutual admiration society ran the show. In that regard, not a lot has changed, except the names and faces.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 8704
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: The Legacy of Richard Land

Postby Tom Parker » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:46 pm

Sandy:

Maybe. But when you get 15 months of pay before you retire, it will not appear to many that he was forced to retire.

Remember he is retiring on the 25th anniversary of becoming a big player in the TAKEOVER and ruination of a great denomination--the SBC. :brick:[/quote]

The pattern for golden parachutes, given by insider trustee boards to "retiring" denominational executives was a common practice in the SBC prior to 1979, when a very tightly nit mutual admiration society ran the show. In that regard, not a lot has changed, except the names and faces.[/quote]

Sandy, not trying to be difficult, but can you prove the pre--1979 golden parachutes?
Tom Parker
 
Posts: 255
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:34 pm

Re: The Legacy of Richard Land

Postby Sandy » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:48 pm

There were several. Grady Cothen announced his retirement from the BSSB well in advance of its effective date, and while moderates still held control of the trustee board. I don't think the details of that package were ever disclosed, but there was somewhat of an issue over the fact that he hadn't really been there long enough for full retirement. Tanner's retirement from the Home Mission Board/NAMB was done in a similar fashion, as was Harold Bennett's. Granted, these were done by trustee boards prior to their switching over from moderate to conservative control, and that may have been a factor, but what Land is doing isn't just common to insiders in the conservative resurgence.

When I was growing up, in a small town in Arizona, attending a small SBC church of about 50 people, we had several pastors who weren't exactly on board with money being spent on executive leadership in the SBC. It was hard for people in a small congregation a thousand miles or more from Nashville to understand why we were sacrificing to give money to the CP when the denomination paid executives who could afford to live in Brentwood.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 8704
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: The Legacy of Richard Land

Postby Jerry_B » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:12 am

How he will be remembered by me is probably way different then how in general he will be remembered.

For me he is a blowhard who talked a lot about ethics, but didn't actually do anything of any significance.

In general I think he will be remembered for his involvement in politics. Didn't really do much for to add to SBC life.

As someone appointed to speak to ethics and religious liberty, he was entirely too well liked. He had a position to challenge the SBC, a voice in the wilderness, but instead he decided it would be better to tell you who Jesus wanted you to vote for.
Jerry_B
 
Posts: 440
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 9:15 pm
Location: Texas

Re: The Legacy of Richard Land

Postby scottaerwin » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:31 pm

I think he will be remembered for his beautiful hair plugs.

just thoughts,
Scott
Scott, God is not calling you to HAVE a 900 lb. gorilla, God is calling you to BE a 900 lb. gorilla -- discerning friend
User avatar
scottaerwin
 
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:00 pm
Location: Knoxville, TN

Scott Erwin

Postby Stephen Fox » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:12 pm

Where You been? How is Knoxville; Did you see Beasts of the Southern Wild. Talked to Todd Heifner today. All the one liners aside, Land was bad for Christendom these last 30 years. Chapter in a major book yet to be written about his collaboration with Rove and Helms and Pressler to downgrade the United States of American let alone the Baptist witness.
"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
"Midget, Broom; Helluva campaign". Political consultant, "Oh, Brother..."


http://www.foxofbama.blogspot.com or google asfoxseesit
Stephen Fox
 
Posts: 9119
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:29 pm

Pierard says Frank Page must denounce Land

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:50 pm

"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
"Midget, Broom; Helluva campaign". Political consultant, "Oh, Brother..."


http://www.foxofbama.blogspot.com or google asfoxseesit
Stephen Fox
 
Posts: 9119
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:29 pm


Return to SBC News and Trends

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests