God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Wallis: I Was a Stranger

posted by jmcgee

Jim WallisToday at Sojourners/Call to Renewal we are convening a significant gathering at an important time. Nearly 50 leaders and key policy staff from national and local churches, and faith-based and community organizations are here to discuss common ground on comprehensive and just immigration reform. Many of the leading organizations are here, and we have the opportunity to bring greater energy and a larger, broader constituency to bear on this cause. It is a room full of people who yearn for justice, and who, despite disagreements on some issues, come together on this one.

We were reminded this morning that immigration is a core issue for Christians. The biblical story continually shows God’s concern for the migrant and the outcast. “The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34). Similarly, throughout the New Testament, Christians are called to care for the outcast and the stranger. Jesus identified with these neighbors when he said, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35). As Christians, we support compassion and justice for immigrants and their families. Immigration is also a deeply relevant issue for all Americans. The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, one that has been continually reshaped by new groups of people bringing diverse cultures, perspectives, and resources.

Immigration issues are also poverty issues. Immigrants – both legal and undocumented – are more likely to live in families with incomes below the poverty level, with children of undocumented immigrants especially at risk. If a path to citizenship is not provided for undocumented immigrants, our country could have a permanent underclass of guest workers – people who work, live, pay taxes, and go to school in the U.S., but cannot attain better and more secure lives for themselves and their families. That’s why immigration reform is an important plank in our Covenant for a New America. Humane and holistic reform can be pro-work and pro-family, creating opportunities to strengthen the common good of families and employers alike, and enriching the vitality of America.

This morning, a panel of senior Congressional Democratic and Republican staff, from both the House and the Senate, spoke of the challenges and opportunities for immigration reform in the new Congress. With Congress closely divided, any successful legislation will require strong, bipartisan agreement. And they noted that the faith community is respected by both sides, and therefore has an important role to play. Our voices and those of our members are needed in Congress.

Then the top policy staff from the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, World Relief, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spoke of the significance of the church. We have a unique role, they said, to lift up the moral and human aspects of immigration reform. We believe immigrants are children of God, entitled to dignity and respect. An increasing percentage of our congregations are immigrants, and our church social service agencies, schools, and health clinics work with them and their families on a daily basis. That moral grounding and day-to-day experience gives us the authority to speak to political leaders.

It is our hope that this day together will help us explore shared visions and common messages, increase and coordinate our engagement, and identify common policies and legislative strategies. The time for significant and comprehensive immigration reform is here.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(98)
post a comment
kevin s.

posted December 13, 2006 at 8:58 pm


This post doesn’t really address the substantive arguments against illegal immigration, and conflates legal immigration with illegal immigration.>



report abuse
 

splinterlog

posted December 13, 2006 at 9:02 pm


We believe immigrants are children of God, entitled to dignity and respect Thank you Jim. I am an immigrant myself and I don’t consider myself to be a welfare sucking, healthcare cheating, law dodging fugitive that immigrants are made out to be these days. When we’re protrayed this way, it dehumanizes us and pays scant attention to the many dimensions and unique stories that are part of each immigrant’s experience.>



report abuse
 

Robstur

posted December 13, 2006 at 9:20 pm


The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself…” Yes, this is true but it does not say that they ‘are’ a citizen among you. My family and ‘evangelical’ congregation have helped several families from around the world enter our country and become ‘legal citizens’ of the United States. “We believe immigrants are children of God, entitled to dignity and respect.” Some of God’s Children are immigrants but not all Immigrants are Children of God. I believe that we need to be careful about who are ‘Children of God’ and who are just ‘God’s Creation’ when we identify people. I personally believe that we cheapen the gift of Salvation and what Christ did for us with His death on the Cross and Resurection. Yes – he died for all and while we were sinners, Christ died for us all. BUT when scripture states that ‘…for as many as received Him, to them he gave the power to be called children of God…’ Not all immigrants have ‘received’ Christ as Savior. All – are God’s Creation, Some – are Children of God.>



report abuse
 

genie

posted December 13, 2006 at 9:42 pm


How quickly we jump to be sure that some are “in” and others “are out.” We are quick to quote scripture that will support that, while ignoring those words–even spoken more frequently–that remind us to welcome the stranger and alien as Christ himself in our midst. It’s a scary thing to trust Jesus’ words and live by them, not knowing what could be the outcome. we human would so much rather be in control of the situation (as if we ever really are!), that just do the right thing and leave the results to God. I’m grateful to Jim Wallis and Sojourners for the persistence and vigilance in pursuing peace and justice for all, not just those we think “deserve” it. God bless you.>



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted December 13, 2006 at 9:55 pm


I don’t think it is an ‘in’ versus ‘out’ thing. It is a safety and logistical issue. Companies are benefitting from a labor force that has no legal recourse to improve their work situations. Unless we suggest that all immigration be legal (which we are not in a position to do) then we must enforce the laws we’ve created. Otherwise we are giving support to the industries that crop up around illegal labor.>



report abuse
 

frank67

posted December 13, 2006 at 9:57 pm


We are a nation of immigrants. As the little Jewish carpenter asked: “Who will cast the first stone?” He also said: “As you do to the least of my brothers, so shall you do to me.” You folks who denigrate immigrants – unless you are Native Americans, please shut up!!!>



report abuse
 

Kathy G.

posted December 13, 2006 at 10:06 pm


I was raised Southern Baptist and I was taught that we are all children of god. God did not pick and choose who were his children and who weren’t. As I recall it says in Genesis that we are all made in God’s image, so therefore it follows that we are all children of God.I refuse to see this as a “I’m in God’s favor because I have been “saved” and you aren’t because you haven’t been “saved”. I feel sorry for those who say that they are christian because so many that I see now are far from what I was taught about what a true christian does and what a true christian is. Remember Jesus said “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”>



report abuse
 

MB

posted December 13, 2006 at 10:09 pm


Talkings good. We might not have the answer tomorrow re: this immigration issue, but having dialogue is a step in the right direction. I commend Mr. Wallis for getting as many to come to the table that are willing. And I agree, immigrants whether legal or illegal need to be treated with respect, and compassion. It’s the only choice. Obviously, there does have to be a system in place for immigrants to come, that works and is fair. But talking is at a baby step.>



report abuse
 

Sarah

posted December 13, 2006 at 10:13 pm


No one is responding the substantive issues that kevin s. is bringing up. What policy is being suggested by Sojourners, and how will it be implemented? Should the U.S. simply be open to all immigration? That seems to be the direction the discussion is going, yet I don’t understand how it could be implemented. I think we sometimes confuse the church (which should, by all means, serve anyone and everyone who comes through the door) with a geographic nation.>



report abuse
 

Jerry Caldwell

posted December 13, 2006 at 10:28 pm


I don’t necessarily believe all that the FBI or a right wing publisher tells me but clearly there are many valid problems that result from illegal immigration. Our foreign policy plays an important role in suppressing the economy of our neighbors. Any immigration reform must include reforms that allow Latin nations to build strong economies that create jobs. From the L.A. Times 1. 40% of all workers in L.A. County ( L.A. County has 10.2 million people) are working for cash and not paying taxes. This was because they are predominantly illegal immigrants, working without a green card. 2. 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens. 3. 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens. 4. Over 2/3 of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal, whose births were paid for by taxpayers. 5. Nearly 25% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally. 6. Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages. 7. The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border. 8. Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal. 9. 21 radio stations in L.A. are Spanish speaking. 10. In L.A. County 5.1 million people speak English. 3.9 million speak Spanish. (There are 10.2 million people in L.A. County). (All the above from the Los Angeles Times)>



report abuse
 

splinterlog

posted December 13, 2006 at 10:40 pm


Should the U.S. simply be open to all immigration? I think Sojourners is being pretty clear about what the responsibility of the Christian community to immigrants is. On the policy front – well in the interest of “free markets” aren’t we supposed to open up our borders to workers if there is demand for the workers? Less government interference in free markets is good for everyone isn’t it? I’m just going by the thinking of conservative stalwarts Milton Friedman and Jagdish Bhagwati here.>



report abuse
 

Gary Lee Parker

posted December 13, 2006 at 10:42 pm


The article on immigration reform comes at a special time since some illegal immigrants were taken from their job in a meat packing plant in Colorada. According to what I heard, the Swift company did not know they employed illegal immigrants. This is hard for me to believe. Also, the illegal immiprants had Social Security Numbers from other people that were obtained illegally. What is going to be done with people who raise money by transporting illegal immigrants to this country? Also, what is going to be done by the Texas comptroller who made the comment that it is good for their economic policy to employ illegal immigrants? When are we going to look at all people as people God loves and desire us to be reconciled to friendship with others?>



report abuse
 

Terry

posted December 13, 2006 at 10:42 pm


I am amazed that a call to compassion results in such legalistic discussion – we would respond The Sermon on the Mount with a host of reasons why we should not respond to those in our midst in the way Jesus asks.>



report abuse
 

Annonymous

posted December 13, 2006 at 10:44 pm


You speak of wanting justice? How about justice for those who had their SSN numbers stolen? Where is the respect for our laws? If you are here illegally you have NO RESPECT for America!!>



report abuse
 

Linda

posted December 13, 2006 at 10:48 pm


Amen, Kevin and Sarah! To say that illegal immigrants should be treated humanely is not the same thing as advocating open borders for the U.S. Sojourners is being irresponsible and undemocratic to say that the rule of law does not aply to illegal immigration–but should apply regarding pollution, discrimination, and international treaties. Democracy is a gift from God, too, and it does not work if people are unwilling to abide by the law until they can change it. Dr. King himself never disobeyed a court order, out of respect for the law. If you think immigration laws are unjust, then fill the jails until you change the law, but don’t disregard it. The law reflects the will of We the People, and as such it deserves respect..>



report abuse
 

dlw

posted December 13, 2006 at 10:54 pm


One obvious answer would be to take the money we are supposed to be spending on the fence and instead use it to help reduce poverty in Mexico. It is more cost-effective in reducing the demand to immigrate to reduce the level of poverty in Mexico. I also think that strategically we will improve the rights of illegal and legal immigrants from Mexico if we help immigrants to vote in Mexican elections. If you give them more voice in their home country, it will act on the behalf of their interests more. Ideally, my vision would be that we have a Basic Income Guarantee system(google USBIG) in the US, where US citizens would receive a basic income transfer and guest workers would not. But under this system, all would pay a flat income tax rate(that would hopefully be not too high due to Land Value Taxes, taxes on pollution, advertising, donations to politicians/PACs/parties) and benefit from gov’t provisions and legal protections. The main difference would be that the guest workers would not receive the income transfer given to US citizens. We could permit only so many guest workers and employ guest workers to round up “illegals” to be shipped back to Mexico at the expense of Mexico. I think the proper principle to decide how many guest workers we allow in would be to maintain a reasonable wage level for low-skilled workers. That’s my idea. I hope Wallis et al will consider it. The BIG stuff is utopic, but I think it would be worth pressing for in the long-haul. dlw>



report abuse
 

dlw

posted December 13, 2006 at 10:56 pm


I should add that the BIG is similar to the flat tax in that they both radically reduce the complexity of the tax code by getting rid of all exemptions and having a flat marginal income tax rate. The difference is that the BIG is progressive as the average tax rate will go up as an individual’s income rises. dlw>



report abuse
 

Tom Cummings

posted December 13, 2006 at 11:01 pm


Of course, as Christians, we favor compassion. However, as a friend of our son-in-law has found out, illegal immigrants work for so little, that he has had to lay off his workers because he is unwilling to pay them a non-living wage. This is one of the clear results of illegal immigrants’ presence in the workforce and employers who are happy to pay non-living wages to these workers. So, do we have compassion for the illegals at the expense of the legals?>



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted December 13, 2006 at 11:06 pm


“Less government interference in free markets is good for everyone isn’t it? ” I know you are being facetitious, but I think many businesses would probably agree with you (which is why the chamber of commerce is pro-amnesty, to my recollection). Friedman’s models (and someone can correct me if I’m wrong) necessitated a static work force. He recommended eliminating the minimum wage, and creating a tax system that automatically granted the standard deduction irrespective of income. Both of these ideas necessitated border control. What this debate desperately needs is a separation from the question of whether not we like immigrants. I am not opposed to amnesty because I dislike Mexican immigrants. That’s ridiculous. I think this post does the opposite.>



report abuse
 

Jane Morrissey, ssj

posted December 13, 2006 at 11:08 pm


I live in an inner-city immigrant neighborhood and am deeply touched by my neighbors’ plight and the integrity with which they try to live in a system that so often lines up against them. The dialogue Sojourners calls for is one from which we all benefit as the community of sojourners on Earth. Thank you for inviting everyone in to the conversation.>



report abuse
 

Tom Snyder, Ph.D.

posted December 13, 2006 at 11:12 pm


The Bible also says that aliens are supposed to OBEY THE LAWS of the land. Furthermore, the Bible doesn’t say that you let the alien invade your house and take your job and steal your possessions, much less vandalize it as some illegals have done to ranchers in Arizona, and even less to murder poilicemen and abuse children as thousands if not millions of illegal aliens and immigrants have done. And, it certainly doesn’t say that the government should take our money at the point of a machgine gun anbd give it to someone else. The Neo-Marxists have taken over the Church in Brazil and, as a result, there is a push to promote abortion and homosexuality as well as high taxation for ill-conceived, unworkable socialist programs. Don’t let Sojourners and other Neo-Marxist organizations take over the Church in the United States! ts>



