There are few things more irritating that seeing Richard Land hold himself up as a paragon of civility, the sort of which is desperately needed in today’s political arena:
The faith community needs to be a check against political vitriol in the 2012 election, which two religious leaders say has the potential to be the “ugliest campaign” in decades.
Jim Wallis, the progressive CEO of Sojourners, and Richard Land, the conservative head of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, are two religious scholars with opposing political views. But at their joint event at the National Press Club in Washington Wednesday, they agreed on some issues as they discussed and debated faith and the 2012 election.
According to Wallis, while he disagrees with Land on most political issues, they were able to have a civil debate – something Wallis hopes politicians can learn from.
Land agreed, saying that the faith community in America must lead by example.
“Instead of attacking the person, we deal with issues and we call people when they start straying from that,” Land explained. “We are going to have to be very watchful. I think the temptation for this one to get down and dirty is going to be overwhelming.”
Land said he worried that when President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign looks at the polling numbers, they will realize that Obama “has got no choice if he wants to get re-elected but to take the focus off of issues and start saying, ‘Well, my opponent’s worse than I would be.'”
This would be the same Richard Land who said that Oprah is “unimaginably dangerous,” that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would bring “God’s judgment on our nation,” and that gays are recruiting children in order to bring about the “outright sexual paganization of society.”
And who can ever forget the time when Land literally compared President Obama and Democrats in Congress to the Nazis:
President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders of Congress are advocating healthcare reform that will result in rationing of care, making them guilty of the same ideology that fueled the Nazi Holocaust, Richard Land told the Christian Coalition of Florida at a Sept. 26 banquet in Orlando.
“I want to put it to you bluntly. What they are attempting to do in healthcare, particularly in treating the elderly, is not something like what the Nazis did. It is precisely what the Nazis did,” said Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Land said he has bestowed on Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the president’s chief healthcare advisor, the “Dr. Josef Mengele Award” for his advocacy of healthcare rationing. Mengele was the German SS officer and medical doctor dubbed the “Angel of Death” for his role in the Holocaust.
“We are faced with what I call ‘biological bigotry’ and it is every bit as pernicious, every bit as evil, every bit as destructive as the racial and ethnic bigotry that has plagued us in the past,” he said.
“The Nazis said people should be euthanized when they had lives unworthy of life. … Well, at the very least Dr. Emanuel, [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi, [Sen.] Max Baucus and President Obama are saying that some people have lives less worthy of life. And the older you are, the sicker you are, the less valuable your life is and the more likely they want to terminate your care,” Land said.
So yes, let’s all be lectured by a man who says the Democrats are Nazis and that gays are recruiting on the finer points of remaining civil.