Today is a pretty good day for women.
"Today is a historic milestone for women and reproductive justice in the United States. It's a cause for celebration, because today--August 1st--is the first day health plans are required to provide women with no-charge coverage for contraception and other critical health benefits when their plan or policy year renews!" from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in Washington DC.
" In the wake of a plagiarism scandal, controversy over racially inflammatory remarks, and an internal investigation, Richard Land announced Tuesday that he would step down next year as president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Land will formally retire in October, 2013 – 25 years to the day he assumed the presidency. "
A Repost from June of this year, my personal experience with Dr. Richard Land.
A very long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, yeah right. No right here in Illinois, in Chicago, the dark lord visited. That's right folks, right here in Illinois in 2000, Dr. Richard Land, spread this merry evangelical message that still rankles me today, more than a decade later.
I attended this event while still at what might be considered the apex of my political capital. Someone, and I do not know who, invited me to participate in a luncheon meeting and panel discussion given by the American Assembly, an affiliate of Columbia University, on What should be the Role of Religion in Presidential Politics?
Yes, I know you are shaking your heads. Well it's true this was an import mission of the 96th American Assembly, Matters of Faith: Religion in American Public Life.
Think of this in it's now historical context, you know, the GW Bush bag of born again Christian schickt - but let’s not get into the whole Ashcroft anointing himself with oil thing, okay?
Without getting too personal here, I was a Republican candidate who went into the primary to try and hold the line. You know, I put myself up there on the firing line so that more conservative, party cut out dolls would not win. (One guy was in his 6th or so primary without a win on the ballot with me, and the other man, well, he did win the primary, not in the general. Also 10 years later he made the news again; “(Dr.) Tom Salvi was arrested after allegedly approaching a 27-year-old woman June 25 and asking whether he could undress for her."
In the primary I lost, but the Democrat with Republican leanings did manage to maintain his seat in the general, so score zero for the Republicans on that whole thing. I was the pro-choice, pro-gay rights candidate who worked very hard to hold the line. I suffered in the community for it, where I had been a leader of sorts before I went against the big operators. They asked me not to hold a grudge after the election. Imagine that.
Anyway this is not really about me in a way; it is about a woman who, as a fellow pro-choice Republican had worked to get me elected. She was and is the president of nonpartisan organization, that supports the preservation of abortion rights in our county, with voter education and activism. She had been invited to attend also. So we went up to the big city, to the Mid-America Club and like we had done already in Washington DC at that point, took our seat at the big table of talk.
Martin E. Marty, the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago (at the time) was the moderator. If you know anything about political science and the place of religion in the mix, in academia, this man has made his mark. He is one of the good guys.
Speakers were C. Welton Gaddy, Executive Director, The Interfaith Alliance and the Interfaith Alliance Foundation; Muhajid Ramadan, Imam, The American Muslim Council; Ines M. Talamantez, Professor of Native American Studies and Philosophies, University of Southern California, Santa Barbara. And also present was the incredible Richard D. Land, President of The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Every greasy hair of his jet black mane was in a way a signal about this man's presence. There was just something not right about him.
I think he had issues with women, any women who were not submissive. My friend, who has a great deal of courage, as well as intelligence, saw an opportunity to ask him a question, that in effect seemed to greatly upset him and put him on the spot. He had buffaloed almost everyone there, except the few who knew better about his pious nature.
There were a few others who had attempted to take him in the discussion, but with the flick of his greasy colic he was able to smooth his chubby face and grit himself with a grin, always managing to contain the damage.
He was not really ready for Dee's question. Poor man. Anyway, Dee is no longer religious and was not at the time, but was brought up in a faith. She has some understanding of the role of women in some faiths, minuscule as it is. She was probably thinking about Beverly Widung Harrison who was a professor of Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminar in New York, who had once posed the question herself, "Is a non-misogynist Christianity possible?"
Dee directed her question to the two Christians on the panel, she said, “As I research the treatment of women in the church and then see the creeping (religious) influence in the halls of democracy, I shudder. Is a non-misogynist country possible?"
Cue the thud of silence. Beet red and raring to go, Land sputtered and alas his sound bite of an answer has not been recorded. However, the most interesting thing took place at the conclusion of the event. It was the gauntlet drop, the smack of the glove across the face, the challenge, the duel.
