Land assesses Obama for board

NEW BRAUNFELS?President Barack Obama earned praised from Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) President Richard Land for the example he brings to the White House as a father who stands up for his family. And yet, Obama’s selection of key cabinet leaders devalues the sanctity of human life, diminishes the importance of the traditional family and threatens religious liberty, Land told members of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Executive Board April 27.

“It says something important that Barack Obama is demonstrably committed to his family,” Land told the board members gathered for dinner prior to their meeting. As Land reviewed the course of actions taken by Obama in his first 100 days in office, he offered a forecast of what might be expected on the home front.

Regarding charitable giving, Obama’s budget plan reduces the deductibility of contributions by high income earners, with one analysis projecting a reduction of nearly $4 billion a year in charitable giving, he said.

Early indications of Obama’s perspective on the sanctity of life were revealed as he lifted restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, reversed the policy that prevents taxpayer dollars from funding international NGOs that perform or promote abortions, and contributed $50 million to the United Nations Population Fund, supporting China’s coercive population-control policy, Land said.

Land said Obama signaled elimination of conscience protections when he began the process of rescinding regulations protecting health-care workers from being discriminated against for refusing to participate in abortions or other medical procedures that would violate their religious convictions.

Reauthorization to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program lays the foundation for a possible “Trojan Horse” to introduce government takeover of healthcare, Land said. Furthermore, the economic stimulus bill opens the door for socialized medicine, he said, mandating $1 billion to “lay the initial building blocks in the foundation of a national healthcare superstructure that will ration medical care to the sick and the elderly, with government bureaucrats?not doctors?making medical decisions.”

A newly established Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research will evaluate medical treatments and drugs using a model from the British socialized medicine system. Land described comparative effectiveness as a euphemism to either grant or deny health care based on whether it is cost effective or not.

Among the nominations Land found troubling were:

?Deputy Attorney General David Ogden who “pushed repeatedly for a loosening of pornography restrictions” while representing Playboy and Penthouse and considers abortion a fundamental right, having represented Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women and People for the American Way;

?Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, who represented Terri Schiavo’s husband in seeking to remove his severely brain damaged wife from life support;

?Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who vetoed regulations on abortion while serving as Kansas governor, and;

?Assistant Attorney General Dawn Johnson of the Office of Legal Counsel, who directed a pro-abortion lobbying group and described abortion restrictions as tantamount to “involuntary servitude.”

Repeating a warning he issued to an earlier gathering of the Mega Metro Pastors’ Conference in Denver, Land said: “The changes hostile to traditional values we’ve seen thus far and the additional anti-family changes we can expect to come, make it all the more important for Christians to reach beyond the four walls of our churches to be salt and light for the gospel while at the same time raising our voices in support of God-honoring policies in Washington’s corridors of power.”

Urging Southern Baptists to remain steadfast, Land said, “Whether they succeed is dependent on whether they can discourage us from defending our beliefs and engaging the culture.”

He urged leaders to remain committed to allowing God’s Spirit to work to transform families, churches, communities and the culture.

A detailed account of Land’s analysis of the “First 100 Days” is available at the website for Land’s radio broadcast, richardlandlive.com.

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