Burch: Land’s lost at sea again

Friday, April 6, 2012 at 1:58am
By Michael R. Burch

Richard Land is at sea again, this time headlining the front page of the Tennessean after calling black religious leaders “race hustlers” and other nasty, provocative names on his “Richard Land Live!” radio show.

Land is the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. But as an ethicist, he leaves a lot to be desired, as does his church, which remains trapped in the dungeons of Dark Age bigotry and intolerance.

In 1845 the Southern Baptist Church broke away from northern Baptist churches when they refused to allow slave owners to become missionaries. So the raison d'etre and a founding principle of the SBC was the right of church members to not only practice racism but also to own slaves. This surely sprang from a bizarre belief that the entire Bible is the “infallible” word of God. As Jefferson Davis once pointed out to abolitionists, slavery “was established by decree of Almighty God ... it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation.”

If the Bible is the infallible word of God, then God must be a bigot, because the Bible commands the ethnic cleansing, genocide and enslavement of people on racial/ethnic grounds. But the writers of the Bible could never agree about what to do with the virgin girls. Some of them said that everyone captured during orgies of ethnic cleansing should be slaughtered; others said God and Moses wanted them to keep the virgin girls alive as slaves. How can such evil confusion be “infallible”?

Getting back to Richard Land, what sort of “ethicist” can still maintain in the 21st century that the Bible’s satanic verses are “infallible”? And since such verses are obviously not “infallible,” why do men like Land continue to use the Bible to persuade other people to deny fully equal rights to women and homosexuals? Why, for instance, can men expect their health insurance companies to pay for Viagra, but women cannot expect their insurance companies to pay for contraceptives?

Now the SBC is championing the Roman Catholic Church’s quest to deny large numbers of American women access to contraceptives, on the grounds of “religious freedom.” But the SBC isn’t consistent on matters of ethics, because it doesn’t support Mormons who believe polygamy is the “will of God.” It seems “religious freedom” only applies when it suits the SBC’s purposes. Is that “ethical”?

And perhaps worst of all, the SBC continues to threaten the innocent children in its churches’ pews with an “eternal hell” if they don’t believe in a bigoted, intolerant God who favors Jews and Christians over billions of other people.

But curiously and ironically, the Holman Christian Standard Bible, published here in Nashville by the SBC, no longer mentions the word “hell” anywhere in its Old Testament, and barely in New Testament (around 10 verses, with half being duplicate verses in the parallel gospels of Matthew and Mark). The latest Bible published by the Roman Catholic Church, the NABRE, no longer mentions “hell” at all. So even conservative Bible scholars are now admitting that the Hebrew word “Sheol” and the Greek word “Hades” do not mean “hell,” but the “the grave” or “the abode of all the dead, good and bad.”

Is it “ethical” for men like Land to allow children to be threatened with the prospect of “hell” for themselves and billions of other people, when the God of the Bible and the Hebrew prophets never once mentioned a place called “hell” or any possibility of suffering after death?

How can a man who lacks compassion for children and a sense of justice claim to be an expert on ethics? Richard Land remains lost at sea, the captain of a ship without a rudder, vainly perusing charts that are sadly out of date and were never very accurate to begin with.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

65 Comments on this post:

By: acluu on 4/6/12 at 4:40

I'd would rather see a child raised up in the likes of a "Richard Land's SBC" than the 'perversions" of the homosexual.

So tell me, would you really feel comfortable with your son or grandson going on a week long camping trip with a person who is a professed homosexual?

By: T-BONE on 4/6/12 at 5:09

JESUS was NOT a CHRISTIAN (I hope you know this) The BIBLE was written by Human Beings!

By: dargent7 on 4/6/12 at 5:22

Oh-oh. Nothing like having a lively discussion about The Bible in the south.
Good point: Would I want my son to go on a camping trip, knowing the Scout leader was gay? Probably not.
Would I want my son to attend a parish as an altar boy knowing the preist just was re-assigned there from another due to the fact he's gay?
Probably not.
But, I still consider myself to be "open-minded".

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/12 at 5:29

It would depend on the person acluu. Now would you let your children or grandchildren go for the weekend with a undisclosed pedophile like Jerry Sandusky?

By: Kosh III on 4/6/12 at 5:33

"Jonathan your love for me was wonderful, passing the love of women." King David II Sam 1:26

By: Kosh III on 4/6/12 at 5:39

As to Land and others like him:
"The scribes and the Pharisees.... But you must not imitate their lives! For they preach but do not practise. They pile up back-breaking burdens and lay them on other men’s shoulders—yet they themselves will not raise a finger to move them. Their whole lives are planned with an eye to effect....Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you... neglect the things which carry far more weight in the Law—justice, mercy and good faith."

or as the Queen James Version renders it:
"woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!"
Matthew 23

By: govskeptic on 4/6/12 at 5:47

Well, nothing like Good Friday for a weekly dose of Bible and Christian
bashing. Richard Land's correct statement about the "race hustlers"
is just the vessel to get started with. The author gives his own
extremely warped interpretations on many portions of the Bible to
collect his own band of followers like so many others often attempt!

The Ethics and compassion for children or lack thereof by Mr
Land may just be superior to that of someone who has neither!

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/12 at 5:50

Maybe this will help to clarify the difference.

Homosexuality and Pedophilia: The False Link

...Herek points out that child molestation and child sexual abuse refer to "actions," without implying any "particular psychological makeup or motive on the part of the perpetrator." In other words, not all incidents of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by pedophiles. Pedophilia can be viewed as a kind of sexual fetish, wherein the person requires the mental image of a child--not necessarily a flesh-and-blood child--to achieve sexual gratification. Rarely does a pedophile experience sexual desire for adults of either gender...


By: yogiman on 4/6/12 at 6:27

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and beliefs are in the minds of the believers. Who is to tell others what they should see or believe?

By: dargent7 on 4/6/12 at 6:37

Priests, Sandusky, Michael Jackson, et al., all had a sexual attraction to boys. Not young men, adolesents, but "boys".
"Children", as Jackson would say.
The Catholic Priests were under celebacy "laws" which I'm sure was quite attractive to gays. Women and young girls weren't allowed, just fine by them.
Sandusky worked as a "mentor" with young boys under the guise of a "Boy's Club" or "Boy's Town". He feasted on anyone he deemed available.
These ass-holes use their power and influence to feed their sexual perversion.
As an adult, you want consentual sex with another willing adult, or horse, pig, or monkey, fine with me.
Just not innocent boys.
And as you know, I have a B.S. and M.A. degree in Psychology from Michigan, graduating with the lowest possible honors in all classes and cirriculum.

By: LizzyD on 4/6/12 at 6:58


Mike Burch does not bash the Bible nor does he bash Christians. He bashes crazy people -- sociopathic control freaks who USE the bible and Christianity as tools in their own confidence games, designed to make suckers of "believers" for the purpose of furthering their own con games.

You have a choice, of course, of whether or not to be one of those suckers.

Thanks, Mike. As a Tennessee granny, I do really appreciate that you are brave enough to call out the crazy, sociopathic control freaks who pretend to be "religious."

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/12 at 7:49

Evil does not look like evil; it looks more like good to lure the gullible toward destruction. Charlatans are found in the church.

By: Ask01 on 4/6/12 at 7:57

Yet another affirmation my distrust of organized religion is justified.

No matter how noble ideals may be at the outset, my perception is, without fail, those earthbound humans in power, influenced often by those close to them, will slowly but inevitably subvert and re-translate (not sure that is actually a word) or re-clarify whatever texts they hold sacred to fit their own purposes.

I have nearly as great contempt for many organized religions as I do government because in the end, professed goals of a better world for all seemingly shift to a better world for the chosen few in power.

Believers are better off finding God in their own individual way than blindly allowing any organized group spoon feed them their version of "truth."

