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May 10, 2012

After Meeting with Black Southern Baptists, Richard Land Apologizes Again over Trayvon Martin Comments

The Southern Baptist leader said he has sent a personal letter to President Obama seeking forgiveness.

Southern Baptist leader Richard Land has issued a lengthy public apology for his racially charged comments about the Trayvon Martin case, and said he has sent a personal letter to President Obama seeking forgiveness.

Land, who leads the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, issued the two-page apology Wednesday (May 9), a week after a five-hour meeting with African-American leaders and other Southern Baptist officials.

Because of that meeting, “I have come to understand in sharper relief how damaging my words were,” he wrote in the statement released through his denomination’s news service.

Land had previously apologized for his comments, which charged Democrats and civil rights leaders with exploiting the killing of the unarmed Florida teen. He also has apologized for failing to attribute the material he used when discussing the case on his radio show.

The latest apology included references to his “insensitivity” towards Martin’s family, and a clarification that “racial profiling is a heinous injustice” and that he does not believe U.S. racism is a myth.

Land also confessed that he “impugned the motives” of President Obama and civil rights leaders Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

“It was unchristian and unwise for me to have done so,” he wrote, adding that he sent them letters of apology asking for forgiveness. “God alone is the searcher of men's hearts. I cannot know what motivated them in their comments in this case.”

An investigatory committee is looking into charges that some of Land’s comments may have been plagiarized. In a Wednesday statement, Steve Faith, chairman of the ERLC’s trustees, said ERLC leaders expect to make a public statement about the probe by June 1.

“The trustees are aware of their responsibility to the Convention and to the watching world,” Faith said.

The meeting with Land included Fred Luter, the New Orleans pastor expected to be elected in June as the SBC’s first African-American president; leaders of black Southern Baptist groups and two former SBC presidents, Frank Page and Paige Patterson.

Ed Stetzer, a researcher for the Southern Baptist Convention who criticized Land’s comments, said he was grateful that black Southern Baptist leaders confronted Land, and wished more white leaders had spoken up.

“I am very glad that Dr. Land listened to them and apologized,” Stetzer wrote Wednesday on his blog.

Comments

Poor Richard Land! Takes one foot out of his mouth so he can put the other one in!

The apology to the Martin family was quite appropriate. On the other hand, Land did not show that the reactions of Mssrs. Obama, Sharpton, and Jackson were proportionate to their reactions to other shootings.

Similarly, Land appropriately acknowledged that racial profiling is bad and that racism does exist in the US, but did he show the relevance of those statements to the Martin case? While the manipulated texts of the 911 call led people to believe there was racism at work, when the complete texts of the call went public, it was objectively clear that racism had nothing to do with the matter.

While humility is a quality to promote in one's Christian life, going along with the crowd is not.

"it was objectively clear that racism had nothing to do with the matter."

As Richard Land said, “God alone is the searcher of men's hearts. I cannot know what motivated them in their comments in this case.” We do not know whether racism had something to do with Trayvon being followed and confronted. Just because a racial slur in the 911 call has not been confirmed, it does not clear the shooter from racist motives. The trial will be the best way we humans have of determining the truth.

"Just because a racial slur has not been confirmed"!!! The transcript is available to the public. Objectively speaking -- looking at the words used -- there is no racial slur in the transcript. But you say, oh, there may be one -- it's just not been confirmed! Land himself (as you quote) says God alone knows men's hearts, yet you want to turn that over to a jury. By the way, you write "... Trayvon being followed and confronted." You do know, I hope, that Trayvon was followed, then not followed for 90 seconds, then a confrontation occurred -- we do not know who initiated the confrontation, but we do know that George incurred injuries to his nose and back of head during that confrontation. Ernie, you seem to be selective in writing "followed and confronted."

Such groveling!

How many times have black leaders made racist remarks about whites and never apologized?

Why is it that we can have holidays or special events such as "Black This" or "Black That" and it not be considered racist, but if someone were to put "White" in front of any holiday or meeting, the NAACP would be all over them?

America is a land of double standards and it's only getting worse.

I am surprised, with the election of Obama, they haven't changed the name of "The White House" into "The Black House."

Enough is enough of this ridiculous racism on the part of blacks now. Yes blacks are now more guilty than whites!

I must say that I am not surprised by the reaction of what I hope is a small group of disgruntled Whites...Until you know what it's like to be Black living in the most racist country in the world!! This small group wants you to believe that since the election of President Obama, racism is no longer a problem on the contrary, race relations have gotten worse not better. The primary reason for this is undoubtedly been the recent election of the country's 1st African-American president...the majority of Whites believe that this is progress, however, there is always going to be race-baiters from the radical far right extremists who want to "take back our country." This country was and is ready to put the past behind us in order to show the rest of the world that we must embrace that change...however, if you think that Black people are going to allow you to take the country back 50 years, you must be high on arrogance and not reality. White people, I urge all of you to get with the program of racial equality and stop this madness and hatred...PLEASE!! R

Dr. Land was our interim pastor for over a year. He repeatedly showed concern about racial relations in his sermons and addressed racism in a way I have never heard white evangelicals do. I don't think he is groveling; this is consistent with his convictions about stopping racism in the church and in this country. To me his only sin was allowing himself to be quoted saying anything about the Trayvon Martin case, which is understandably complicated and emotional.

There was never any need for "Christian Leaders" to address or respond to anything concerning the Trayvon Martin case. Those who sought and still seek to use the case for whatever reason will be found out. As Christians, our first response and only response should have been; "Lord, how can we glorify You in this situation?" If there had been no response from "Christian Leaders" and Christian Radio, fools would have been shown for what and who they are. No response at all would have taken the air out of the balloon that many were trying to float for different reasons.

Trayvon's Mom claims Jesus as her Lord. The Zimmerman family has been quiet on that front. Wouldn't it have been glorious if "Christian Leaders" and Christian Radio had contacted both families and looked for an opportunity to "be" Jesus to them in their pain?!

Please stop with the African American term; "black" term; "white"; "european american" and all the other terms that certain people want us to use to stay divided.

We are the Church of the Living God- Christians!!! Period!!

there will always be racism as long as we live in the flesh and not in the spirit. when we truly come together the gates of hell will shutter at a100.0. i for one am praying for the church to be unified

Black Southern Baptists and White Southern Baptists!

So then nothing has changed huh?

Same old, same old!

Land would have been wiser simply not to open his mouth in the first place. Why people think they need to speak on such murky topics is beyond me. Just say, "I don't know," which is true for everyone but G. Zimmerman.

Richard Land is forced to apologize for speaking the truth. Al Sparpton and the Left are free to poison race relations. That's not love. That's fear.