Richard Land has some things to say in an interview with Newsweek that I hope Republicans will hear. Some of the key exchanges are below:
NEWSWEEK: So we wanted to ask you, first of all, about the third party idea and whether it’s serious. A number of people are suggesting it is just a threat.
LAND: My intuition [is that] this is not a bluff. If Giuliani is the nominee, there will be a third party. There are things that Giuliani could do to help mitigate the damage. But I have been in too many discussions over the last 15 years where evangelical leaders have said, “The one thing we will never allow to happen is for the Republican Party to take us for granted the way the Democrat Party too often takes the African-American community for granted.”
This is not a bluff.
So what you are saying, as a bottom line, is that you would be prepared to help Hillary [Clinton] get elected if Giuliani were in the race?
Well, I personally wouldn’t be saying thatâ€¦ It’s just [that] I’m not willing or able to violate my moral conscience. It would be like asking an African-American to choose between Strom Thurmond and George Wallace or asking Abe Lincoln to vote for a pro-slavery candidate. I personally can’t do it. I am not going to criticize those who choose the lesser-of-two-evils option. [But] I can’t do it, and my guess is somewhere between 25 percent and a third of our people won’t do it.
When Rudy says “I will appoint strict constructionist judges,” you are not hearing that?
I hear it. I hear it.
Well, you don’t hear Hillary saying that.
[Land turns to question a Newsweek reporter] Could you vote for a Klansman?
[Reporter responds] No.
You’ve answered my question. I cannot vote for someone who believes that it’s all right to stop a beating heart.
But when he says [he would] appoint nothing but constructionist judges, [perhaps] he is trying to say to you, “I am in your camp, but I don’t want to say it too loud because I want to win the general electionâ€¦” you know–
But he’s not in my camp. And I hesitate to say this, but I might as well because it is in the equation. If Giuliani were a once-married man who was still faithful to his wife, I might be more inclined to take his promises seriously, but he is a thrice-married and twice-divorced man, and the circumstances of at least his second divorce are abominable. Now, I am not saying that I wouldn’t vote for a divorced man. I am not saying that divorce disqualifies a man or a woman from being President.
McCain, for example.
Yeah. Well, and Thompson and Reagan. When it comes to divorce for most evangelicals in 2007, the number and the circumstances are important. In terms of numbers, more than one divorce is a problem, and adultery is a problem.
Do you feel that to be a person of faith, being pro-life goes with it?
I think it’s impossible for me to comprehend how a person can be a person of faith and be pro choice and be consistent, but human beings by nature are inconsistent. Look, I grew up in a society where I am very grateful that I was always taught at home that racism was not only wrong, it was sinful, but I lived in a society [Houston] that was still segregated. I went to segregated schools, lived in a segregated neighborhood, and I knew people who were in many ways profoundly faithful and religious people who had an enormous blind spot called “race.” For many of them, it was a very paternalistic attitude. It wasn’t a hostile, vicious attitude, but it was a very paternalistic one.
Read the rest here: “‘This Is Not a Bluff’: A Christian political leader on the threat of a third party.”