By: Moonglow1 on 4/6/12 at 8:21

Moonglow1: Land is nothing but a power hungry ego maniac using the Bible as a tactic to meet his power hungry goal of controlling others.
Notice how these ego maniac goof balls manipulate the media: when bad weather hits a Democratic leaning state, Limbaugh, Land and others say "it's the work of the Lord cleansing the area of sin (I guess the sin is voting democratic). However, I did not hear that crap when the tornadoes hit Dallas a few days ago. I guess God was not responsible for them because Dallas votes for Rick Perry. And there he was asking for federal aid for the tornado devastation.
In my view God was giving Rick Perry a sign which was "Climate change is real buddy. "
Frankly, I love the history channel's Ancient Alien series. Our ancestor's wrote about them in the Bible-God's descending from the sky. Perhaps ET will set Land straight about the Bible and it's meaning.
And you gotta love a bigot in charge of The Ethics and Religious Freedom Commission. Gee, I can't wait to belong to the SBC!!! Ha Ha, poor suckers that follow and believe in Land. What a guy.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/12 at 8:28

Amen brothers Ask01 and Moonglow1. That is if you are male, if not sisters.

By: Mike Burch on 4/6/12 at 8:35

My wife is an actress and we have a number of gay friends. Most of them are gentle, kind and compassionate, and wouldn't hurt a flea, much less a child.

Yes, there are sexual predators and before I sent a child on a camping trip, I would want to meet the adults in charge and make sure there was more than one, which would reduce the chances of one person going rogue. But there is no reason to suggest that children are in more danger from non-heterosexuals than from heterosexuals, since most rape in the is committed by heterosexual Christians.

I am not bashing the Bible or religion, per se. I am pointing out what happens when people claim that the Bible is "infallible" then use the worst verses in the Bible to persecute and abuse innocent women and children. I believe the children in those pews are being abused, when "hell" is used to terrify them into not being able to think independently for themselves. I was one of those children, and I understand the terror, confusion and despair that they endure.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/12 at 8:36

Mike Burch, this will bring B. Itch harping about you being a Hater of Christian and Christ.

By: Kosh III on 4/6/12 at 8:56

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions.....and because of these teachers the way of truth will be maligned. And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words." II Pt 2: 1ff NRSVA

"Is it not the rich who oppress you?" Jas 2:6b

"Tend the sick, ...give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous..." Book of Common Prayer

By: Moonglow1 on 4/6/12 at 8:58

Moonglow1: Thanks Captain!

Mike I was raised Catholic and we never believed the Bible was infallible but instead should be read and understood within the context of it's time. Most of it is in parables and subject to interpretation. My understanding is that Baptists and other evangelicals believe in it literally which causes the issues we have seen namely hatred and bigotry. Whether gay or straight people have issues. Because you are gay does not mean you molest kids. But ignorant people are just that: ignorant and easily exploited. I knew someone who said I confused them because what I said differed from what Phil Valentine said. People do not read or educate themselves. They watch Fox News and think they are getting good info. They do not understand that they are being manipulated. Land is also engaging in manipulation of uneducated masses and it is unfortunately easy to do.

By: pswindle on 4/6/12 at 8:59

Land is in a position of preaching, and the sad thing is that the ones that come and hang on to everything that he says leaves brain-washed. They are non-thinkers and they beleive what he says without a question. This teaching is passed on to their children and the circle is unbroken.

By: dargent7 on 4/6/12 at 9:18

Wait a gaul darn minute here..."Most rapes are done by hetersexual Christains..."
Rapes are perpetrated by homosexuals, men on young boys.
Rapes against women are by heterosexuals, Christian or otherwise.
Heterosexuals never will rape a young boy. They'll kill young girls or young boys, kill, but we're talking about SEX here.
The pedophile Priests were "gay" to begin with. Who else enters the priesthood knowing "celebacy" is a requirement? For the love of God? Yeah, right.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/12 at 9:19

Moonglow1, I am a recovering Southern Baptist and I feel much better now. ;-)

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/12 at 9:22

Now, now d7 don’t get yourself in such a state.

