Dr. Richard Land is "president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention's official entity assigned to address social, moral, and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families and their faith. He has served in this position since October 1988.
"Prior to becoming The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s President, Dr. Land served as The Criswell College's Vice-President for Academic Affairs from 1980 to 1988. He had taught as Professor of Theology and Church History at that institution since 1975.
"Dr. Land graduated with the Bachelor of Arts degree (magna cum laude) from Princeton University and with the Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England. He also received a Master of Theology (Honors Program) degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he served as student body president and received the Broadman Seminarian Award as the outstanding graduating student.
"While on leave of absence from The Criswell College, Dr. Land served from January 1987 to May 1988 as Administrative Assistant to the Honorable William P. Clements, Jr., Governor of Texas. Dr. Land was the Governor's senior advisor on church-state issues and areas relating to 'traditional family values' as well as anti-drug, anti-pornography and anti-abortion legislation. In addition to these issues, Dr. Land had senior staff responsibility in the areas of public higher education, mental health and retardation, the physically handicapped, and AIDS."
According to his For Faith & Family biography, Land "During his tenure as spokesman on Capitol Hill for the largest non-Catholic denomination in the country, Dr. Land has represented Southern Baptists’ interests in the halls of Congress, before U.S. Presidents, and in the major media.
"President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Land to two terms on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (September 2001 to September 2004)."
"In May 2004, Land was recognized by the extremely prestigious National Journal as one of the ten top church-state experts 'politicians will call on when they get serious about addressing an important public policy issue.'
"As host of For Faith & Family and For Faith & Family's Insight, two nationally syndicated radio programs, Dr. Land speaks passionately and authoritatively on the social, ethical, and public policy issues facing our country. The For Faith & Family Broadcast Ministry is heard by more than 1.5 million listeners each week on over 600 radio stations across the country and throughout the world on the Internet.
"Richard Land Live! is Dr. Land’s latest radio initiative. It's a 3-hour, live, caller-driven weekend program syndicated on the Salem Radio Network.
"Dr. Land is also Executive Editor of Faith & Family Values, a national magazine dedicated to coverage of traditional religious values, Christian ethics, and cultural trends.
Writing in Tennessean.com Holly Edwards, describes Land "as one of the most powerful voices among the country's burgeoning evangelical movers and shakers". "He has the ear of the Bush administration through weekly teleconferences with the president's aides, and leaders of both parties routinely consult him as they shape policies and issues," she wrote.
Although, Edwards writes, Land "typifies the new breed of evangelical Christian leaders who have progressed from a group of outsiders banging on the doors of government to gain influence to respected partners of the Republican Party, helping to frame and define public policy ... a growing number of Christians, frustrated that their voices have been eclipsed, are challenging the growing influence of religious leaders such as Land. They say there's more to their faith than the views of the religious right, which, they feel, too often echo the views of the Republican Party."
Land "was interviewed more than 660 times last year by television, radio and print journalists, and regularly speaks at conferences and debates nationwide. ... Through his syndicated weekly radio broadcast, For Faith and Family, carried by more than 600 stations nationwide, Land reaches more than 1.5 million listeners. ... And just this month, Time magazine named Land one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in the country, dubbing him God's lobbyist — a term that makes him cringe."
"That popularity," Edwards points out, "makes some moderate Christians uncomfortable. They are calling for the moral conversation in the country to be broadened from its focus on abortion, pornography and gay marriage to include war, poverty and the environment."
- "Well, there's no question this is the most receptive White House to our concerns and to our perspective of any White House that I've dealt with, and I've dealt with every White House from Reagan on.
- "In the Reagan administration, they would usually return our phone calls. In the Bush 41 administration, they often would return our phone calls, but not quite as quickly, and sometimes not quite as receptively. In the Clinton administration, they quit accepting our phone calls after a while.
- "In this administration, they call us, and they say, 'What is your take on this? How does your group feel about this?'"
- Real Homeland Security: The America God Will Bless, Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2004.
- Richard Land Live!.com.
- Holly Edwards, "Christian right leader has Bush's ear", Tennessean.com, February 20, 2005.
- "The Jesus Factor", Frontline, PBS, April 29, 2004.