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Ground Zero cross pre-2006

This cross monument stood at Ground Zero for several years and may return. By Flickr user mindfieldz, licensed under Creative Commons.

Richard Land spins the golden rule

Brian Beutler highlights the irony that top Southern Baptist Convention lobbyist Richard Land is both a member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and an outspoken opponent of Park51, aka Cordoba House, aka the “Ground Zero mosque.”

Beutler mostly lets Land do the talking—always a colorful event:

"I think that interfaith cooperation is greatly enhanced by doing unto others as you would have them do unto you and that involves being sensitive to other people's feelings, and engaging in what my mother would call 'good manners,'" Land insisted. "For nine years now we've had a lot of calls for American people who are not Muslims to be sensitive to concerns of American Muslims and not in any way make them feel like they're not wanted. I think that America has done a pretty good job of responding to that [and] I think now is the time for Muslim Americans to be sensitive to the concerns of their fellow Americans."

In other words, following the golden rule, like taking public transit, benefits me most when other people do it so I don’t have to. Another name for this might be “the opposite-of-golden rule.” (Then there’s the claim that Americans have treated American Muslims pretty well in recent years, which I won’t get into here.)

Later Land switches from “Muslims should be sensitive” to an implied “Congress should do something about this”:

One of the wonderful things about America is if we don't like what our elected officials do, we can show our opposition [during the next election].

Perhaps he means we should unseat everyone who’s been in Congress since 2000, the year in which both houses passed, by unanimous consent, a law prohibiting government from land use restrictions aimed at religious groups. There’s an exception for cases of “compelling state interest,” but political pressure definitely does not qualify as such an interest. In fact, this is a big part of the point of the law, as Don Byrd pointed out a while back.

Congress has already spoken—unanimously!—so the Park51 controversy isn’t a legislative issue. It shouldn’t be a political one either.

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Comments

Travis Trott said... So,

Travis Trott said...

So, really, do unto others as we would have you you do to others even though we wouldn't do that to others ourselves? Do unto others what we think you should have them do unto you? Do unto me as I tell you to do unto me? Wordplay is a blast!

publicroad said... Do

publicroad said...

Do unto me as I would indignantly refuse to do unto you.

Anonymous said... Perhaps

Anonymous said...

Perhaps an Inerfaith sanctuary for all faith traditions in stead of a mosque?

Anonymous said... Any

Anonymous said...

Any inch given (like an interfaith sanctuary for all faiths) is giving into the mob mentality that Land and others are a part of. A congregation wants to build a mosque, the city has approved it. It's no one else's business.

Dave said... If it's any

Dave said...

If it's any small consolation, Richard Land is opposed to Christians burning copies of the Quran in Florida (as quoted in Dean Richard Hays'
recent opinion piece).

Ellie said... Gosh. I

Ellie said...

Gosh. I seem to remember any number of news items about opposition to the erection of Christian churches in numerous parts of the world... and even in American neighborhoods. Incidentally, Trinity Episcopal Church, which is only a couple blocks away, is looking forward to the cultural center.

Charles Twombly said...

Charles Twombly said...

Richard Land has slammed the door on moderate Muslims who long to show another face of Islam to a country that still has many thinking that Saddam Husein attacked us on 9/11 and that Islam itself is the enemy. Thanks for helping to quell this kind of nonsense, Richard. Thanks a lot! Yes, you've slammed the door--in Christian love, no doubt.

Joan,NYC said... Before

Joan,NYC said...

Before urging American Muslims to become more sensitive to the concerns of fellow Americans, learn a little bit more about the varieties of Islam. Park51, Cordoba House, is a Sufi undertaking. Sufis are Islamic mystics and pluralists. The Taliban hate Sufis. Over the last year or two they've bombed at least a half dozen Sufi mosques and shrines in Pakistan, killing hundreds of worshipers there. They are in the front line of defense against the Taliban. Wasn't the WTC enough? Do we want to give the Taliban a further victory by banning Park51?

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