Land's Lie?

September 12, 2007

In my Ethics Daily article last week on Fred Thompson's church attendance, Southern Baptist leader Richard Land claimed that Thompson "is attending church on a regular basis." Land's comment seemed like an exaggeration based on the comments in the article from the pastor of the Presbyterian church that Land said Thompson attended regularly. Now Thompson himself has spoken about his church attendance and his words very clearly contradict Land's claim. As Ethics Daily reports today, Thompson said that he does not attend church regularly.

So, Land said that Thompson attended regularly and Thompson says he does not. One would assume that Thompson would know if he attended regularly or not. The question then is why did Land claim otherwise. It could be that he was simply mistaken. However, he does know Thompson and it had not been previously reported that Thompson occasionally attended a Presbyterian church so Land must know Thompson well enough to know that. The other option, then, is that Land lied. He has been rooting for Thompson and may have thought that this claim would help Thompson. In fact,
right after saying that Thompson attended regularly, Land told me he thought his report on church attendance would help Thompson. If he did intentionally exaggerate the level of Thompson's church attendance, then it should make Baptists wonder why Land is the head of an organization called "Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission."

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