How Critical Is This Moment for Americans?

Southern Evangelical Seminary’s Dr. Richard Land: ‘I Would Not Have Believed Such a Denial of the First Amendment’s Guarantees of Freedom of Speech until It Occurred’

January 28, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C.— The increasing hostility and political protests that have roiled our society for the past few years seem to be reaching a crescendo in the events that have unfolded in the aftermath of an extremely acrimonious election cycle in which there seemed to be little common ground. Many people have blamed President Trump for this increasing level of incivility, but he was more a symptom and a product of the dissatisfaction and unrest of many citizens, rather than its progenitor.

Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu) noted, “After the 2014 election, the famous pollster, the late Patrick Caddell (1950-2019), who first came to prominence as President Carter’s brilliant young pollster in the ‘76 presidential campaign. Sifting through his massive research on the 2014 elections, Caddell said he had never seen Americans as unsettled, as angry, and as upset with Washington D.C. establishment as they were in 2014. Based on his research, he predicted that a “poly-partisan pitchfork rebellion” was coming to a Washington establishment that was blissfully unaware. Lo, and behold, two years later, we had the populist surge of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders and the phenomenon of about one-third of voters picking Trump as first choice and Sanders as second and vice versa. That makes no left-brained sense, but pitchfork rebellions are right-brained and emotional, not logical.

“Throughout the summer and fall of 2020, numerous people were quoting the late, great Martin Luther King Jr., who had sought in 1967 to explain the phenomenon of ‘riots’ without condoning them, observing that ‘A riot is the language of the unheard,’” Dr. Land said.

“The left was quick to seize upon this explanation as a reason for the violent protests that wracked many of our cities in the summer and early fall of 2020. Mr. Trump, the first president to be elected without any prior political service, or alternatively just having won a war (Generals Washington, Grant, and Eisenhower), was obviously a political phenomenon produced by a significant segment of the American population between the two coasts who felt ‘unheard’ in their frustrations in being victimized by globalization and the consequent disappearance of their livelihoods.

“How else do you explain a Donald Trump?” Dr. Land asked. “Like most political observers, I would have said what Trump did in going straight to the White House in his first political campaign could not have been done – until he did it.”

Unprecedented reaction to his victory in 2016, with significant segments of our media and political culture never accepting the legitimacy of his victory, found some stating, “He will never be my president,” and calling for his impeachment within hours of his taking the oath of office. It helped raise the temperature and rancor of political discussions at an alarming rate.

“Now we find ourselves in the position where many Americans feel disenfranchised by President Biden’s victory, and the censoring of political speech by the high-tech cartel—Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, Apple, etc.,” Dr. Land stated. “Once again, I would not have believed such a denial of the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of speech until it occurred. Evidently, these vastly powerful entities have been so consumed by their hostility to President Trump that they do not see what they are doing. How else do you explain Twitter condemning precisely the same behavior in a foreign country (Uganda), stating, ‘We strongly condemn internet shutdowns – they are hugely harmful, violate basic human rights and the principles of #openinternet.’ They further observed that ‘access to information and freedom of expression, including the public conversation on Twitter is never more important than during domestic processes, particularly elections.’ I could not agree more. It’s true in Uganda, and it’s true in the USA, too.”

Dr. Land referred to the U.S. House impeaching President Trump less than a week before he left office as a spectacle. “The Senate is taking up the case after President Trump has been replaced by President Biden.

This makes a mockery of the intended constitutional purpose of impeachment, which is to remove a sitting president, and reminds me of nothing quite so much as the British royalists who returned to power in 1660, disinterring Oliver Cromwell’s corpse from Westminster Abbey, where he had been buried in 1658, so they could hang his corpse in chains and then decapitate him. Cromwell’s head was displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall until 1685. There are really only two rational explanations for the Democrats’ pursuing a second impeachment trial for now former-President Trump. It is either the last spasm of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” or they fear his running again in 2024—which would explain the insurrection charge that would disqualify him from holding further office if convicted.”

SES offers the 15-hour Certificate in Philosophy, Politics, & Economics (PPE). The PPE can also be used as a concentration within most master’s degrees (excluding M.A.R.). SES believes that one must minister to the present generation according to its needs, and to do so with truth and power that students need training in the ethical, political, and economic implications of the unchanging Faith “once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). This combination of PPE training and classical seminary education can be a potent one in combating the new heresies and false doctrines rooted in a secularist, progressivist worldview.

For more information on SES, visit its website at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (704) 847-5600.

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To interview Dr. Richard Land of Southern Evangelical Seminary, contact Hamilton Strategies, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.