The trustee executive committee of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, where Land serves as president, issued the reprimands today after conducting an investigation on comments made by Land during a March 31 broadcast.In a press release published on the denomination's official media outlet, Baptist Press, the ERLC executive committee stated:"We reprimand Dr. Land for his hurtful, irresponsible, insensitive, and racially charged words on March 31, 2012 regarding the Trayvon Martin tragedy. It was appropriate for Dr. Land to issue the apology he made on May 9, 2012 and we are pleased he did so. We also convey our own deepest sympathies to the family of Trayvon Martin for the loss they have suffered. We, too, express our sorrow, regret, and apologies to them for Dr. Land's remarks."
Land, who also serves as executive editor at The Christian Post, sparked controversy in March when he accused Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and President Obama of exploiting the Trayvon Martin shooting.Martin, a 17-year-old African American, was shot dead on Feb. 26 by George Zimmerman, 28. The teen was unarmed. Zimmerman has claimed self-defense.Denouncing the public's "rush to judgment" before all the facts were clear, Land called the two well-known civil rights activists "race hustlers who've made their careers and made their fortunes exploiting racism" and argued that some were using the case "for their own political ends."Land further stated that the civil rights activists were "perpetuating their central myth" that "America is a racist and an evil nation." He later also stated that a black man is "statistically more likely to do you harm than a white man."The statements drew criticism from the public, including fellow Southern Baptist pastors who called on Land to repent.
But everything he said is true.