Richard Land stood on the steps of the state Capitol in Nashville in late March, surrounded by more than a dozen young Catholic nuns dressed in the long white habits of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia.

He’d just given a speech denouncing the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate for employers — accusing the president of trampling the rights of religious groups.

Now he stood smiling like a preacher shaking hands at the back door of a church. He greeted each nun in turn, asked her name and hometown, and had the whole group, known for their musical prowess, smiling and laughing.

“I was feeling down before I came here today,” he said. “Maybe I should have you come over and sing at our offices.”

For the past 24 years, Land, president of the Southern Baptists’ Nashville-based Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, has used his folksy charm and fiery rhetoric to become one of the leading voices of the Religious Right and the public face of Southern Baptists, the nation’s largest Protestant group.

Now Land’s future is in doubt. He’s being investigated by a Baptist committee for his remarks about the Trayvon Martin shooting and for alleged plagiarism.

The committee will issue its report by Friday, and there’s a possibility that Land could lose his job.

Continue Reading on www.tennessean.com