Richard Land, the former head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy arm, said in a radio interview on Friday that there is a “spiritual and cultural battle going on in our country” that pits President Trump and Christians who are trying to tear down the “idol” of government against a ruthless “progressive, secular left.” The confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, he said, was one victory in this larger spiritual war for the “mountaintops” of American culture.
Fred Jackson, the guest host of Janet Mefferd’s radio program, asked Land if the current “bitterness and nastiness” in American politics is “somebody’s fault” or part of a larger “spiritual battle.”
“Well, I think there is a larger spiritual and cultural battle going on in our country,” Land replied, “but it’s also everybody’s fault who falls into the temptation to go into the gutter and into violence-laden language in opposing your opponents.”
Land explained that Trump, in his inaugural address, “declared war on the establishment”—thus upsetting liberals because “for the left, government is their religion, and Donald Trump is tearing down their idol.”
What’s more, he said, liberals are more ruthless fighters in this spiritual war because “the progressive, secular left has far fewer ethical constraints than we as Christians have in terms of what is permissible.”
When Jackson asked if the current state of acrimony is “going to be the norm until Jesus comes,” Land replied that things will get worse before they get better, but eventually one side of the battle will win.
“I think in our current situation in the U.S., I think things could actually get worse until they get better,” he said. “But eventually one side or the other will gain the upper hand in this struggle for the ascendancy and the high ground and the mountaintops in American culture. And it is a spiritual war as well as a cultural and a philosophical one. And the stakes are titanic. I mean, they’re just titanic. I just think about the difference that Justice Gorsuch has already made.”