May 1, 2015
SES President Dr. Richard Land Issues Statement on SCOTUS Hearing
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu) President Dr. Richard Land issued the following statement today in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s hearing oral arguments this morning on same-sex marriage.
“The upcoming SCOTUS decision will be a landmark and historic moment for America.
“Everything that defines who and what America is rests upon the foundation stone and bedrock of religious liberty and freedom of conscience. This may be the most important religious liberty and freedom of conscience decision since the adoption of the First Amendment.
“Defining same-sex marriage as a basic civil right will provoke a religious liberty crisis. We have already seen repeated attempts to hijack the consciences of Americans and use government as a weapon to coerce people to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies. If the Supreme Court deems same-sex marriage a basic right, then government at every level will increasingly strong-arm business owners to violate their consciences—and let’s not fool ourselves, churches and religious schools would be next in line to be required by the government to affirm the homosexual lifestyle and to perform same-sex ceremonies.
“Recent headlines remind us of bakers, florists and business owners whose religious liberties have been trampled already in direct attacks on their First Amendment rights.
“We must all pray fervently that the justices will make the right decision for our country and for our basic American freedoms.”
Land has taught as a visiting or adjunct professor for several seminaries and has authored or edited more than 15 books. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England and his bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. Land also earned a Master of Theology degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received the Broadman Seminarian Award as the Outstanding Graduating Student. Dr. Land was the 2013 Watchman Award recipient from the Family Research Council for his leadership on moral and cultural issues. He also received the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth from Biola University in 2010. Land served previously (1988-2013) as president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families. In 2014, he was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow of the ERLC’s Research Institute, and in 2015, he was named in the top 15 of Newsmax’s “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America.”
Southern Evangelical Seminary has been ranked No. 1 for its General Christian Apologetics Graduate Program by TheBestSchools.org’s “Top 10 Graduate Programs in Christian Apologetics.” For more information, visit the SES web site at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH.