Faith in Open Borders

Mark Tooley is President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (www.theird.org) and author of Methodism and Politics in the Twentieth Century. Follow him on Twitter: @markdtooley.


Joining with groups like ACORN, a wide coalition of Religious Left groups will march on Washington, D.C. on March 21 on behalf of eventual amnesty and largely open borders under the rubric of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR).  The National Council of Churches (NCC) is even hailing CIR as a “divine mandate” and a “patriotic act.”

At least the NCC is acknowledging patriotism is a virtue of sorts. New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer is touting CIR, but no one believes it legislatively stands any chance in this year’s U.S. Congress.  Maybe the Religious Left is praying for a divine miracle to enact its dream of a borderless America.   The rally is titled “March For America: Change Takes Courage and Faith.”  Once again, the Religious Left is exploiting “faith” to advance and echo the secular Left’s hard core agenda.  Its irate activists will gather on the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn to insist that God opposes well regulated borders for the U.S.

“We hope to show the moral urgency of repairing America’s broken immigration system,” explained an immigration spokesman for the National Council of Churches and its relief arm, Church World Service.  “It will be demonstrated in a dramatic display of unity among supporters of comprehensive immigration reform – people of faith, immigrant rights groups, labor groups, and others from all across the United States.” Reputedly, church immigration activists have already been “hosting prayer vigils and potluck suppers and meeting with members of Congress in their home districts for months,” laying the spiritual and political groundwork for the March 21 march on Washington. “”Help us keep this momentum by joining us for this great action in Washington,” he further implored.

United Methodist, Episcopal, and Presbyterian agencies, the National Council of Churches, Jim Wallis Sojourners types, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), and left-wing Catholic orders are endorsing the march. Phoenix United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcano will provide oratory to help to rev up the marchers, as will Sharon Watkins, President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). “The event is expected to draw a crowd of 100,000 or more, including many evangelicals who have been inspired by the NAE’s resolution on immigration,” boasted the NAE’s website.  “This is a critical moment in the struggle for immigration reform this year.”

But the march’s co-sponsor is the decidedly less religious “Reform Immigration for America,” whose members include ACORN, CodePink, National Council of LaRaza, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and People for the American Way, among many others, including labor groups, like the AFL-CIO.  Plus, of course, the Council on American Islamic Relations and Muslim Public Affairs Council are signed on.  The church groups are specifically urging support for Illinois Democratic Congressman Rep. Luis Gutierrez’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act.

In their further attempt to camouflage a liberalized immigration political stance as a religious imperative, the National Council of Churches is asking its 35 member denominations to exploit the Christian pre-Easter season of Lent to mobilize for the Gutierrez CIR legislation.  This exploitation of a traditional time of prayer and self-denial, in memory of Christ’s suffering, for fairly crass political purposes is not new for the NCC.  Infamously, the NCC similarly exploited Lent in 1995 to rally churches against the new Republican Congress’ “Contract with America,” which of course the NCC saw as an assault on the Gospel.  The NCC even asked churches to display purple ribbons during Holy Week in solidarity with Clinton Administration resistance.

This time, in a February 2010 letter from the NCC’s General Secretary, and other liberal prelates, including the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop, the Religious Leftists are citing Lent as the perfect season for immigration lobbying.  “As Christian leaders, we write to you on the eve of our shared Lenten journey about an issue of urgent concern to all of us in this nation:  Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”  They complain that “12 million immigrants living in the United States find themselves without the hope of becoming citizens, reuniting with family members or enjoying the legal protections that most of us take for granted,” without specifically admitting that these persons entered the U.S. illegally.  The NCC warned: “Unless there are major policy changes enacted by the U.S. Congress, many of these people will continue to languish in the shadows and be subjected to abuse, discrimination and hardships that are contrary to the Gospel values of love, unity and the affirmation of the dignity of all people.”

According to the NCC et. al., lobbying for CIR reminds is that “our interrelatedness and interdependence with every child of God, and are called not only to come to the aid of one another, but are commanded to rise to support those who are marginalized in our society.”   Apparently God’s support for CIR is very clear.  “In response to this divine mandate, and as a patriotic act in the spirit of our nation’s best values and traditions, we join together with our brothers and sisters from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Association of Evangelicals, National Hispanic Leadership Conference and millions of other people of faith throughout the country in calling for comprehensive immigration reform that will improve and protect the lives of millions of people, in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and international agreements.”

