Because he appears repeatedly on this blog, it may seem I have knives out for Dr. Richard Land, SBC honcho and Christian Post executive editor. He’s an unabashedly loyal Trumpist culture warrior. He also an erudite and seasoned religion professor. Which is why I wonder why the most inane bullshit spills from his Christian brain onto the opinion pages of the Christian
Post Breitbart. That he and his Christian news website have turned rabid MAGA is not my random personal delusion. In 2019, longtime political editor Napp Nazworth was quit-fired after opposing a strong Trump-supporting editorial. He likened the Christian news website to the far-right website Breitbart. “We are now on Team Trump”, management told him.
This time concerns Land’s op-ed of August 26th, “The Mar-a-Lago raid: A constitutional ‘tipping point’?” Land criticizes the “very general and controversial search warrant” executed by the FBI, accusing the government of “trampling the Fourth Amendment”. In fits of partisan hyperbole, he excoriates the government as acting like a banana republic, and suspecting the FBI of planting evidence. “How do we as Americans step back from this dangerous political precipice?” Answering his rhetorical question, Land says “it is up to the people (that’s all of us, folks) to hold all three branches of our government accountable to keeping the guarantees specified in our Constitution.”
Under the Presidential Records Act of 1978, former presidents are required to give all White House and presidential records back to the federal government when they leave office. Keeping such records on private property such as Mar-a-Lago is a violation of that Federal law. Evidence of storage of documents and materials related to national security was compelling enough – including a number of sworn cooperating witnesses. A pile of boxes – with some 300 highly classified pages – casually stashed a basement stairway. What does Dr. Land not see there about “holding all three branches of our government accountable”? This material wasn’t Donald Trump’s personal property any more than a soldier can hang on to his GI-issued assault weapon after he leaves the Army.
Land suggests that if the Federal Government can get away with abandoning the constitutional rights of a former President, who is safe from abuse? Well, thankfully there are limits to 4th Amendment rights to privacy. Otherwise, the (extensive) list of SBC ministers and church workers accused of sexual abuse – including child pornographers – would have remained hidden from scrutiny and never seen the light of day. And just as in the search for child pornography on convicted Christian Josh Duggar’s computer, there was evidence convincing enough for a Federal judge to issue a probable cause to believe the illegally mishandled documents at Mar-a-Lago contained some of America’s most sensitive secrets.
I agree with a commenter to his piece, who wrote: “I’m a conservative, born again Christian, but I’m disgusted by what I just read. There were certainly a few valid points, but they were lost in the drivel. This article is not just stating a view – its ignoring glaring facts in its writing and shows cult-like endearment to our former president. It’s disturbing.”
This is what happens when MAGA Christian activists decide they are experienced Constitutional lawyers. The facts suggest Dr. Land should drop his screed about Trump’s Fourth Amendment rights being violated, and just go with the “How Dare They Mess With The LORD’s Anointed”. Because facts are not important for Breitbart Christians. And because for them, the Divine Trump is not bound by the rules intended for lesser humans. Like self-proclaimed “prophet” Robin Bullock reporting that God is very upset about the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago: “God didn’t like that. It didn’t sit well in Heaven.” Kick it up to the heavenly courtroom of God if you don’t like how our democracy works down here on earth.