Richard Land spins the golden rule

August 19, 2010
Ground Zero cross pre-2006

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:

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."

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”:

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

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.

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


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!

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?