Of course, the NCC and crowd are unclear, or unconcerned, about how liberalized immigration and eventual amnesty will affect America’s unemployed, how it will affect millions of legal immigrants, how it will affect overall law enforcement, how it will affect countless millions overseas who endure persecution or greater poverty than most Mexican or Central American illegals but lack the ability to walk across the border, and how a virtually open border only undermines attempts at economic and political reforms south of America’s borders.

Most important, neither traditional Christian nor Jewish teaching specifically offers a political immigration policy.  Divine commands for fairness and justice do not automatically equal liberalized immigration, any more than they equate to socialized medicine, global warming alarmism, or American disarmament.   But the Religious Left, uncomfortable with the theology and moral teachings of its own traditions, prefers the supposed clarity and liberation of left-wing activism.

  • Bailey Armstrong

    There is nothing wrong with our immigration laws. Illegal aliens have broken the law and should not be rewarded for. The failure of our government to enforce our immigration laws is criminal and should be stopped. No one has the right to demand to become a citizen of the United States. They are bankrupting our country and taking American jobs that they have no right to. In fact aiding and abetting illegal aliens is also against the law. I don't know what part of illegal you people don't understand! Do you have any idea how many Americans our out of work? Shame on you.

    • EMILY

      girl get it straight u americans are lazy…the immigrant want jobs they aint the lazy ones so get it straight hunnn and get you lazzy ass off your chair anD GET GOING

      • davarino

        We aint going to be lazy much longer. The gravy train is ending and Americans will want the jobs you illegals are taking, so pack your bags hunn. Its time to go home.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stepman stepman

    Just amazing how the Left holds onto the thinking that "ILLEGAL is not illegal". Where do the get the gaul to say that “12 million immigrants living in the United States find themselves without the hope of becoming citizens, reuniting with family members or enjoying the legal protections that most of us take for granted,” . That is an OUTRIGHT LIE. My mothers parents immigrated from Switzerland, legally and they where afforded all the benefits of America. They were also AMERICAN, not Swiss-American! They still held their Swiss customs and lived as AMERICANS of Swiss descent.

    These people whom call themselves leaders ought to come around to understanding the LAW. ILLEGAL MEANS ILLEGAL, not immigrant. Come here legally and we have only one request; BECOME AMERICAN.

    ENFORCE THE LAW, SEAL THE BORDER, NO AMNESTY

  • suprkufrB

    Mr. Horowitz and my colleagues of the political right:
    I embrace totally your philosophy and political overview, with one major exception; please, wake up and get down on your knees to welcome and embrace all Latino immigrants, legal or illegal. Why? Because without them the US birthrate is 1.9 per couple, insufficient to maintain the status quo of the population. The Latino population brings the rate up to 2.3 per couple, the rock bottom minimum figure to sustain a given population.
    Contrary to the extant perception of Latinos as lazy, criminally motivated parasites, they are at bottom conservative, hard-working, God-fearing and family oriented people who embrace the American dream of free enterprise and social responsibility.
    It may interest you to know that moslems are reproducing at the rate of four to six per breeding pair. Please, my friends, turn your gaze toward the eastern horizon, whence the real problem emanates.

    • Right in left World

      I teach in a school heavily populated with latino immigrants, both legal and illegal. I do not disagree that they are industrous, and reproduce at a prodigous rate. But they are unwilling to embrace the ideas America lives by. The do not value education, at least here in my part of the world. The seem rather to attempt to keep themselves separate, despite monumental efforts to bring them into the fold. We have special classes, laisons to the community, all announcement sent home ar ein English and Spanish. No response, no action.

    • Samurai Hit Woman

      That's true. According to a friend of mine the Moslem population of India skyrocketed because of the high birthrates of Moslems. They move into a country and take it over through out breeding the native population.

      Keep them both out— Moslem and latinos and let legal immigration of those who share our beliefs take care of maintaining our population if our own birthrate doesn't do it.