report abuse
 

Jason Connolly

posted December 13, 2006 at 11:16 pm


I am at work, thus I lack the time to respond in depth. Rather, I will respond in a rather hip shot fashion. 1. On the individual level, Christians can treat illegal immigrants with Biblical compassion, while still demanding vigrous enforcement of immigration laws. 2. Is it any wonder that California (where I live) has experienced (a) a growth in the child poverty level, and (b) a decline in education test scores, while at the same time as abosrobing millions of illegal immigrants. 3. My son, who is the product of a Gringo father and a Mexican mother who came to the US legally, endures a school that is overcrowded and hosts children that can barely utter two sentences in English suffers from our leader’s failure to enforce existing immigration law. 4. The Feds should bust down the door of the church in Chicago and deport the Mexican woman who has refused to honor her deportation order. If she wants to stay united with her American born son, she can take her son with her to Mexico. The US is not requiring the breakup of her family. Rather, she is.>



report abuse
 

Barbara

posted December 13, 2006 at 11:29 pm


I wish the illegal alien arguement extended towards white illegals from Canada and Ireland (amongst other nationalities) instead of only ever focusing on brown illegals from south of the border. While I agree that illegal immigrants make it much harder on legal immigrants by ‘jumping the line’, so much of the discourse really (to me) comes down to racisim–we only have problems with illegal aliens who speak a different language and are brown-skinned. White, english-speaking illegals are ignored. And let us not forget that California and much of the west was first colonized by Spanish Europeans, not english-speaking Europeans. There are many “Mexicans” whose families have lived in the US (after the annexation of the southwest in the 1840s) much longer than my family. Yet my hispanic friends get hassled about being American, when I don’t–and I still speak english with a non-American accent. I wish the more politicians would, instead of proposing non-sensical solutions like a big electric fence, instead look at what US policies (going back at least to Wilson!) have done to create weak Latin American economies, and start looking at solutions to that. When did the Irish illegals stop coming? When Ireland’s economy boomed. If people are really upset about Mexicans crossing the border–well, what are we doing to create a strong Mexican economy?>



report abuse
 

Jason Connolly

posted December 14, 2006 at 12:20 am


Barbara, By absorbing large numbers of Mexicans, the US is preventing the much needed revolution in Mexico. Immigration is a safety valve for the Mexican oligarchy.>



report abuse
 

Rev. J. Roland Cole

posted December 14, 2006 at 12:24 am


While I’ve been accused of being a bleeding heart liberal a lot of my life, I’m for not con-fusing illegal with legal immigrants. I’m for: SECURED borders AND PORTS allowing NO illegal entries by immigrants, drug-runners, gangsters, or terrorists! Now. And I’m for strict enforcement of US laws against illegally-hiring employers, extra HEAVY fines after Jan.1, 2007, and five year prison terms for top management/owners after, say, June 1, 2007, cutting off the magnet. I’m for respect, but no amnesty, for illegals as they get documented (i.e., fool-proof iris-fingerprint work-i.d. cards)–and are monitored, with each illegal reporting his or her whereabouts and work status monthly or so (violations? prison work farms to pay for their upkeep) while Congress comes up with a thoughtful, non-political solution that does not cheat or stiff people following legal entry and citizenship processes. I’d temporarily block most new applications for citizenship or US entry, until we control our borders and get proper control of our nation (not Bush illegal controls nor Bush or some Democrats’ easy amnesty-by-other-names decisions as political ploys for political gain!). Christian treatment of and respect for individuals should not be confused with national/State policy imperatives for security, protection of citizens and all people, rule of and respect for law; and stopping the illegality and violence; and stopping the robbing of citizens via jobs, more $$$ via welfare, health care, SOC. SEC. and taxes–and via new-born “citizens” who properly have no such rights. All new citizens and all citizens who want to vote should have to exhibit minimum English speaking and writing skills, except for the most elderly and infirm. I believe “dual citizenship” is a flawed concept and it should be abolished. As no man can serve two masters, neither can he hold two allegiances at the same time all the time. All government documents, voting instructions, etc. should ONLY be printed in English after some future date, say June 1, 2008. To make sure we continue to keep integrating all new citizens into a common national culture AND language in public and state governmental, voting, military, and work-place environments, etc. Both for commonness and unity, ease of communications and harmony, and to avoid “the two Canada’s problem.” ALL THE WHILE continuing to value, celebrate, embrace, TREASURE AND encourage ethnic and former national identities, cultures, languages, and diversity at the same time! We can all work together and figure out how to make the “Rainbow” work for all and each!>



report abuse
 

Illana Naylor

posted December 14, 2006 at 2:03 am


Here in Manassas, Virginia our community is struggling with how to respond to the challenge of changing demographics. Unity in the Community and Woodbridge Workers serve the immigrant community as brothers and sisters. Many do not. Our local government is determined to have our police trained by ICE. Many of us have attended City Council and Board of Supervisors’ meetings to advocate for the “least of these” and have asked that we remember Christ in claiming to be Christians.>



