Southern Baptists reprimand top official over Trayvon Martin remarks
Richard Land is the public policy chief for the Southern Baptist Convention.
June 1st, 2012
02:06 PM ET

Southern Baptists reprimand top official over Trayvon Martin remarks

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com

(CNN) – The country’s largest evangelical Christian denomination on Friday announced it is reprimanding one of its top officials over comments he made regarding the Trayvon Martin case, pledging to cancel the official’s national radio show.

The trustee committee of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission announced two reprimands on Friday for Richard Land, who leads public policy efforts for the Southern Baptists, according to the official press arm.

The first reprimand was for remarks Land - one of the country's most powerful evangelical leaders - made about the Martin case. The second was because Land lifted some remarks from another source on his radio show without using attribution.

The commission will move to terminate Land’s radio program, “Richard Land Live!” because of the controversy, the Baptist Press reported.

In March, Land spoke of African-American activists and the Rev. Al Sharpton as “racial ambulance chasers” in the Martin case, in which the 17-year-old was shot to death in Florida by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

“When there is violence it’s going to be Jesse Jackson’s fault,” Land said on his show, according to the Religion News Service. “It’s going to be Al Sharpton’s fault. It’s going to be Louis Farrakhan’s fault, and to a certain degree it’s going to be President Obama’s fault.”

On Friday, the trustee executive committee said in a statement that Land’s comments were “very hurtful and offensive to the Trayvon Martin family and too many in the African-American community, including hundreds of thousands of African-American Southern Baptists.”

“Damage was done to the state of race relations in the Southern Baptist Convention," the statement said.

The Religion News Service reported that many of Land’s remarks about the Martin case were lifted from a March column in the Washington Times.

“As a Christian, a minister of the Gospel of our Lord, and as President of the ERLC, Dr. Land should have conformed to a higher standard,” the statement from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission said.

The statement went on to say that “plagiarism occurred because of Land’s carelessness and poor judgment."

In announcing the planned termination of Land’s radio program, the committee said “the content and purpose” of the program are “not congruent with the mission of the ERLC.”

In a statement to the Baptist Press, Land – who earlier apologized for his comments - said he believes in “trustee oversight and governance” and that “this whole process was conducted in a Christian manner by Christian gentlemen.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity

soundoff (747 Responses)
  1. Herman

    Just thought I'd ciaflry for you that gagne is actually pronounced gahn-yuh' in french. gahn-yay' is spelled gagnez and means to win. gagne is simply win. Either way you're allowed to pronounce it however you wish. I just wanted to ciaflry the french pronunciation.

    November 8, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  2. Brian

    A racist is a racist is a racist - Mr. Land proves nothing has changed. He just took the robe and hood off.

    June 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  3. kindness

    MY personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

    June 12, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • me

      geez, dude. life is simple. treat others are you wanted to be treated because we are all one with the universe. Buddha and Jesus (Yoshua) knew. Church establishments have to make things too complicated–and profitable. Live in 'the now.' Live every day to help others...not just on Sunday like ya all do! Spirituality is a way of life. Religion breeds hate.

      be free. be who you know you were meant to be.

      June 15, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • Caner

      So funny how you all go crazy and blast someone with rude ilnsuts and criticisms when you think they might have an opinion different from your own. Is that supposed to show how much more intelligent and enlightened you areand than everyone else? Sounds more like a few bunch of hypocritical elitists to me. Boo hoo hoo some disagrees with you. They must allbe be stupid.Grow up and show some respect.

      November 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  4. Robert

    Come on CNN, Hire a copy editor for pete's sake.

    "very hurtful and offensive to the Trayvon Martin family and too many in the African-American community,"

    June 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  5. bp

    Just another religious hatemonger.

    June 5, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  6. Selendis

    I can't help but wonder what happened to american society when even our religious leaders don't know how to shut up. We have truly lost all decency.

    June 5, 2012 at 4:55 am |
    • lindaluttrell

      Unfortunately, they're just being themselves...

      June 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  7. Tara

    A white person make a racist statement against a black person. That is like Adolf Hitler making a racist comments against the Jews that is a normal occurrence for centuries.

    June 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Razor

      please, darling, get a handle on the English language if you are going to represent yourself in public.

      June 11, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • me

      Razor, that be how some b'folk talk. we 'speck to adopt 'ebonics, 'member?

      June 15, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • peridot2

      I beg your pardon?

      June 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  8. Jerry

    Youre a bunch of idiots!

    June 3, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  9. Death

    Death to religion! Death to the religious!
    Bring on the mass destruction! There cannot be too many deaths for crazy people like these baptists.

    June 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • At death atheists believe

      Hitler had a similar idea and failed.

      In fact that statement is exactly what hitler did!

      Kill kill kill!

      June 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Robert

      Hitler was a Catholic so your assertion is ridiculous. Anything else you'd like to make up?

      June 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  10. Church

    Looks like it's time to leave this thread post. The radicals are loose.

    June 3, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    June 3, 2012 at 5:27 am |
    • pooflingingmonkey

      No... it really doesn't. It might give you a more positive outlook, but it doesn't actually do anything tangible. I respect your right to believe what you believe, and I hope you respect my right to disagree.

      June 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • nope

      there is no right to stupid

      June 3, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Robert

      Yep, it causes the frontal lobe of your brain to shink and fills you with the urge to marry your sister.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  12. clmw

    Are you gay? Are you a nιggεr? Are you a gaynιggεr? If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, then GNAA might be exactly what you're looking for! Join the GNAA today! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNAA

    June 3, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • Tara

      That would make you a white devil no wonder you people turn red a burn in the sun. The sun actually shows your true nature evil demon red looking people. I thank God every day that me and my family don't have worry about skin cancer best thing God created. I hate cancer but not skin cancer it's a beautiful disease.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • John

      aids and sickle-cell are beautiful diseases as well

      June 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  13. 1

    gαynιggεrs everywhere want #justice4Trayvon – join the GNAA today! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNAA

    June 2, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  14. feqjgnur6l1p1vqzpr

    gαynιggεrs everywhere want #justice4Trayvon – join the GNAA today! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNAA

    June 2, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  15. h4q

    gαynιggεrs everywhere want #justice4Trayvon – join the GNAA today! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNAA

    June 2, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  16. jd5ypx4eby

    gαynιggεrs everywhere want #justice4Trayvon – join the GNAA today! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNAA

    June 2, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  17. a00sleidr3mllbncbnv

    gαynιggεrs everywhere want #justice4Trayvon – join the GNAA today! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNAA

    June 2, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  18. 2uxdvjt3ejb

    gαynιggεrs everywhere want #justice4Trayvon – join the GNAA today! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNAA

    June 2, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • gwats1957

      I'm not gay, but i'm willing yo bet you don't have the courage to stand in front of me and use that word.

      June 3, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • mickey1313

      @gwats, he is a multi sn troll. He should be band. I am woundering why black entertainment can use that word but no one else? County you want equality. You should be mad at Chris rock and kyane west file hearing it to

      June 4, 2012 at 2:27 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.