      Latinos are not respecting us by not respecting our laws and should be rounded up and made to go back to the end of the line.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/SeattleBruce SeattleBruce

      One issue here – illegal immigrants are costing this nation at least a net $100 Billion annually – what to do about that? Seal the borders, and allow for greater numbers of Latino legal immigrants. Seal the borders first – did I mention 'seal the borders?'
      http://www.redstate.com/hogan/2010/07/09/illegal-

  • therealend

    One of the unintended consequences of this migration across our border is human trafficking which in actuality is SLAVERY! We have become a slave holding nation AGAIN! I also heard young teenage Hispanic girls were having anchor babies so they could remain in the US. There is no hope of preventing serious security threats from crossing into the US whose intent is to kill. Another consequence is the exploitation of cheap foreign labor. When did the US or God suddenly decide that these things were okay? I would like one of these RL's (religeous lefties) to tell me.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/SeattleBruce SeattleBruce

      "I would like one of these RL's (religeous lefties) to tell me."

      The RLs live with their heads in the clouds, or perhaps the sand! They have pie in the sky theology that has no connection with the reality that we're all dealing with every day. They need to come on down out of their lefty religious ivory towers and figure out how real Americans are struggling before telling us we're wrong and evil about immigration. Besides, have they met a law that they don't want to break? How in the world is that living in the real world? (PS: I'm a Christian!)

  • Don L

    AH all the religious left in full glory demanding their Caesar be empowered to feed the poor etc. It is strange that these leftist religious aren't separated from the state but are working hand in hand with it – perfect but strange timing for this trumped up protest to facilitate the political game plan.

    If they were truly concerned about the poor etc. Why aren't they marching to protest their faux messiah's open plan to take tax beneifits away from from donations charity and religious groups – forcing the poor to become victims, enslaved permenantly to the almighty government god? It has proven to do real great things with the black community hasn't it?

  • http://www.crusaderknight.blogspot.com James Pawlak

    Since, at least, the time of Jesus citizenship and residency were something that "belonged to Caesar", and through time to the political, not religious, authority.

  • Right in left World

    Any word on a counter protest?

    • doubleblack4

      Yes, NumbersUSA is active in countering this self-destructive behavior. Check them out.

  • Ladyehawk

    "Religious LEFT"..isn't that an oxymoron?

    As a naturalized American, I have seen the cheapening of American citizenship by groups like La Raza and others. The so-called protests of a couple of years ago were extremely troubling, not only because these people were acting like they were already citizens, but Mexican flags were prevalent as they "demanded" their "rights" from the American government.
    What struck me more than those flags, were the professionally prepared signs and posters. These were NOT spontaneous demonstrations, but carefully orchestrated productions, meant to sway public opinion and support. LA RAZA, ACORN, etc.,anyone.?
    This whole immigration problem is much bigger than it seems.

  • Ladyehawk

    As I said in the previous comment, what struck me more than those flags, were the professionally prepared signs and posters. The Democrats, uh I mean The Progressives, are attempting to buy perpetual power by granting amnesty to these millions of illegals. If amnesty happens, these millions will be followed by millions more and we will be right back where we started. No one has told us how do we control the borders effectively after manesty, if we can't control them now. Actually, we will be far worse off than we are now. Look at how the problem of illegal immigration has exploded exponentially since Reagan granted amnesty to some 2 million in the 80s. The promise of border control was never fulfilled and now we are have a national security problem of gigantic proportions. Those who fail to remember history are bound to repeat it. Anyone remember Rome by any chance?

  • Janet

    And the worst possible scenerio, amnesty to twelve million illegal immigrants and universal health care — both passed, equals reelection of the dominant democrat legislature in 2010 and presidency in 2012.

  • sgp

    The illegal immigrants have broken the law and they must face a deterrent sentence. Otherwise you will be swamped with all manner of undesirable aliens especially the Muslims who refuse to assimilate but instead want to impose Sharia law on all Americans.

  • http://go.to/megamerge Historyscoper

    When it comes to illegal immigrants to the U.S. from overseas, particularly Islamics or those from dangerous countries, the U.S. will always need a strong immigration and border protection policy, but when it comes to our next-door neighbors in Mexico, it's sheer folly to continue the de facto apartheid of brown-skinned people that began way back in 1848. Instead, it's time to recognize that Mexico is a failed country, and work with its people to incorporate it into the U.S. as 10+ new states, allowing the border to expand to the seas, making future security against the rest of the world far simpler, while permitting resources and pop. to freely mix, alleviating the root causes of poverty, crime and injustice. Like who needs Carlos Slim? Study my nonpartisan 7-step Megamerge Dissolution Solution and see how it can be done in a few years and permanently solve the problem at http://go.to/megamerge

  • Sheila Simmons

    Our immigration system is not broken; it is unenforced.
    We HAVE laws. ENFORCE them. WE have borders. SECURE them!
    Invasion by a hostile foreign power is NOT immigration and it is not a "human right".
    It is an act of war and those who aid and abet it are traitors.

