Richard Land, Southern Baptist Head Ethicist, Is a Plagiarist?



You all remember that we talked about the head of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Richard Land, complaining about Obama pouring "gasoline on the racialist fires."

I was a bit shocked that a bigwig in a denomination looking to heal ancient wrongs committed against black people would think that black people were too stupid to know what to be upset about unless Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson told them.

And so I am happy to report that it's possible Richard Land doesn't think that, because it turns out those were not Richard Land's words. Nope, Land was repeating, practically verbatim, the words of Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner without attribution. (For fun, google "Jeffrey Kuhner" and any Tea Party meme. He's written in support of them all. The actual Tea Party doesn't agree with as many Tea Party ideas as Jeffrey Kuhner. He's a birther, a secret-Muslimer, and, as is obvious now, a Obama-is-fanning-racialist-flames-er.)

The Tennessean reports that Land, upon being caught plagiarizing, said:

On occasion I have failed to provide appropriate verbal attributions on my radio broadcast, Richard Land Live!, and for that I sincerely apologize. I regret if anyone feels they were deceived or misled. That was not my intent nor has it ever been. Clearly there has been no attempt to deceive the public or we would not have posted the articles that are used on the air.

The blogger who caught Land plagiarizing, Aaron Weaver, makes a salient point about whether Land was intentionally deceptive. Weaver has found another instance of plagiarism (in this case, Land passes off ideas about Obama trampling religious freedom as his own). Weaver writes:

Land does link to the Washington Examiner editorial under “full show notes” on his radio show website. He also links to columns by Peggy Noonan, Michael Gerson and E.J. Dionne.

Yet Land made no mention of the Washington Examiner during the segment transcribed above. Listeners did not know he was quoting the Examiner word-for-word.

In fact, during this segment Land cites both Gerson and Noonan. At one point, he even reads aloud a lengthy quote from Noonan’s column. He CLEARLY identifies those words as Peggy Noonan’s.

Yep, it's a little hard to believe that the deception wasn't intentional when Land shows that he knows how to identify sources in other instances.

But, hey, Southern Baptists, this is great news for you! Apparently you can carry on however you want in your personal life as long as the truth is on your website! Sure, you didn't tell that gal you were flirting at the bar with that you have a wife, but your Facebook status clearly shows that you are married. Or, yes, you spent the bill money on comic books without telling your husband, but he would have known if he followed you on Twitter!

It doesn't sound ethical. But if it's good enough for Richard Land, it should be good enough for the rest of us.

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