Southern Baptist Convention official Richard Land has a few words of advice for secularists: "The country has made the decision that they want more faith in the public square.”
That is the premise of Land's message these days as the U.S. presidential election approaches.
He said the recent civil forum at pastor and author Rick Warren's Saddleback Church is an example of how important faith has become to many Americans.
After all, Land said, who would have thought that the two presumptive presidential nominees would attend a pre-party convention discussion at a church — one with Southern Baptist roots, no less?
"I must say I am genetically programmed to be an optimist, but even I, in my wildest dreams, could not have imagined that in 2008 the only post-debate forum would be at a Southern Baptist church and be moderated by a Southern Baptist preacher,” Land said while visiting Oklahoma City this week. He is president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Land said the forum, held Saturday in Lake Forest, Calif. (and aired online and on several cable TV networks) exceeded expectations for most people, and helped prove that "most Americans want to bring their religious convictions to bear on public policy.”
Such statements are reminders of why Tony Perkins, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council, dubbed Land the "consummate culture warrior.