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Land among conservative honorees

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
WASHINGTON (BP)--Southern Baptist ethicist Richard Land was among the conservative leaders honored during the first Weyrich Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C.

The president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) was one of three finalists for Faith Community Leader of the Year, along with Harry Jackson, a Washington-area pastor and chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, and Charles Chaput, Roman Catholic archbishop of Denver. Jackson was the overall winner, but Land and Chaput also received awards.


Land said he was "honored and humbled to have been chosen from a long list of worthy people as one of three finalists for this award. Any time that I can be mentioned in the same list with Archbishop Chaput and with Harry Jackson I'm honored. I am delighted that Bishop Jackson won. If I had had a vote, I would have voted for him to help encourage him as he leads the fight against 'same-sex marriage' in the nation's capital."

Jackson is spearheading the effort to prevent the legalization of "gay marriage" in the District of Columbia. The D.C. government has rejected an effort to permit citizens to vote on an initiative to limit marriage to a man and a woman, and the D.C. Council is expected to finalize approval of "same-sex marriage" Dec. 15. Chaput has been an outspoken advocate for the sanctity of human life and religious freedom overseas.

Land, who has been the ERLC's president since 1988, is a leading evangelical Christian advocate on a variety of topics, including abortion and other life issues, international religious liberty and traditional marriage.

Awards were presented in 12 different categories, with an overall winner in each.

Among the other overall winners were Sen. Jim DeMint, R.-S.C., and Rep. Tom Price, R.-Ga., in a tie as National Legislators of the Year; Phyllis Schlafly, president of Eagle Forum, as Conservative Hall of Fame inductee; Glenn Beck as Media Person of the Year; Andrew Beitbart, operator of and other conservative websites, and Erick Erickson, managing editor of, as New Media Persons of the Year; John Mackey, chief executive officer of Whole Foods, and Rick Scott, chairman of Solantic, as Business Persons of the Year; and Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe, whose undercover work exposed a scandal at ACORN, as Courageous Citizens of the Year.


A 15-person committee selected the finalists and overall winners, said Colin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring and an organizer of the Dec. 3 event.

The awards dinner honored the late Paul Weyrich, a longtime, conservative leader who died last December. At the event, Weyrich was named a Champion of Conservatism along with the late Robert Novak, veteran conservative columnist, and the late Robert Carleson, a leader in welfare reform.

Reported by Baptist Press' Washington bureau.

Copyright (c) 2009 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press


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