Southern Baptist Convention Leader Richard Land: Out to Pasture, But Not Irrelevant

A profile of old guard conservative Southern Baptist leader Richard Land (below) in the National Journal reveals some interesting connections about how he drove the shift in conservative Christian politics over the last 10 years and the current Southern Baptist community’s evolution since his heyday.

Called “God’s Lobbyist” by TIME magazine, Land was pivotal to shifting the moderate Southern Baptists of the late 70s and early 80s to a firm line of conservative Christians with an eye toward aggressive political engagement, especially on issues of sexuality and reproduction.

In the NJ profile, Land talks about getting the Southern Baptists to engage politics for Jesus:

“Pietism, or withdrawal from the culture, has always been a big temptation for American evangelicals,” he says. “It took a lot to convince them to jettison that pietism and get involved, number one. It took a lot for most of them to do so primarily through the Republican Party, because most of them were not raised Republican.