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted December 14, 2006 at 2:04 am


“we only have problems with illegal aliens who speak a different language and are brown-skinned. White, english-speaking illegals are ignored. ” This is bologna. The reason we have a problem with illegal immigration from the south is because there are so many, and they create such a strain on our systems. If the race card is the best argument you have, then you don’t have an argument. “If people are really upset about Mexicans crossing the border–well, what are we doing to create a strong Mexican economy?” Why on earth is this our responsibility? How do we go about creating a strong economy for Mexico? I’ll grant you that their leadership has failed them miserably, but we can’t elect good leaders for them.>



report abuse
 

Rev. J. Roland Cole

posted December 14, 2006 at 2:05 am


Revised – please read this one, cancel the other post! Thanks, JRC I m for not confusing illegal with legal immigrants. (That s like confusing lightning with lightning bug, as Mark Twain might say; there are huge differences.) I’m for: SECURED borders AND PORTS allowing NO illegal entries by immigrants, drug-runners, gangsters, or terrorists! Now. The 9/11 Commission was right: a TOP priority! And I’m for strict enforcement of US laws against illegally-hiring employers, especially the biggest and the richest, with extra HEAVY fines after Jan.1, 2007, and five year prison terms for top management/owners after, say, June 1, 2007, cutting off a big part of the magnet. I’m for respect, but no amnesty, for illegals as they get documented (i.e., extended temporary, special, fool-proof iris-fingerprint work-i.d. cards for illegals). They should be monitored, with each illegal reporting, via a 1-800 number his or her whereabouts and work status monthly or so as required. (Violations? Prison work farms to pay for their upkeep). (Stop the costly hotels and/or revolving doors treatment!) WHILE Congress comes up with a thoughtful, non-political solution that does not cheat or stiff people following legal entry and citizenship processes. (Perhaps a blue-ribbon, QUALIFIED BI/NON-PARTISAN COMMITTEE needs to be set up for this purpose AND one for how the US/Mexico/and others could promote safety-security-stability and decent jobs for citizens of and in Mexico!) I’d block most new applications for citizenship or US entry until we control our borders and get proper control of our nation (not Bush illegal controls nor Bush or some Democrats’ easy amnesty-by-other-names decisions as political ploys for political gain!) Christian treatment of and respect for individuals should not be confused with national/State policy imperatives for security, protection of citizens and all people, rule of and respect for law; and stopping the illegality and violence; and stopping the robbing of citizens via jobs, more $$$ via welfare, health care, Soc. Sec., taxes and via new-born “citizens” who properly have no such rights, nor all the related rights! (That law should be changed and made retroactive if possible: Illegally-obtained citizenship-by-birth-on-US-soil does not deserve such rewarding. Nothing illegally-obtained should be rewarded, especially something so valuable and potentially costly as US citizenship). All new citizens and all citizens who want to vote should have to exhibit minimum, English speaking, reading, and writing skills, except for the most elderly and infirm. (Not Jim Crow blocking but liberating, life-enhancing, and good citizenship-encouraging procedures. Perhaps the creation of reputable citizenship schools or curricula covering highpoints of American history-government, the increase and extensions of Rights and Liberty/the struggles and how democracy works and doesn t, and English reading-writing-speaking skills, leading to a required certificate/diploma. And offered free to all who simply want to learn! Via public TV stations. And/or in public library rooms across the nation. Perhaps their computers could be used for individual learning programs, distance learning, and some common/joint learning and celebration events!) All government documents, voting instructions, etc. should ONLY be printed in English after some future date, say June 1, 2008. To make sure we continue to keep integrating all new citizens into a common national culture AND language in public governmental, voting, military, and workplace environments, etc. Both for commonness and unity, ease of communications and harmony, and to avoid “the two Canada’s problem (an English-speaking nation and a sometimes wanting-to-secede French-speaking one). Meanwhile, we can and should continue to value, celebrate, embrace, TREASURE AND ENCOURAGE ethnic and other identities, cultures, languages, foods, and music, at the same time! I believe we can work together, enrich each other s experience and lives, and figure out how to make the “Rainbow” work for all and each!>



