FIRST-PERSON: Careless language
As Jeffrey Weiss of The Dallas Morning News has pointed out, the idiom means "jerk," which was my intended usage. I truly apologize to anyone offended by my use of a word they perceived to be crude or obscene. I used the word "schmuck" in my reference to Senator Schumer solely in an attempt to employ a word that alliterated with Schumer's name and describe my perception of his behavior during the confirmation hearings for Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito -- nothing more!
However, I am deeply offended that anyone would interpret my remarks as anti-Semitic. My entire Christian life I have been taught, and believe, that the Jews are God's chosen people. I have said on dozens of occasions in public that anti-Semitism is the most irrational of prejudices for a Christian, since Jesus our Savior was Himself a Jew. My entire public ministry I have denounced anti-Semitism, and I have sought to combat it wherever and whenever I have encountered it. Anyone who knows me knows this to be true. Once again, as Jeffrey Weis commented, "Elevating a relatively harmless insult into an accusation of anti-Semitism devalues real attacks on Jews and Judaism."
Anti-Semitism is far too dangerous and virulent in our world to tolerate the luxury of such a trivialization going unchallenged.
Richard Land is president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.