In case anyone out there noticed, it was never my intention to equate the Southern Baptist Convention’s interventions in American public life with anything related to the Spanish Inquisition. My concern, which is clear when the remarks are reviewed in context, was about the use of inflammatory and mendacious rhetoric to poison the public discourse.
Now that I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on my words, I deeply regret bestowing a Tomás de Torquemada award on Dr. Richard Land, president of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. I was using hyperbole for effect and never intended to actually equate anyone in the SBC with Fr. Torquemada. I will certainly refrain from making such references in the future. I apologize to everyone who found such references hurtful. Given the pain and suffering of so many Baptist and other victims of religious persecution, I will certainly seek to exercise far more care in my use of language in future discussions of the role of religion in civil society.