  • doubleblack4

    How do very politically active religious self-hating, self-loathing, America hating wackos get away with tax deductible status? If this is religion God help us.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JosephWiess JosephWiess

    The left is so deluded, that they've forgotten what's happened to every country with open borders. Millions, billions, stream across in the hope of a better life, and in decades, they strip the land and the country is no better than a third world country.

    The fact that churches are backing this farce, shows that they know little of the bible they profess to follow. God was always trying to find his chosen people a place to live, and everytime they found one, they lost it. If we don't stand up for our own laws, then we'll be no better than somalia.

  • Samurai Hit Woman

    What do these "Christians" do with exhortations to obey the law of the land? there is a lot said about this in the Bible.

  • this49

    Based on the law, it illegal to profit from illegal activity. Since crossing the border without permission is illegal any renumeration from such crossing is illegal. Therefore any education, health benefits, or social services distributions are illegal renumerations and anyone distributing them are complicit in criminal activity.

  • borderraven

    California just came out with a list of the Worst Performing Schools.

    You can compare schools at http://www.publicschoolreview.com/

    Some surprises, in the stats, more teachers do not increase graduation rates.

  • rbla

    For those who are concerned about the threat posed by jihad but who think that open borders are great ask yourselves why it is that CAIR supports amnesty. Amnesty affects very few Muslims. Could it be that the cunning minds at CAIR understand that unlimited Hispanic immigration is a good way to turn the "Great Satan" into a powerless third world mass of squabbling nationalities?

  • blotto

    suprkufrB: What plant do you live on? There is not one scintilla of honesty in your entire posting. And it also lacks in creativity: You are merely repeating the lines from the progressive playbook on amnesty.

  • Rubicon

    I doubt most Americans think of Latinos as lazy, criminally motivated parasites. In fact, most know the Hispanic culture has offered the world all sorts of progress. No, by injecting this into the conversation, it appears to be an attempt to make this issue a racial issue. It is NOT a racial issue. We have laws. It is not wrong to want them obeyed. Martin Luther King called for a day when we judged people not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. What does it tell you about the character of these folks who started out their residency in America by breaking our laws to even be here?

  • ROBERT

    President Reagan signed the 1986 Amnesty bill, which immediately granted citizenship to over two million illegal aliens.This was a tough one but he signed the bill on the Democrat promise, that increased border enforcement would prohibit further immigration. That promise was ignored. Border control is particularly critical today, in light of the threat of terrorism.Those captured entering the U.S. illegally include a significant number of Middle East Arabs.

    During Bush's Term no less than fifty illegal aliens were on death row for unspeakable murders. The most famous, Meddian in celebration of gang rites beat, tortured and gang raped two teenage girls returning home from school. He felt no remorse; indeed, he enjoyed his confession to the police in which he described beating and strangling the two girls once he and his gang had tired of rape and sodomy.

    The next Amnesty Bill, now called Comprehensive Immigration Reform, will repeat the 1986 debacle on a much grander scale.

    The first, critical obligation of a central government is to maintain the sanctity of its borders. The government Republican and Democrat have defied this obligation and will continue to defy it, the reason being, of course, that the people are no longer sovereign. It is the central government that is sovereign. The rest of us are becoming its serfs.

    That the people of another nation have the right to invade this country and take advantage of its welfare system is altogether a farce and fantasy. There is no such right in American or International jurisprudence.

    While it is true that most Mexicans are good people, conservative and religious for the most part, that they have a higher birth rate will not offset the bifurcation of America into two or more adversarial groups. Mexicans are moving in in such great numbers, there will be no immersion into an American culture. Nations culturally bifurcated do not fare well.

  • June

    If this administration give amnesty to those who flaunt our immigration laws, there will never be anyone who tries to come here the right way. We have million here who will never assimilate. Their language is already equal to English. Look at every document the government publishes. Every word of English is also printed in Spanish. Mexico declared war on the US some time ago. Only our government refuses to acknowledge it. We need to get our troops home from the other side of the world, fighting for people who hate us, and get them on the US – Mexico border. We are supposed to be the best country in the world, able to do anything. However, we are being overwhelmed by a third world county who sends its low-skilled, poorly educated illegals, many of who are criminals (check the site with crimes by illegals) to fill our nation. We all know the ills they bring with them. We cannot lose our nation to this vile, corrupt country as well as the others who urge their people to break our laws. I wonder if burglars broke into the house of one of our esteemed members of Congress, they would reward them with goodies. Giving them amnesty and putting them on a path to citizenship is insaneW

  • Rochelle

    When the elections come around this November, please do NOT vote for any candidate who supports giving an amnesty to illegal alien lawbreakers and criminals.