report abuse
 

dwayne b

posted December 14, 2006 at 2:54 am


last year 12 billion of earned u.s. dollars was sent back to Mexico by mostly illegal immigrants. I believe that’s more than we send in aid to Mexico. I had a sister that went illegally to mexico and was jailed. I believe that we should change the law to say that children born to illegals on U.S. soil do not become citizens until their parents do so legally. I believe that our good christian hearts and attitudes are taken advantage of every day. we need to in all good consiciousness close the borders and deport all illegals that enter and hold those here to the rule of law as we would be if we entered Mexico illegally. I also believe that Mexico has also closed their southern border to illegals, interesting. How many other that mexican citizens cross the same border illegally, many of these are not here for the betterment of the U.S. Enough Dwayne>



report abuse
 

Jack

posted December 14, 2006 at 3:00 am


I hope you aren’t planning on making recommendations on immigration to the government based on the Bible. Many Americans still believe in separation of church and state.>



report abuse
 

Melinda

posted December 14, 2006 at 4:49 am


I was interested in most of the comments but I found Rev. Coles to make the most sense. The illegal aliens come here to make a real living for their families and no one can fault them for that. The growers who hire the most of the illegal aliens who pay them cash and claim that they can’t get an american worker to do the job of harvesting the crops, make me angry. They under pay and work these people l o n g,l o n g hours and over charge the average amerian at the produce counter. Their behavior is as repungnet as the industries who move to foreign countries to avoid taxes and use child laborer’s, while are amerian workers are losing their jobs. We blame this on our government but to quote Abraham Lincoln, we should be ” the government for the people, of the people and by the people. We allow these legislators and lobbists to do what they want by not voting, by sitting at home and heaving a sigh and then doing nothing. If we are to be a help to the strangers among us and make them productive citizens, we also need to be productive and useful citizens.>



report abuse
 

Kathykb510

posted December 14, 2006 at 5:20 am


Agreed, Melinda! I served with a group who held a “Sunday School” during the week for the children of migrant farm workers. Some of the “homes” they occupied did not even have running water, let alone air conditioning…in the dead heat of summer in Georgia! I wondered how those farmers could sleep at night, let alone sit on the front pew on Sunday morning. While everyone is focused on building a wall to keep out the illegals who indeed fill jobs that no one else would want, we are hemorrhaging white collar jobs to India and sending industrial jobs to every poor country on the face of the earth. American corporations roam the earth in search of slave labor and offshore banks to shield their corporate bank accounts. That, my friends, is a whole lot bigger reason for the decline in well-paid American jobs than the illegals the wall is meant to discourage. Of course, some folks would say that’s a neo-marxist attitude. But ask yourself what Jesus would think of our business practices. NAFTA has done more harm than good for the Mexican people and now that we realize it, Congress thumbed its collective nose and passed CAFTA over the loud objections of the public. We have in our day done much good in the world. Lately, however, we should be very concerned as people of faith. The Bible has much to say about those who oppress the poor, and American has become incredibly callous and unconcerned about that.>



report abuse
 

jorge quiroga

posted December 14, 2006 at 5:31 am


hoy mas que nunca me duele el no poder escribir el idioma ingles para poder contribuir en esta combersacion pero si alguien pudiera traducir lo que escribo se lo agradeceria de corazon yo llege a este paiz como refujiado politico en el ano 1979 no fue mi intencion abandonar mi querida argentina pero la dictadura militar financiada y guiada por la cia y los grandes capitales terminaron conlos suenos de democracia de millones de jovenes como yo que terminaron torturados encarcelados desaparecidos es este mismo prollecto neo liberal el que inpide la liberacion economica de los pueblos y continua explotando sin limites explico esto porque no se puede discutir inmigraciones sin tener una perspectiba global migraciones es un fenomeno mundial hay mas de dociento millones de imigrantes en el mundo lo de U S es un porcentage mui chico los tratados de libre comercio tienen efectos terribles en los poises menos desarrollados tu saves ? que el 70 por ciento del mais que se consume en mexico viene de los US porque nuestro govierno subcidia el agro bisne y esto a causado que miles de campesinos mexicanos imigren los que negocian los tratados no tienen en cuenta las concecuencias humanas podria escribir toda la noche a serca de este tema pero no creo que les interese mucho pero los boi a dejar con un comentario se acuerdan de la senora rosa park ella rompio la ley fue y se sento donde la ley lo proibia hoy vemos que esa ley era injusta pero costaron muchas bidas y anos de encarselamiento los obispos y toda organisacion religiosa esta de acuerdo que el sistema migratorio esta roto y nesecita ser reformado no hagamos delincuentes donde no los hay reformemos el sistema para que represente nuestros valores que son los valores humanos>



