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A brief heads up on Christians & immigration

I’m looking for Christian comments or thoughts on the current immigration issue (see previous post) and here are a few tidbits I’ve come across so far.

First up, thanks to Susan Britton (good friend and author of, in-my-completely-unbiased-opinion, the wonderful fantasy novel The Treekeepers) for the Wall Street Journal info in her comment yesterday to my last immigration post:
The Wall Street Journal ran a big article today about the rift in the evangelical community re taking sides in this debate, as compared to Catholic, Episcopalian and Jewish clergy who all are lobbying for the senate guest worker bill. (I read this in the paper WSJ—the online version only allows online subscribers so can't link you.)

Article says several evangelical orgs have either delayed taking a stand or have no position—such as Southern Baptist Convention, The National Black Evangelical Asso., James Dobson Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America. The Christian Coalition and The Eagle Forum have come out against.--sb
The next tidbit comes from Daniel Pulliam’s GetReligion post, In God’s Name. He’s also looking for some more coverage on the issue, particularly “a solid story examining the theology behind the 'love your neighbor' doctrine and how it relates to the immigration debate.” He points to a couple of places where the religion aspect has surfaced in the media, one being Hillary Clinton’s often repeated sound-bite (“this bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself”). The second is the Scripps Howard piece, Church groups coalesce in support of immigrants, “a solid summary of the religious issue in the current immigration debate.” Pulliam pulls quotes from the earlier part of the article, including this one:
More than 200 religious organizations, including those associated with Catholics, evangelicals, Mennonites, Muslims and Jews, have conducted letter-writing campaigns to President Bush and Congress and encouraged congregation members to attend huge pro-immigrant rallies in cities across the country.
If you scroll down a bit further in the SH article, there's a bit more info about evangelical groups, which seems to correspond to Susan's WSJ info above:
Evangelical groups, including World Relief and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, have taken strong positions against punitive immigration measures. The umbrella group, the National Association of Evangelicals, has not yet taken an official stand on the issue, but plans to do so soon, spokesman Kyle Fisk said.

David Neff, editor of Christianity Today magazine, an evangelical publication with 150,000 readers, said the illegal immigration issue has become a concern for evangelicals because of the rapid growth of Latino membership.

Neff said his magazine is about to publish an editorial that advocates legislation that does not criminalize all illegal immigrants.

"Christianity Today magazine is very much standing with our Latino brothers and sisters on this one," he said.
I urge you to read all the articles mentioned in this post. This issue needs to be discussed among Christians—and the more informed we are of what our brothers and sisters are saying, the better the conversation will be. That’s it for now. Blessings.

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