By Bob Allen
The Southern Baptist Convention’s former top expert on moral and public policy concerns says same-sex marriage is opening doors for a gay-surrogacy movement that he predicts will be harmful to children.
“We’ve conducted a 40-year experiment in this country in whether or not fathers are optional accessories in the rearing of healthy adults, and they are not,” Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, said Jan. 30 in the inaugural H. Ray Newman Ethics and Religious Liberty Lecture at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga.
“Up until now, no one’s been dumb enough to argue that a mother is an optional accessory,” said Land, who moved to the non-denominational school in Charlotte, N.C., after retiring as president of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission last year.
“But that’s exactly what same-sex marriage says, that two men can do as good a job raising a child as a mother and a father can,” he said. “That’s just plain goofy.”
Land said there is “a thriving business now in gay surrogacy” for homosexual couples who want to have a baby.
“They don’t just want a marriage license,” he said. “They want to have a baby. So they’re hiring, they’re renting wombs, and they’re buying eggs, and they’re having the eggs fertilized and implanted in the rented wombs.”
“There are many businesses that are thriving providing this kind of commodification of human flesh so that they can follow the trend and have two men try to raise a baby,” Land said. “What a travesty. What a collective sense of child abuse it is.”
Speaking first in an annual lecture series established to honor Newman — who served the Georgia Baptist Convention as a specialist in ethics and public affairs and as a board member on the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission before succumbing last year to a brain tumor — Land described America as a nation under God’s judgment.
“Why would we expect otherwise?” Land said. “We’ve been practicing child sacrifice for the last 41 years.”
Land said since the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand, the most dangerous place in America is the womb.
“For the last 41 years there’s been a 30 percent death rate between conception and birth,” Land said. “We didn’t have a 30 percent death rate at Gettysburg, if you count the deaths on both sides.”
“The most dangerous place an American has ever been is in his or her own mother’s womb for the last 41 years,” he said. “And then when they get born, they manage to make it to birth, 56 percent of them have lost their father in the home by the time they are 6 if they ever had their father in the home, which has catastrophic consequences.”
After seven months focusing on apologetics, a discipline that aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith by answering objections raised against it, Land said he is even more convinced of what he experienced in 25 years in public policy, that in order to win an argument Christians need more than facts.
“You go to people with the facts that every baby is a human being from conception onward,” he said. “This is not just a statement of theological affirmation. It’s a statement of biological fact. There is a difference in kind between an unfertilized egg and a fertilized egg. At the moment of conception the unique, never-to-be-duplicated individual that is you is determined.”
Land said science now says that the human heart begins to beat at 24 days gestation. “Before most women even know they are pregnant, the heart has begun to beat,” he said. “It’s a fact.”
At 42 days, he said, scientists can measure brain activity within the womb. “They may have brain waves before that, but we can measure them at six weeks.”
“We’re dealing with a human being, and it should be clear and obvious to any rational person that this is the truth,” Land said. “But we need to understand that in seeking to present the gospel, in seeking to stop … the killing of unborn babies, for instance, or seeking to stop the blasphemous redefinition of marriage, we’re not dealing with just a cognitive problem. We’re dealing with a volitional issue.”
Land described “a fallen world that is wracked by demonic activity, a world in which the devil is a roaring lion, walking about seeking whom he may devour and who is able to disguise himself into an angel of light, so that he appears to be an angel of light on the outside when he’s full of uncleanness and corruption on the inside and is full of maligned and malignant intent toward every one of us.”
“He cackles with glee at each instance of human suffering,” Land said. “The devil’s not as smart as God, but he’s smarter than you are. He’s not as powerful as God, but he’s more powerful than you are.”
Land said Christian people living and believing as God would have them live and believe “will have no trouble pulling down the stronghold that is Planned Parenthood or the stronghold that is the gay and lesbian marriage movement in the United States, but carnal Christians who are not living what they believe have no chance.”
Land said the Bible’s command to Christians to be “salt and light” means withdrawing from the world is not an option.
“We are to be always ready to give a reasonable explanation of the hope that is within us and to go out into the world and to seek to stop decay,” he said. “The same way that Wilberforce stopped the slave trade. The same way that Dr. King confronted us to give up our quote ‘Southern way of life’ that was antithetical to and a blasphemous imitation of the gospel.”
“That we are not to look upon anyone else as less than ourselves because of any difference in pigmentation of the skin,” Land summarized King’s message to society. “Thank God that he did so. He liberated us all from the Babylonian Captivity of the racism that we had inherited from our ancestors.”
“But when he did so, he faced an implacable evil that was willing to blow up little girls in church to defend white supremacy,” Land said. “That’s not rational. That’s not cognitive. That is volitional rebellion.”