On Saturday, November 12, I was driving south on Interstate 5 in California. I found this program on an AM station in Fresno, Richard Land Live!. Land was responding to phone-ins, talking about a speech that George W. Bush made on Veterans' Day (that's what they call Remembrance Day in the U.S.). He said something that made my jaw drop: the effort to impeach Bush and withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq is the result of “Satanic influence”. He wasn't kidding, either.

Now, it would be easy to dismiss Land as just another nutbar with a radio program and a web site, along the lines of Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Pat Robertson, or Rachel Marsden. (I was in San Francisco the day after O'Reilly invited terrorists to attack the place. Fortunately, the only invasion I noticed was USC fans who came up for a football game at the University of California the next day.) This would be a mistake, because Land's credentials are much stronger. He is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and has been a lobbyist in Washington for the Southern Baptist Convention, which is the second-largest religious organization in the U.S. Land is also pro-higher education, and seems to have some appreciation of baseball.

I would like to ask Land some theological questions. How does rewarding Halliburton with fat contacts fit into Christian teachings? What would Jesus have to say about torturing prisoners? Specifically, I heard another radio commentator, Randi Rhodes (http://www.therandirhodesshow.com/), say that by threatening to feed Iraqi civilians to lions, the Bush administration has become the very thing that Bush and his supporters profess to oppose. How could an official of the Southern Baptist Convention be a sycophant for the Caligula, or at least the Nero, of the 21st century? (Try substituting “rearranging your hair and rolling up your sleeves for the camera while Hurricane Katrina victims are drowning” for “fiddling while Rome burns”.) Doesn't Mammon have far more adherents in the U.S. than Christianity? Does Land and/or the Southern Baptist Convention share Rev. Jerry Falwell's belief in "Dominion Theology", which advocates turning the United States into a theocracy?

Inside the City Lights Bookstore
Inside the City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco
Changing the subject... I mentioned that I was in San Francisco. One of the tourist things I did there was a visit to the City Lights Bookstore. I was in the “beat poets” section, and I saw this elderly gentleman on a ladder, fetching something from the top shelf for a customer. I recognized him as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, proprietor of City Lights and America's most prominent living poet. When he finished taking care of his customer, I introduced myself to him, and we shook hands. He asked me where I was from, and I told him. I asked him some questions about some books of Jack Kerouac collections that I had been perusing. He wasn't familiar with Good Blonde & Others (which I ended up purchasing), and suggested a couple of other items, including a collection put together by Ann Charters. (No, this was not the biography that she is known for.) He then told me that he regards City Lights as a library first and a bookstore second, and suggested that I have a seat and do some reading before making a purchasing decision.

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0 #1 Guest 2007-05-26 14:38
Richard Land is NOT a follower of Jesus Christ, though he would have you think so. But Land does bow at the feet of his idol--a new world order murderer named George W. Bush. Land and his alter ego, Al Mohler, have been praising and defending Bush endlessly and deceiving their misguided and clueless Southern Baptist flocks for six years. Five years ago, I called in to Mohler's radio program to challenge him regarding some of Bush's rather odd statements regarding the Islamic god 'Allah.' Mohler agreed with me that 'Allah' is not the same God found in the Bible, but defended Bush by telling me, "He's our Commander-in-Ch ief not our Theologian-in-C hief." Now I'm certain that to many of your readers, discussions about deities are not 'politically correct,' but I don't really care---the point I'm making is that even though Bush's religious doctrines collide with fact, and Southern Baptist doctrine, Mohler and Land defend this maniac no matter how many people he continues to slaughter around the world. I find myself asking the question, 'Why would Land and Mohler align with a man who belongs to occultic organizations and who gave us the unconstitutiona l Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and hands out visas to 20K Saudi 'students?' Why would Land/Mohler act as sycophants to a lunatic who is clearly trying to destroy the USA? I just can't answer those questions.
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