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Land says values voters are new political force in America

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–“I’m Richard Land and I vote my values. And from what the pollsters found out, you vote your values, too,” the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission pronounced, opening the entity’s report to the SBC annual meeting June 20.

Land said the commission’s iVoteValues campaign touched more than 400,000 Americans, in assisting them to vote in a “more intelligent and more concerned way” during last year’s elections.

More than 61,000 new voters were registered last year through the iVoteValues effort both online at iVoteValues.com and through the iVoteValues 18-wheel truck that crisscrossed America with the message that it is proper for voters to consider their values when they are choosing which candidates to support. In addition, the initiative distributed 90,000-plus bulletin inserts as well as some 306,000 party platform comparison guides.

The November 2004 election was a “fork in the road” election, Land said, quickly noting he wasn’t talking about a traditional fork, pointing in opposite directions to emphasize his point.

“It was because of tens of millions of voters, nearly 25 percent of those who went to the polls, said that moral values were the most important issue upon which they cast their ballot,” Land said. The day after the presidential election, the national media was desperately trying to determine what a “morals voter” was, he continued.

“They should have come here to find out,” he added to vigorous applause.

Last November, he said, “… [T]hey heard loud and clear that there is a new force loose in America and it is people who are going to vote traditional religious values, be they evangelicals, be they Catholics or be they Jewish….

“We did all we could to help you vote your values, beliefs and convictions,” said Land, a frequent guest on national news programs. He is heard weekdays on more than 500 radio stations on his “For Faith & Family” broadcast. He is also host of “Richard Land Live!” a three-hour, caller-driven program that airs every Saturday on the Salem Radio Network.

“Southern Baptists said to us they wanted to have an impact on our nation’s public policy,” Land said. “You spoke. We listened. And at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission we did all we could to help you vote your values, your beliefs and your convictions.

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve the people called Southern Baptist,” Land added.

“We want to hear from you; we want to help you be salty salt and penetrating light,” he continued, referring to Jesus’ words in Matthew 5.

The ERLC serves Southern Baptists and others through its offices in Nashville and Washington, D.C., by looking to Scripture for a trustworthy response to the moral, ethical and public policy issues impacting families today.

“Two-thirds of Americans do not want ‘same-sex marriage.’ Period,” Land said. “And they are not going to allow a runaway, imperial judiciary to impose it upon them against their will.

“We still have a government of the people, by the people and for the people — if we will stand up and demand it,” thundered Land, who was one of seven Southern Baptists named by Time magazine in February 2005 as among the country’s 25 most influential evangelicals.

Land said he understands he is only giving voice to the hearts of Southern Baptists when he appears on national news programs or is interviewed by the media.

“We believe there is still an opportunity for America to turn back to God,” Land said, promising the ERLC is anxious to work with Southern Baptists “to change America for God Almighty and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“There is nothing in my Bible that tells me we can’t have another great awakening, even a reformation in America,” Land said. “It is our job to be salt and light to seek to bring it about.”

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  • Dwayne Hastings