Southern Evangelical Seminary President and Evangelical Leader Dr. Richard Land: Entire Tone About December Greetings Has Shifted Since Election

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—“Donald Trump says ‘Merry Christmas,’ Obama wishes ‘happy holidays’”

That headline in the Washington Times from late last week has a much deeper meaning than December greetings, says Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, President and Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land.

“The whole tone has shifted in this country since Nov. 8,” Land remarked. “In fact, just a few days after the election, I had several people say to me, ‘Merry Christmas! Wow, it’s OK to say that now! That is an anecdote that speaks to a larger truth, that President-elect Trump’s win has dealt a serious blow to the totalitarian instincts, political correctness, progressivism and the extreme prejudice that is championed by that political correctness.”

The Times reported that while President-elect Donald Trump has been declaring “Merry Christmas” while on “Thank You Tour” stops in Michigan and Wisconsin, the Obama family’s 2016 Christmas card omits the word “Christmas”—for the eighth consecutive year—in favor of a more inclusive holiday greeting.

“Our President-elect Trump will foster a federal government that is much more friendly to traditional beliefs about Christianity in the public square,” Land said. “People are grateful for that, and they feel it—that the federal government will no longer be working as a public censor, and Americans are enjoying their newfound rights to communicate their true beliefs about Christmas. Mr. Trump has said we’re free to say ‘Merry Christmas’ again. And so this is, broadly speaking, a win for cultural conservatism, which in America is intertwined with orthodox, traditional Christianity over progressivism and multi-culturalism. In America, of course, winning does make a real difference.

“In light of this, on behalf of SES,” Land concluded, “I want to wish everyone a joyous Christmas and a happy New Year.”

SES recently shared its annual video series, “The Twelve Days of Apologetics,” which consists of a dozen interesting and enlightening online Christmas-themed videos from SES professors, deans and students, including Land.

Land added that the videos make great devotionals for individuals and for families. Video topics include “The Existence of God,” “Messianic Prophecies,” “The Virgin Birth,” “Myth Copying,” “The Magi,” “Christmas and Its Pagan Roots,” “Was Jesus Born in a Stable?” and “Why Did Jesus Have to Come?” To view all 12 videos online, click here.

SES is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. Many courses focus on societal issues from a Christian worldview, delve into scientific apologetics or contemplate creation research.

At SES’s apologetics blog,, Land and other SES voices address the most pressing issues of the day. SES also explores ethical issues through its “Ethics in Emerging Technology” program; for more information, visit

Land is featured in his nationally syndicated daily radio commentary, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which airs on nearly 800 stations nationwide, including nearly 200 on the American Family Radio Network, 100 on the Bott Radio Network and almost 400 on the CSN radio network. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” is also podcast daily on the free SES mobile app and airs locally in the Charlotte, N.C., area every weekday. The “Bringing Every Thought Captive” television program, hosted by Land, airs on the NRB Network Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and midnight EST. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” also reaches nearly 2 million households in the Chicago area on the Total Living Network. For details about stations, times, downloads and more, click here.

Land has taught as a visiting or adjunct professor for several seminaries and has authored or edited more than 15 books. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England and his bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. Land also earned a Master of Theology (Honors Program) degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received the Broadman Seminarian Award as the Outstanding Graduating Student. Dr. Land was the 2013 Watchman Award recipient from the Family Research Council for his leadership on moral and cultural issues. He also received the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth from Biola University in 2010. Land served previously (1988-2013) as president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families. In 2014, he was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow of the ERLC’s Research Institute, and in 2015, he was named in the top 15 of Newsmax’s “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America.”

Southern Evangelical Seminary invites visitors to its web site to join the more than 20,000 people who have already downloaded the SES Apologetics App for Windows mobile devices and Android and Apple phones and tablets. Those with the app can get the very best news and information in Christian apologetics, including articles, audio, video, blogs and more from today’s most able defenders of the Christian faith—William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, William Dembski, Frank Turek, Hugh Ross, Gary Habermas and other well-known speakers, authors and teachers.

Southern Evangelical Seminary has been ranked as one of the top graduate programs for General Christian Apologetics by’s “Top 10 Graduate Programs in Christian Apologetics.”

For more information on SES, visit its web site at or its Facebook page, follow the SESTwitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH. For more information about SES’ “Ethics in Emerging Technology” program, visit





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