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 14, 2006 at 5:44 am


Many myths to debunk… Scripture does not demand equal treatment of ‘citizens’ and ‘aliens?’ How about Lev. 19:34? “The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” (NIV) Seems an appropriate verse for a country defined by its immigrant roots. There is need for a serious discussion regarding Man’s Law vs. God’s Law. There exists a higher law which we must constantly strive towards achieving. We must constantly ask ourselves how close we have come to reflecting God’s given principles in our legislation. When a large group of otherwise law-abiding people choose to break a specific law, that probably says more about that law than it does about the ‘law-breakers.’ Jim-Crow laws were on the books for many years and many people advocated a blind loyalty to them. We now see how cruel and un-Godly those laws were. Never would we now say that because segregation was law, that somehow meant it was acceptable. Dr. King never broke a law? Again, I quote: “There comes a time when a moral man can’t obey a law which his conscience tells him is unjust…There were those individuals in every generation who were willing to say, ‘I will be obedient to a higher law.’ It is important to see that there are times when a manmade law is out of harmony with the moral law of the universe.” ‘Cutting in line’ or cheating those who have waited assumes the existence of a line to begin with: 500,000 immigrants fill new entry-level jobs created every year. 5,000 visas are allotted to that low-skilled sector of the labor force. 2 of those entry-level visas went to Mexicans in 2005. We do not have a waiting line for low-skilled workers from Mexico to enter the U.S. today. Hence the calls from the President and others for a guest-worker program. Sojourner’s and most others are not adovating open borders, rather legal entry points for necessary workers that currently DO NOT EXIST. We will get a Comprehensive Immigration Reform package (which includes enforcement provisions) this year. This country will be browner than the country you grew up in. Come to terms with that. Finally, my immigrant friends often pray for you who call them names like illegal and criminal. They only want to be a part of this great country’s history and legacy. Welcome them and you will find yourself in great company.>



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 14, 2006 at 6:25 am


Translated (con gusto) for Jorge Quiroga: Today more than ever, it pains me to not be able to write in the English language so as to contribute to this conversation, but if someone might be able to translate what I am writing, it would give me great pleasure. I arrived to this country as a political refuegee in the year 1979. It was not my intention to abandon my dear Argentina, but the military dictator, financed and guided by the CIA and large capital, ended the dreams of democracy of millions of young people like myself who ended up tortured, imprisoned, kidnapped in the same neo-liberal project that prevented the economic liberation of the people and continued the limitless exploitation. I explain this because I am not able to discuss immigration without having a global perspective. Migration is a world phenonemon. There are more than 200 million immigrants in the world. Those of the U.S. are a very small percentage. The free trade agreements have terrible effects on the least developed nations. Did you know that 70% of the corn that Mexico consumes comes from the U.S. because our government subsidizes agribusiness and this has caused thousands of Mexican farm workers to immigrate? Countries that don’t negotiate agreements don’t have to count the human consequences. I could write all night about this topic but I don’t think it would interest you much. I am going to leave you with a commentary that reminds us of Mrs. Rosa Parks. She broke what was the law and sat where she was prohibited to. Today we see that that law was unjust and cost many lives and years of incarceration. The bishops and all of the religious organization is in agreement that the migratory system is broken and needs to be reformed. We might make delinquents where we don’t reform the system to represent our values that are human values.>



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted December 14, 2006 at 6:29 am


“The growers who hire the most of the illegal aliens who pay them cash and claim that they can’t get an american worker to do the job of harvesting the crops, make me angry. They under pay and work these people l o n g,l o n g hours and over charge the average amerian at the produce counter. ” Absolutely correct. The worst part? We support it all with government subsidies because nobody wants to offend those politically moderate ag groups.>



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted December 14, 2006 at 7:03 am


“There is need for a serious discussion regarding Man’s Law vs. God’s Law. ” Interesting. Which should govern this nation, in your opinion? “5,000 visas are allotted to that low-skilled sector of the labor force. 2 of those entry-level visas went to Mexicans in 2005.” My guess is you’ve found some oddball statistic here, but you are clearly being disingenuous. We have allowed hundreds of thousands to come into our country legally on an annual basis, approximately 15% of which are Mexican. “Hence the calls from the President and others for a guest-worker program.” So you support the president? Thank you for saying that. If Jim would say “hey, I support the president on this one” I would respect him a heck of a lot more. Hell, I might be willing to join in on the immigration hoo-hah if someone would throw Bush a bone and say “hey, maybe the guy isn’t the anti-Christ after all. I may disagree with him on some points, but he’s got it right on this one.” “We will get a Comprehensive Immigration Reform package (which includes enforcement provisions) this year. This country will be browner than the country you grew up in. Come to terms with that.” Nobody gives a crap about this. Race has nothing to do with this argument. It’s not your trump card anymore. Come to terms with that. “rather legal entry points for necessary workers that currently DO NOT EXIST.” Oh, they exist. However, they want like $11 an hour to scrub toilets, which is why businesses want amnesty, so they can pay $5 instead. Are you for big-businesses? “They only want to be a part of this great country’s history and legacy.” So let them apply to be a part of it like their law abiding brethren (all two of them). Or, better yet, advocate for the governmental change that creates it.>



