Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, recently concluded his service on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Land’s service ended due to mandated term limits for commissioners.
Land served on the commission from 2001-2004 and 2005-2012. Four other commissioners’ terms ended on March 22. The remaining four commissioners will be terminated on May 14 due to a new law.
President Obama will select three members to serve on the USCIRF while congressional leaders will appoint the other six.
On March 23, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced the appointment of Dr. Robert P. George to the USCIRF. A Princeton University professor, George has emerged in recent years as the Christian Right’s leading intellectual. George has served as chairman of the National Organization for Marriage and co-authored the controversial Manhattan Declaration with Samford University’s Timothy George in 2010.
Last year, Faith in Public Life revealed that Robert George had been involved in funding anti-Islam conspiracy-promoting organizations. While George has verbally defended Muslim-Americans and their right to religious freedom in the past, his actions supporting divisive anti-Islam organizations is certainly cause for concern.
Faithful America launched a letter-writing campaign calling on George to explain his support for organizations opposed to religious freedom for Muslims in the United States.
Just this month, George was publicly confronted at Georgetown University over his participation in an organization – Bradley Foundation – that funds anti-Islam organizations working to deny the religious freedom of Muslims. The video is here.
Certainly Robert George is no improvement over Richard Land for those of who care about religious freedom here at home and abroad!
For more on Robert George and other Republican appointments to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, see this report from Think Progress: