Late Friday, the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission announced that due in part to at least two instances of egregious plagiarism, commission president Richard Land's radio show would be canceled as soon as its contract with its distributor, Salem Radio, allowed it to do so. Well, on Saturday, in a prerecorded broadcast, Land announced the show was leaving the air immediately, though he didn't elaborate as to why.
Yet, Land still--at least for the moment--has a job. And that doesn't sit well with Aaron Weaver, the blogger who unmasked Land's plagiarism.
Weaver, a graduate student at Baylor University who blogs at thebigdaddyweave.com, said that trustees were wrong when they said the plagiarism was a result of “carelessness and poor judgment.”Richard Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics, a moderate Baptist think tank, also thinks Land needs to go.
“He wasn’t being careless,” he said. “This was intentional.”
Allowing Land to keep his job, despite the plagiarism, sends the wrong message, said Parham.After finding out that Land denied intending to mislead his listeners--an explanation that wouldn't cut ice in the journalistic or academic world--I find myself agreeing with Weaver and Parham. Sign this petition to the chairman of the ERLC board of trustees telling him to fire Land.
Along with being the head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Land also teaches regularly at Baptist seminaries.
“Allowing Land to continue as an SBC official — without even an unpaid leave of absence — will create a banquet of distasteful consequences for the Southern Baptists when it comes to how seminaries deal with students who plagiarize papers and how churches deal with pastors who plagiarize sermons.”