Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Pope and Richard Land

Thanks to Bob Allen for calling my attention to the article "Beyond Belief" in the current issue of Atlantic Monthly. In it Richard Land, head of a Southern Baptist Convention political action committee says,
'I've got more in common with Pope John Paul II than I do with Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton.' . . . 'We both say all human life is sacred, that marriage is between a man and a woman, that homosexual behavior is contrary to God's will.' All this is just 'more relevant' he says, 'than whether I'm Catholic or Protestant.'
Land forgot to mention that both he and the Pope believe in an earthly, autocratic, hierarchical religious authority that presumes infallibility when interpreting the Bible.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice quote from Land! But what about the Iraq war? I guess human life is not so sacred if it is involved in needless wars.

Carlos

Rob said...

Oh, this is hilarious!

'We both say all human life is sacred, that marriage is between a man and a woman, that homosexual behavior is contrary to God's will.' All this is just 'more relevant' he says, 'than whether I'm Catholic or Protestant.'

Does he even realize what he's saying? What about 'inerrancy'? Is he saying it doesn't matter to him whether he believes in the 'inerrancy' of the Catholic Bible or the Protestant (Southern Baptist) bible? If it doesn't matter which is which, what does that do to his cherished 'infallibilty'?

Rob said...

And if his 'beliefs' are 'more relevant' than which version of the Bible he believes in, what does that say?

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

Carlos,

Baptist Press used these words to describe Land:

"Land has stepped forward as a leading religious advocate that military action in Iraq would qualify as a "just war."

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=15369

Obviously, living, breathing civilian Iraqi's have less right to life than eight cell blastocysts.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the pope will teach Land a thing or two about what a just war means.

Carlos

Anonymous said...

>All this is just 'more relevant' he says, 'than whether I'm Catholic or Protestant.'I believe this means that our actions tell more about us than mere labels.

Roger

Scott Jones said...

Though I disagree with the Pope on many social issues, at least he is trying to stand for a consistent ethical position that is just as critical of American capitalist conservatism (especially in its warmongering imperialist variety) as it is of these "liberal" things Land mentions.

Kevin said...

I agree, Scott. I may disagree with the Pope on a variety of ethical issues, but at least he can claim a "consistent ethic of life." to use Cardinal Bernadine's wonderful phrase. The pope at least tries to place his convictions under a veneer of gospel, Richard Land likes to hammer away with the law. I wonder if Land would be so gracious toward JPII on the issue of the Death Penalty.

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

Kevin,

Here's what Land says about the Death Penalty:

'One of the reasons God instituted civil government was to mete out justice against people who injure or take the life of another human being in a wanton and premeditated way,' Land said. The Bible's teaching on capital punishment is clear, he added.

'I believe in capital punishment because I believe the Bible teaches that capital punishment is biblical,' Land said, citing Romans 13, which he said provides an important outline of the role of the civil magistrate in these matters."

http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=15035

The major distinction between Land and the Pope is their differing view as to who is authorized to declare an interpretation of the Bible infallible.

Nate said...

The truth is that their views are not so similar. As many have pointed out, the pope is opposed to war, too. He's also opposed to the death penalty and unfettered capitalism. It should also be noted that while both the pope and Land oppose gays expressing our love for one another through marriage and sex, the pope does not take the more extreme position of Land and the Southern Baptist Convention that gay people are called to "convert" to heterosexuality. I'm certainly NOT defending the pope's position on homosexuality, but it is nevertheless not as extreme as Richard Land's position is.