Sunday, May 20, 2007

Churches and Immigration

Here are churches encouraging lawbreaking: "Churches in five big U.S. cities plan to protect illegal immigrants from deportation, offering their buildings as sanctuary if need be, as they pressure lawmakers to create a path to citizenship for the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants."

The Catholic Church has, of course, been a huge proponent of open-borders policies, but various factions of Protestants are getting in on the act, too. You would expect it from the ELCA, PCUSA, ECUSA, and the United Methodists. But as I've written previously, the spirit of lawlessness is afoot in my denomination (Southern Baptist Convention), too. The guilt-mongers are everywhere, including perhaps standing behind the pulpit of your local church.

The role of American churches in perpetuating the current crisis was examined by James C. Russell in a little book called "Breach of Faith." Russell traces some of the changes in ecclesiastical and liturgical life that have fostered a paradigm shift. Churches are no longer defenders of the Western culture (Christendom) produced by historic Christianity but have become to often exponents of a perverse and unbiblical universalism. Moreover, rather than serving as an agent of personal morality advancing charity and a love of neighbor, the church has increasingly become an instrument of social action.

While the church has a duty to call upon the magistrate to govern by just laws and policies, precisely the opposite has occurred as religious leaders have turned into apologists for law-breaking and charity with the money of others.

How should Christians respond to the immigration challenge? Lou Dobbs reported recently that a John Zogby poll from last year asked churchgoers if they supported the House bill that would make illegal aliens return home and reduce future illegal immigration by securing the border and performing checks on illegal employers. "Seventy-five percent of Protestants responded that was a good or very good idea, 77 percent of born-again Christians also agreed, and 66 percent of Catholics also backed tougher enforcement measures," writes Dobbs. Obviously the leaders are out of touch with their laity.

Russell writes: "No Christian should feel compelled to accept an immigration expansionist agenda in order to conform to a Christian denomination. Any church directive that seriously threatens a congregant’s prospects for individual or group survival should be considered null and void, since it violates the Fifth Commandment, as well as the most fundamental natural law of self-preservation. The advocacy by most American churches of continued high levels of legal immigration, increased numbers of refugees, and amnesty for illegal aliens constitutes a violation of the laws of self-preservation and societal order. Church proscriptions against the expression of normal healthy preservationist beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors may be rejected, if for no other reason than that the acceptance of such prohibitions would leave the individual and his or her group defenseless."

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a hard time...being hard on the churches about this issue. Because I assume their primary motive is Christian charity, although in all cases this may not be true. I only point out that they see a false dichotomy: either we help these people by allowing them to come and stay here, or else we're not fulfilling our responsibility as Christians. But this assumes that the only way to help them is to allow them to come and stay illegally, which IMO is false.

1:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have NO problem noting that most Churches are incredibly selfish in demanding their congregations embrace illegal immigration. (Not to mention that such political proselytizing is on the brink of being in violation of the separation of church and state) Let's face it these "holy" church leaders are bellying up to vie for the current and future increased revenues from the throngs illegal immigrant populations. The prior universal church stance of "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar" has gone "out the window". The vast majority of American citizens that are economically devastated by the invasion of illegal immigrants are our low and middle/lower income groups. These Americans already are either living in poverty or on the brink of doing so and THEY should be the Church, government and our FIRST priority. I also find it quite hypocritical that Catholic Cardinal Mahony should promote "charity to illegals" when he was instrumental in his Diocese recently declaring bankruptcy to avoid paying settlements to the many young men who were molested by pedophile priests. Seems when it is HIS pocket that is being dipped into - charity is not so forthcoming.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

I agree with the comments about the Cardinal, though I do think that the American Church--both Catholic and Protestant--has an obligation to speak on issues of morality and justice. They have a prophetic role to play in keeping the magistrate in accord with God's Law. The problem is that much of the contemporary church is anti-nomian and lawless at its core, and hence frequently does more damage than good when entering the public square. It is also the case that churches should speak for the poor among their own before extending the hand of charity to six billion people outside the United States.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Richard P. Poillucci-VanWhy said...

If the churches, the so-called sworn arbitors of moral and lawful conduct on earth, can no longer do their job, maybe it's time for them to lose their tax exemptions so that they can operate as the businesses they are.
And if these same churches are bent on tearing down the veil of separation between church and state and tearing out the pages from their bibles noting such things as, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's," and "Man cannot serve God and mammon," and many other biblical dictums, then, I believe the churches will need to be carefully watched. I would like to organize or see someone else organize a "Community Church Watch Program" in which volunteers agree to take on a single search," and record homilies and other exhibits or discussions, hopefully many of which display their true support for illegal aliens. Then, this information could be published to the web and presented to IRS who might believe their tax exemptions should be considered. It might also be possible to recruit lawyers to sue errant churches on some grounds or other, so that with their revenues under threat they cannot use them to support illegal aliens. And, perhaps, some of these churches might be made to fold once their deeds are revealed and their monies depleted.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Richard, I can't agree with your remedy to the problem, which would be worse than the disease. Though I am here criticizing the church, it is th voraciousness of Bidness and the failure of the STATE that has led to the immigration disaster.

What you are counseling is the persecution of the church by the state, quite simply.

The failure of churches to deal with lawlessness in their midst is indeed scandalous, and will be punished by a much higher authority than the State.

7:50 AM  

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