By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Dr. Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, will be a participant in a panel on Faith and Culture in the Southeast as part of the Southeast Summit on immigration Monday in Atlanta.
Dr. Richard D. Land is the President of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, of the Southern Baptist Convention in the United States, a post he has held since 1988. Dr. Lard said, “While the government focuses on enforcing the law, Christians are mandated to forgive and to act redemptively within their communities toward all people, including illegal immigrants. As citizens of the Lord’s heavenly Kingdom, we have a divine mandate to respond compassionately toward those who are in need.”
Dr. Lard recently was accused of plagiarising a Washington Times Article and of racial insensitivity in a radio segment where he claimed civil rights leaders and President Obama used the Trayvon Martin case to stir racial tensions. On June 1st a the board of trustees of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission announced that Dr. Lard will lose his weekly call-in program, “Richard Land Live!,” but will keep his job as Commission President.
Dr. Land said in 2007 that he supports immigration reform, which insures that the federal government controls and secures our borders, enforces immigration laws, deals judiciously and “realistically” with those in the country illegally, and allows the people of God to act “redemptively,” reaching out to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of all immigrants as they work toward an earned pathway of “legal status and/or citizenship.”
According to the written statement, “At the summit, prominent figures from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee will convene to discuss the importance of immigrants and immigration to the region’s economic and cultural vitality. As the Supreme Court prepares to rule on Arizona’s immigration law and as more states in the Southeast debate passing their own immigration laws, these key stakeholders will begin to develop a common understanding of the value of immigrants and immigration to the Southeast and to the country as a whole, and to renew calls for federal action.”
Speakers at the event also include Larry Wooten, President of the North Carolina Farm Bureau; Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami; Paul Bridges, Mayor, Uvalda, Ga.; and Julie L. Hotchkiss, Ph.D., Research Economist and Policy Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; and Ali Noorani, the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. The keynote speaker will be former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
The Discussions will focus on three topics: Economy: the role of immigrants and immigration in the regional economy, Faith and culture: How churches and communities are being shaped by the arrival immigrants in the southeast, and Public Safety: The relationship between immigrants and law enforcement agencies and how that affects public safety in the Southeast.
The Southeast Immigration Summit will be Monday, June 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at West Downtown Hotel, 45 Ivan Allen Junior Boulevard, in Atlanta, Ga.