ATLANTA, April 17,
2012, 7:30 a.m.
- A key leader in the
Southern Baptist Convention has apologized for comments he made
about President Obama and black leaders.
"I certainly apologize to anyone who was hurt or
offended by my remarks,"
Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee of the
Southern Baptist Convention, told
issued an open letter of apology for his comments.
Land had said Obama "poured gasoline on the
racialist fires” when he commented on the Trayvon Martin case.
Land had also referred to Al Sharpton and
Jesse Jackson as a "mob" of "racial ambulance" chasers.
Land did not specifically apologize for appearing to justify why whites fear blacks.
Land said: black men are “statistically more likely to do you harm than a white man.”
“Is it tragic that people react that way? Yes. Is
it unfair? Yes? But it is understandable,” Land said.
The president of the
Southern Baptist Convention yesterday said his organization wants better
relations with the black community and he is working on a statement
about the comments.
we want good to come to this situation," Rev. Bryant Wright told ReddingNewsReview.com.
"Racial reconciliation is a huge priority for
southern Baptist Christians and there will be a statement later
today or in the morning," Wright said.
According to USA Today, Land, who has claimed to
be "one of the prime movers behind the Southern Baptist
Convention's 1995 resolution apologizing for the denomination's
racist past, went on in his own voice to address the
controversial comments he read/said about Trayvon Martin, George
Zimmerman and the president:
I obviously overestimated the extent of
progress that has been made in slaying the racial dragon of
our past. I should have remembered that whenever we have a
discussion about race, the ghosts of our ancestors are in
the room with us. And I underestimated the need to be
extremely careful in how you address any controversial issue
that involves race as a factor.
I am grieved that anyone would feel my
comments have retarded in any way the Southern Baptists'
march toward racial reconciliation, which I have been
committed to for the entirety of my ministry, since 1962."