By: brrrrk on 4/6/12 at 9:39

dargent7 said

"Heterosexuals never will rape a young boy."

Two words from the recent news..... Jerry Sandusky.

By: brrrrk on 4/6/12 at 9:47

Moonglow1 said

"They watch Fox News and think they are getting good info."

Recent studies have shown that people who watch Fox news exclusively know less about what's going on in the world than people who watch no news at all.


By: dargent7 on 4/6/12 at 9:52

Because Sandusky was "married", doesn't mean he was a heterosexual.
Many "gay" men are married, as cover.
These men; Priests, mentors, Boy Scout Leaders, whatever, who rape a 10 year old boy are 'gay", living a lie, as a "straight person".
Either, when you see a man's hairy ass you recoil or you approach it, says volumes whether or not you're "gay".
As Sunducky was seen doing, his weenie in a 12 year old in the shower, he's freekin' "gay" by any definition.
Would any of us, you, do that, under any circumstance?

By: brrrrk on 4/6/12 at 9:57

"There is a germ of religion in human nature so strong that whenever an order of men can persuade the people by flattery or terror that they have salvation at their disposal, there can be no end to the fraud, violence, or usurpation." - John Adams

By: brrrrk on 4/6/12 at 10:02

It appears that Darg has all of the sudden got himself a degree in Psychology..... and given his contempt for "the gays", and his proclivity to connect being gay with being a pedophile, maybe he got it from Regents University? Yeah.... I know.... same to you.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/12 at 10:07

Oh no brrrk you have said the forbidden word.

By: brrrrk on 4/6/12 at 10:09

Captain Nemo said

"Oh no brrrk you have said the forbidden word."

Proclivity? :-)

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/12 at 10:10

When I hear the religious zealous say it is God’s will, I think it is easier for them to let God take the blame for human folly.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/12 at 10:11

Carry on, brrrk. lol

I've got to go.

By: brrrrk on 4/6/12 at 10:13

Captain Nemo said

"When I hear the religious zealous say it is God’s will, I think it is easier for them to let God take the blame for human folly."

Agreed. Goes back to my all time favorite bumper sticker.... "You don't need to be born again if you were raised right in the first place".

By: slacker on 4/6/12 at 10:18

If the churches paid property taxes on their real estate, I'd be fine with it.

By: Ask01 on 4/6/12 at 11:09

This is just my opinion, mind you, but I believe one day God is going to tire of being blamed for incidents which result from human incompetence. Anger will well up at wars fought in the name of God, and other acts of intolerance, inhumanity, and incivility, all in the name of God, whichever name is used and I'm fairly certain the result will be unpleasant.

For the athiest, just ignore this, or at least indulge me as I point out the insane folly and contradiction of committing acts of violence, intolerance or degradation in the name of a God who, at the very core, is supposed to represent peace, tolerance, and human dignity.

I've always marveled at the concept of killing someone to save their soul, and churches who refuse to associate with and minister to those who, according to their doctrine, most need divine intervention.

By: Mike Burch on 4/6/12 at 11:43

I was speaking of rape in general. Most rapes are committed by heterosexual Christians, with most of the rapes being of girls and women by Christian men.

Of course there are rapes of boys by men, and those are terrible crimes, but rape is not a "homosexual thing" and we ought to be honest. To stereotype and stigmatize homosexuals is wrong, since the vast majority of them have only consensual sex with other adults.

By: Mike Burch on 4/6/12 at 11:51


Literalism is a problem in Southern Baptist and other evangelical Christian churches.

But the Roman Catholic Church has a very similar problem: the idea that the popes and church are able to speak infallibly, and that the "truth" of the Roman Catholic Church makes it the "true church." A quick glance at the actual history of the RCC completely refutes this idea: holy wars, crusades, inquisitions, women with independent minds being burned at the stake as "witches," men being tortured and burned at the stake as heretics, entire nations being wiped out because of RCC-imposed ethnic cleansing and genocide.

