A leading Southern Baptist (SBC) voice says that Christians should defend religious liberty, including the right for Muslims to build mosques in America, but Christians must not "go to bat" for mosques in court, for example.
-- From "Southern Baptist leader leaves mosque coalition" by The Associated Press 1/25/11
Richard Land, the head of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said he heard from many Southern Baptists who felt the work [he was doing with] the Interfaith Coalition on Mosques crossed the line from defending religious freedom to promoting Islam.
The Coalition was formed last year as an initiative of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish group that fights discrimination. Its first action was to file a friend of the court brief opposing a lawsuit that sought to stop a planned mosque in Murfreesboro, about 30 miles southeast of Nashville.
Land opposes building a Muslim community center with a mosque near New York City's Ground Zero, but he qualified that opposition: "That's not a religious liberties issue. That is a good manners issue."
Asked about statements from some evangelical Christians opposed to the Murfreesboro mosque that Islam is not a legitimate religion, Land said neither the government nor society should decide which religions are "kosher" and which are not.
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