So. Baptists Punish Leader for Racial Comments

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The Southern Baptist Convention has punished its ethics chief and pulled the plug on his weekly radio show over recent controversial comments he made.

The reprimand comes after the denomination's investigation into what their Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Richard Land said about the case of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, black 16-year-old who was killed in Florida.

Land accused President Obama and other black leaders of exploiting Martin's death for political gain. His comments were also copied partly from a Washington Times' editorial, without crediting the newspaper.

Trustees of the Southern Baptist's Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee have called the comments "irresponsible" and "insensitive."

Land apologized long before being reprimanded for his statements and plagiarism.

He issued an open letter that said, "It grieves me to hear that any comments of mine have to any degree set back the cause of racial reconciliation in Southern Baptist or American life."

His actions upset black Southern Baptist leaders, like pastor Fred Luter of New Orleans.

Luter is expected to be elected as the denomination's first black president in about two weeks. He has said he accepts Land's apology.

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