  • Bobby

    Acorn, The SPLC, The ACLU, and hundreds of other essentially leftist communist groups, are now bringing traditional, orderly, first world America, TO AN END. In the meantime, hundreds of millions of Americans who know this, are sitting around, sublimating their anger with, golf, sports hero worship, soccer, utterly inane Hollywood movies and television,etc. STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES.

  • June

    Do the idiots in Acorn realize they are helping the enemy? Illegals take jobs from low-skilled workers, African-Americans, teens and any number of Americans. The insanity will continue until we elect a President and a Congress who think more of the welfare of its own people than it does of illegal aliens and their supporters.

  • Brian

    If it was rightwing christians flocking across the border the Government would spring to action. Land mines and machine guns would cover the border. The UN would have troops on the mexican side with orders to shoot on sight anyone trying to enter the USA. The Bishops would fund building a 50ft tall electrified wall. Sen. Schumer himself would stand guard on the border with a machine gun. Anyone caught hiring an illegal would face life in prison. Ground water in desert areas would be poisoned. Just for starters!

  • Janet

    June,
    The "idiots" in Acorn realize exactly what they're doing. They are working for and keeping a socialist in office, and trying to elect more of them during every election year and probably in every state. They aren't interested in getting jobs for people, they're interested in welfare, or social justice, or redistributing the wealth, whatever you may want to call it. I'd say they've done a pretty good job in the past, and it appears that they aren't out of business yet!

  • Janet

    OK, but I'd like to see it posted asap!

  • Janet

    June,
    The "idiots" in Acorn are very much aware of what they are doing. Their goal is to elect and keep socialists/progressives in the presidency and in the US congress, and they appear to be achieving their goal. They aren't interested in jobs, they are interested in welfare, social justice, redistribution of the wealth, or whatever you'd like to call it. This is the reason we have to "clean house" this year and every election year 'til we're rid of this ideology in our government.

  • Lupe

    Everyone is ignorant. Having a closed border and "getting rid" of illegals won't solve anything!

  • Thomas

    We should pay the illegals to go home. Don't deport them. Repatriate them instead. $10k per illegal times 10m illegals is only $100b. This is cheap. We would be stupid not to pay. We should also rent large Repatriation Hotels in their home countries. But with all the cash they will be loaded down with, with so much purchasing power they will do fine. Also they will serve to help develop their home countries. Plus be a fifth column against the ruling class back home. It's a huge win-win. Good for all. Especially us and them.

  • dcrabtree

    Time Magazine:

    "The murder scarred a part of Mexico that was supposed to be reasonably safe from violence and crime. Santiago is a picturesque town of waterfalls, colonial churches and holiday homes for the rich. Its mayor Edelmiro Cavazos was a blue-eyed 38-year old, educated in the United States. But it seems that no corner of the country is shielded from the relentless rain of drug-related bloodshed.

    The killers came for Mayor Cavazos in the early hours of Aug. 16 when seven SUV's rolled up and men in police uniforms descended on his palatial home. Servants stood back terrified, as their boss was forced away at gunpoint. On Aug. 18, his corpse was dumped on a nearby road. There was a mercy of sorts in the manner of his killing – shot dead with two bullets in the head and one in the chest, and spared the mutilation and rape inflicted on so many other victims. The following day, hundreds of residents wept over his coffin in Santiago's central plaza, lining the stairs up to the church with candles and holding signs calling for peace. (See pictures of Culiac[a {a}]n, the home of Mexico's drug-trafficking industry.)

    Then on Aug. 20, more disturbing news broke. State agents arrested six of the mayor's own police officers and said they confessed to involvement in the murder. The suspects had been working for a drug cartel that is fighting a bloody turf war with its rival throughout northeast Mexico, state prosecutors said. Another four alleged gunmen were arrested with automatic rifles and grenade launchers in their possession and accused of being involved in the plot. The revelation had very concerning implications: in Mexico's drug war, officials are now killing officials."