NOTED WITH INTEREST

Is a Supreme Court Card Political? You Be the Judge.

"We thought the White House would be too partisan," said Richard Land of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Monday, December 19, 2005

NASHVILLE

Picturesque scenes from the nation's capital have long graced Christmas cards from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. But change at the Supreme Court inspired this year's version, and that has provoked some questions.

"When I was picking the card, we were in the process of selecting a chief justice to the Supreme Court and there was another vacancy, so I said, 'Why not?' " said Richard Land, president of the Nashville-based commission of the conservative denomination.

Land has been publicly supportive of President Bush's nominees.

The photograph on the card depicts the Supreme Court building and a solitary figure walking past holding a red umbrella. The inside greeting says: "May your Christmas be full of Promise, Joy, and Blessing.

" 'She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.' Matthew 1:21"

Land said the card is not a political message. In recent years, the group's cards featured views of the Capitol, and he said he was looking for a change.

Joe Conn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State said he thinks a political agenda played a part in the selection. "All of the groups on the religious right are really focused on the Supreme Court right now," he said.

-- Associated Press


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