DADT Meltdown Watch: Baptist Ethicist Richard Land Warns of God’s Judgment on America

The religious right’s meltdown over the end of DADT continues apace. Here’s what “Baptist ethicist” Richard Land recently wrote to President Obama concerning the consequences of DADT repeal:

[H]omosexual behavior cannot be normalized without rejecting God’s moral standards (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-10). The Southern Baptist Convention’s 2009 resolution recognizes that the Bible describes homosexual behavior as both a contributing cause (Gen. 18:20-21; Lev. 18:24-28; Jude 7) and a consequence of God’s judgment (Rom. 1:18-32). We believe it to be contrary to Scripture to commend open homosexual relationships in general, including within the military ranks. Our nation has moved from God in so many ways and we are deeply concerned that an increasingly affirming policy toward homosexual behavior will provide further impetus for God’s judgment on our nation.

Translation: America is not a secular Enlightenment-based Republic, but, like Israel, a nation in covenant with God. The fact that you and I may not have consented to this covenant, or signed anything (or had, if we are American males, our penises circumcised), apparently is irrelevant. Like it or not, this covenant entails keeping the same laws instituted by God for Bronze Age Hebrews 2700 years ago. And if we don’t keep them, God will be angry with us and punish us all collectively as a “nation” (just like he did the Israelites once upon a time). 

This, of course, makes me wonder what Mr. Land’s position is on the eating of shellfish, something that is also forbidden in Mosaic law. Perhaps, as we speak, he is outside of his local Red Lobster with a protest sign that reads: NO BUSINESS LICENSES FOR UNGODLY INSTITUTIONS!

In any case, America’s failure to criminalize homosexuality among consenting adults provides “impetus for God’s judgment on our nation.”

And what, exactly, are the judgments that God may bring on America for its tolerance of homosexual behavior in its midst? Mr. Land does not specify, but Israel’s contractual obligations are laid out in Deuteronomy, so I guess we better all go and read that contract very, very carefully. By ethicist Richard Land’s reckoning, it applies to us. 

So expect America’s next national tragedy to be blamed by ethicist Richard Land on America’s gay people (not America’s greedy people or stupid people or the contingent forces of nature—and certainly not on Red Lobster).

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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