Later we would really understand the complete significance of what had occurred. We would see the Bush administration and its religious shock and awe, its blatant lies, its dose of ideology, its attempt to frame the American experience as exclusively Christian, exclusively conservative. We would come to understand the real scope of all this "Christian" thinking. Most Christians did not recognize it as their own, but a new breed, a once boxed in, contained wingnut group would revel in letting their prejudices and hatred bubble to the surface. The truth was all lost for those years and as we try to reclaim our truth, the nature of the beast is that it just won't die. Hence, the folly of cannons over all the issues near and dear to women, to attempt to shut us up and shut us down once and for all, even now in 2012.
When the event was concluding, I went to the rest room, when I came out Richard Land had cornered my friend in a small space while she was waiting for me. I stepped right into the confrontation.
She later recorded it as this, “As I left the meeting I was stopped by an ordained Southern Baptist minister (Land) who has been seated on the panel. His comment to me was "Women have no rights when they are pregnant." He also said, "We are going to win." He engaged me because of a provocative question I had addressed to the two Christians on the panel."
I stepped into that milieu right about the time the threat was made, the "they were going to win” part, almost at the same time Marty Martin stepped up behind Land and with that Land disappeared. Martin looked quizzical and we in our shocked state knew the game was on. We recalled the exchange for Martin and he gave what I would consider a sympathetic response to our shock. I seem to recall him saying something that would imply support to us. He had probably been experiencing the fury of this conservative right during the main part of the assembly in California. Who knows? All I know is that I remembered the threat a bit differently. In my recollection, I felt he said, "We are going to win. We are going to get you!" Meaning of course, women like us, women who did not cower, who did not do as they were told.
For years every time Richard Land has been in the news, got some leadership position with the White House, chaired some special committee, we have been watching him. We discuss his latest exploit and have noticed his hair is no longer black, it looks a bit cleaner (in photos) but those chubby cheeks are still there.
I am sure that the world that Richard Land wishes for is Christian, his brand of course, with his rules. Look out folks, there are many more like him, filled with as much distain and hatred for anyone who does not fit their mold.
Know what you are up against. It is a war. They have taken some ground and are looking for more. This election cycle is important. It is especially important to women, if you want your contraception, and your rights as a human being, you best remember what we heard Richard Land say, "Women have no rights when they are pregnant" additionally they probably have no rights if they are being beaten, if they are being held against their will, if they are assuming the submissive role in society. That’s really what this all is about isn't it? Misogynist thinking, behavior, laws, church doctrines, religions, governments, welcome to my reality, oh, it's yours too.
The goals of the March 2000 Assembly has been:
How should we address religion in public education?
How should the First Amendment guarantees apply to current controversies concerning religion in public life?
Should state-religious institution partnerships be encouraged?
How should we live with our differences on such issues as sexual orientation, abortion, and physician assisted suicide?
What role should religion play in business and corporate governance, not-for-profit organizations, academia, citizen action and science and technology?
Copyright 2012 by SheilaTGTG55
Update: Richard Land lost his radio show today for remarks about Trayvon Martin.(June 4, 2012)
Southern Baptist leader RICHARD LAND has had his weekly SALEM NETWORK radio show canceled after he was accused of lifting remarks for his radio show that accused Democrats and civil rights leaders of exploiting the case of TRAYVON MARTIN, who was shot and killed by GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, a volunteer neighborhood watchman.
"The Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee also issued LAND two reprimands -- for the 'racially charged' comments and for using material from THE WASHINGTON TIMES without properly crediting the newspaper," reports THE LOS ANGELES TIMES. "During a MARCH 31st broadcast of 'RICHARD LAND Live!' LAND had accused Pres. BARACK OBAMA, the Rev. JESSE JACKSON and the Rev. AL SHARPTON of attempting to capitalize on the fatal shooting of the FLORIDA teenager. He also appeared to justify racial profiling."
Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee called the comments "hurtful, irresponsible" and "insensitive."
"We are particularly disappointed in Dr. LAND's words because they do not accurately reflect the body of his work over a long career at the ERLC toward racial reconciliation in the Southern Baptist Convention and American life," officials wrote FRIDAY. "We must now redouble our efforts to regain lost ground, to heal re-opened wounds, and to realize the dream of a Southern Baptist Convention that is just as diverse as the population of our great Nation."
From All Access
From Alternet August 1, 2012
Glad to see him leaving. No confusion about his so-called retirement either, it is evident that his hatred finally did him in.