And today, millions of children in poor countries being told that using condoms is a "sin" which condemns many of those children to suffer and die later in life.

Yes, literalism is a big problem for evangelical churches, but believing the teachings of the RCC has caused terrible suffering and untold numbers of deaths throughout history. How many people in poor countries around the world have AIDS and other terrible diseases because the RCC teaches that using condoms is a "sin"? How many babies are being born to parents who can't afford them, because the RCC teaches that contraception is a sin?

I can't enter a Baptist church or a Catholic church because I would want to slug the lying pastors and priests, who claim to know the "truth" when the history of Christianity is full of wild injustices caused by people believing things that are not true. If this is the "wisdom" of God, I wonder what his heaven must be like.

By: Kosh III on 4/6/12 at 12:01

"'ve always marveled at the concept of killing someone to save their soul, and churches who refuse to associate with and minister to those who, according to their doctrine, most need divine intervention."

Yes, such as how so many avowed Christians want capital punishment yet claim to serve an Executed God.
If someone has given proof positive that they are hell-bound by killing, why don't they want the person's life extended as long as possible in hopes of "saving" their soul? Instead they demand that they immediately be sent straight to hell. Hypocrites.

By: brrrrk on 4/6/12 at 12:09

"If we did a good act merely from love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? ...Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God." - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814

By: brrrrk on 4/6/12 at 12:29

An excerpt from the Tennessee Legislature....

Speaker: There are ways of telling whether she is a witch.
Tea Partier 1: Are there? Oh well, tell us.
Speaker: Tell me. What do you do with witches?
Tea Partier 1: Burn them.
Speaker: And what do you burn, apart from witches?
Tea Partier 1: More witches.
Tea Partier 2: Wood.
Speaker: Good. Now, why do witches burn?
Tea Partier 3: ...because they're made of... wood?
Speaker: Good. So how do you tell whether she is made of wood?
Tea Partier1: Build a bridge out of her.
Speaker: But can you not also build bridges out of stone?
Tea Partier 1: Oh yeah.
Speaker: Does wood sink in water?
Tea Partier 1: No, no, it floats!... It floats! Throw her into the pond!
Speaker: No, no. What else floats in water?
Tea Partier 1: Bread.
Tea Partier 2: Apples.
Tea Partier 3: Very small rocks.
Tea Partier 1: Cider.
Tea Partier 2: Gravy.
Tea Partier 3: Cherries.
Tea Partier 1: Mud.
Tea Partier 2: Churches.
Tea Partier 3: Lead! Lead!
Governor Haslam: A Duck.
Speaker: ...Exactly. So, logically...
Tea Partier 1: If she weighed the same as a duck... she's made of wood.
Speaker: And therefore...
Tea Partier 2: ...A witch!

By: Kosh III on 4/6/12 at 12:37


By: brrrrk on 4/6/12 at 12:59

Kosh III said


Congratulations, you are today's winner of Guess My Reference. For that you've won an all expense paid trip to historic Bell Buckle Tn.

By: BenDover on 4/6/12 at 1:34

What a horrible thread.

Burch illustrates his Atheism as really an anti-religious fervor... again. Then everyone gets p*ssed off at each other over perceived injustice against gays because some people dare criticize homosexual behavior because their religious traditions do not wish for homosexuality to be encouraged in society.

Further Burch goes on to say sending your child to church is child abuse and the traditional roles in a man/woman marriage amount to sexual discrimination and oppresion, as if what goes on in other people's families with respect to their faith and religion or anything else is any of his damn business in the first place.

Ludicrous... as are most of Burch's Holy rants.

What is it about these Atheist nuts that makes them feel like they have some obligation to try to undermine everyone else''s faith? The arrogance is astounding. Is it one of those, "I want everyone else to be as miserable and empty as I am" things?

