The Reverend Doctor Richard Land and the Abominable Crime Against Nature

Richard Land ist Kein Rassist

The Reverend Doctor Richard Land is a prominent Southern Baptist preacher/politician, previously best known for accusing Obama of using the Trayvon Martin case to “gin up the black vote.” This was a signal achievement—a threefer, one might say: he simultaneously came out as a racist, committed plagiarism, and was forced to resign as head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Two days ago, on the PBS Newshour, the Reverend Doctor Land had a sad. When pressed to condemn Trump’s divisive remarks, Land clumsily attempted to evade the issue, responding instead to a question the interviewer had not asked, to wit, Isn’t it true that all you redneck Trump supporters are racists?

In words or substance, Land’s response to the question which had not been asked was, “No, Trump supporters are not racists. And, by the way, I am not a racist, either. And did I mention that Trump himself is not a racist?”

I am reminded of all those state criminal laws—now unconstitutional—that made it a felony to engage in “the abominable crime against nature,” but failed to provide an anatomical description of the offending conduct.

When someone was caught and prosecuted, counsel for the defense would invariably argue, “Well, Your Honor, I have to admit that what my client did was pretty kinky. But it wasn’t THE abominable crime against nature. THE abominable crime against nature is SOMETHING ELSE.”

A Final Thought

Just a little morning humor here. My attempted witticism isn’t meant to suggest that you all should go out and engage the Reverend Doctor Richard Lands of the world in a semantic debate about the meaning of a word.

That would be a fool’s errand.

So please don’t do it.