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?