The bottom line I think is that liberalism requires that the basic tenants of judeo/christian culture be undermined because because things like 'do not covet' and 'do not bear false witness' and 'do not steal' that are requisite to our country's survival as founded can only be undone with populist machiavellian premises that are the foundation of fiscal liberalism that requires willful violation of each of the above.

The Frankfurt School realized they would need to crush religion in this country in order to crush capitalism and thus invented Critical Theory to undermine all of the things built on our social and cultural heritage that worked; in favor of things that could only be immediately reasoned. Moral relativism was born where every man judges his own morality against a fluid and nebulous set of his own rules; and now we are reaching critical mass in our society with either the purveyors of the Frankfurt craft or their useful idiots who have adopted this useless and destructive philosophy as their own religion advancing the cause, rewriting the lexicon as it suits them, and indoctrinating the next generation as drones for the cause.

I personally have nothing against Gay marriage and I predict society will adapt to it over time... but neither I, nor Burch, have a clue how this and other wholesale rewrites of our culture like banishing our religious traditions, teachings and mores from the public sector will effect our society in the long run; and methinks Burch's hyperbole in advancing his cause does much harm to society in the process.

By: dargent7 on 4/6/12 at 1:45

What is it with you people, here in the south? Rape against a 10 or 12 year old boy is by, "heterosexual Christians"?
Are you nuttz?
Sandusky, as well as the Priests, were "gay".
Hetero's won't screw a 10 year old up their ass.
At least in Detroit it was frowned upon, unlike here were it seems to be accepted and commonplace.
All these female teachers having sex with their 9th grade students were hetero's.
Even the male coaches having sex with their 10th grade female students were hetero's.
It's the gays who are raping the same sex/ gender.
Pyscho is psycho, but at least the hetero's stay within their gender assignment.

By: brrrrk on 4/6/12 at 1:47

BenDover said

"What is it about these Atheist nuts that makes them feel like they have some obligation to try to undermine everyone else''s faith?"

What is it about these Religious nuts that makes them feel like they have some obligation to try to force their faith upon others through Government laws?

"The multitude and diversity of them [religions], you will say, is our security against them all. God grant it. But if we consider the Presbyterians and Methodists are far the most numerous and the most likely to unite; let a George Whitefield arise, with a military cast, like Mahomet, or Loyola, and what will come of all the other sects who can never unite?" - John Adams

By: Kosh III on 4/6/12 at 1:55

"as if what goes on in other people's families with respect to their faith and religion or anything else is any of his damn business in the first place."

Yes, so keep your religious opinion out of the lives of gay citizens; stop using the coercive power of the state to compel religious conformity upon citizens who do not share that opinion. Equality is a basic value of our civil, secular society founded on the Constitution; people fled Europe to the colonies to escape this same type of religious coercive conformity.

By: Kosh III on 4/6/12 at 1:58

"Congratulations, you are today's winner of Guess My Reference. For that you've won an all expense paid trip to historic Bell Buckle Tn.

How very disappointing. I was hoping for a spanking, followed by oral sex. "bet you're gay."

By: yogiman on 4/6/12 at 2:00


How can it not be considered rape when an adult man has sex with a young boy? How old was you when you discovered you really knew what sex was and who should be [doing it] together?

By: brrrrk on 4/6/12 at 2:25

" It has been some time a question for me, whether a Common-Wealth suffers more by hypocritical pretenders to Religion, or by the openly profane? But some late thoughts of this nature, have inclined me to think, that the hypocrite is the most dangerous of the two, especially if he sustains a post in Government, and we consider his conduct as it regards the public.....
A man compounded of Law of Gospel, is able to cheat a whole country with his religion, and then destroy them under the Colour of Law."

- Ben Franklin

By: yogiman on 4/6/12 at 2:55


As an Obama favorite, what do you think of the Russian paper Pravda openly endorsing Obama for re-election?

Check www.social.patrioticactionnetwork.com/viedo/video/show?id=2600775%AVideo%3A5650823&xgs=18&g_source_msg_share_video/