Hanna Rosin's otherwise helpful article on personal faith and presidential candidates ["Wooing the Right With Personal Faith, Not Policy," front page, June 2] is marred by an incomplete quote and an erroneous assumption.
First, she quotes me as stating that Gov. George W. Bush's position on abortion is "you can't change the law, you have to change the hearts and minds of the country." Bush's complete idea and mine, as we have both articulated on numerous occasions, is that you can't change the law about abortion until you change the people's hearts and minds. That is an important distinction. The goal is still to change the law to restore the protections of the Constitution to unborn human beings.
Second, Rosin's erroneous assumption is that Southern Baptist evangelicals would not support Elizabeth Dole's candidacy in light of their having "passed a resolution at their annual convention last year that women should submit to their husbands." I was on the seven-member committee that drafted the amendment on marriage that was added to our Confession of Faith (far more important in permanence than a resolution). Like most Southern Baptists who supported the new amendment, I see no contradiction in affirming what the Apostle Paul said about Christian marriage in Ephesians 5 and Elizabeth Dole's candidacy for president. As Margaret Thatcher often said during her tenure as prime minister of the United Kingdom, "My husband Dennis is head of our household, and I am head of the government."
Southern Baptists were stating Christian principals for marriage and expressly stated that this neither meant nor implied any inferiority concerning women. It would in no way preclude a woman from serving in any elective, nominated or appointed position of our government. I have said on many occasions that I would be delighted to have had Margaret Thatcher be president of the United States.
-- Richard D. Land
The writer is president
of the Southern Baptist
Convention's Ethics & Religious