report abuse
 

Amazon Creek

posted December 14, 2006 at 7:20 am


Some of this makes me feel like I have 2 options only: either allow everyone into this country without first asking questions…or give the cold-shoulder to all who are here illegally. And…I see more options than that. On the one hand, I think laws of the land need to be obeyed – unless there is very, very good and well-thought-out reasons why they should not be. Negating laws is a bad precedent. Civilized societies need laws. That means illegal aliens need to “get legal”. If the problem is a too-tough process for becoming legal, then THAT is what needs to be addressed. But..you can’t have everyone just doing as they please. Adjust the laws if they need to be adjusted. But people need to be obeying the laws. On the other hand, I show compassion to all people – without asking questions. I am surrounded by Mexicans in my neighborhood. Many of them do not speak English. It was so sweetly funny – one of my non-English speaking neighbors was helping me put up my Christmas lights one afternoon. He speaks minimal English. I speak minimal Spanish. But…every once in a while, we connected. I don’t know who is illegal and who is not. And I don’t know the “why” of the ones that are illegal. One of the books we read at Book Club a couple years ago, told the story of a couple here illegally from Guatemala – who were political prisoners there – and were too afraid to trust any kind of authority. How can we be hard-nosed with people like that? What I’m saying…is that we’re assuming that everyone who is here illegally is just a scoff-law. That may not be true. They may just be afraid. I accept all I come into contact with. But…I do feel the law needs to be respected. Perhaps what is needed are outreach workers to help people like that seek legal status.>



report abuse
 

Soren

posted December 14, 2006 at 8:13 am


The biggest question I have is not whether someone is here legally or illegally, but why we have different standards. Our English (and French) speaking neighbors to the north in Canada have virtually no limitations on how, when, or where they enter the United States. I have worked with many in a professional association, and even have several living in my neighborhood. I don’t expect that any of them are here illegally, but then, we seem to have a different standard for our neighbors to the North than for our neighbors to the South. I suspect that part of the aim of the posting today was to raise awareness to the fact that regardless of the practices and labels of “legal” and “illegal,” that the policies in and of themselves toward Mexico and other Latin American countries to the south are neither practical, nor humane, nor charitable. The fact is, much of the United States (I think only the Louisana Purchase and Alaska were actually acquired through more diplomatic means if my recollection of history serves me well) was occupied, then forcefully taken from native peoples, from England, from Spain, from Mexico, etc. I live in the West, which was settled by U.S. immigrants (perhaps not “illegal” since Mexico had no immigration policy at the time, but certainly not there by invitation. Why do we have such fear of Mexico that we have created policies that have lead to corruption, intolerance, inhumanity, and so forth, when we have a perfectly (or much more nearly so) successful model for embracing, even prospering with, our neighboring countries as we have with Canada? The system is broken. LET’S FIX IT!>



report abuse
 

Jeri Aday

posted December 14, 2006 at 12:20 pm


As a social worker you are taught and practice helping people does not mean becoming an enabler-to truly help people become empowered there need to be clear boundaries and guidelines from the get-go. My deepest concern is that our (America’s) lack of attention to what we established (rules and guidelines) for immmigration were ignored for some (business) while punitive for others (the immigrant). Our schools are struggling tremendously with the explosion of non-English speaking students that need so much more than the three R’s. The healthcare system is also overburdened. I feel deeply that we can be humane at the same time being firm (Tough Love). And why is no one talking about how America should concerned about WHY the immigrant leaves the mother country? Is America doing anything in partnership with Mexico and Central America to change the conditions that create the original problem for these people?>



report abuse
 

Robstur

posted December 14, 2006 at 1:36 pm


As I have posted before, I am pro-immigration. Our church has assist several families come to the US and become productive citizens. We did not allow them to go on welfare, work-for-cash, etc. We helped them learn english, their children were placed in public schools and we as a congregation tutored them in their studies. It is the illegal immigrants that are hurting our nation by not paying taxes, working for less causing other citizens to loose their employment. YES – the church needs to treat these people with compassion. That may mean that they work with the system to help get these people legal status. It might mean that they work with these people to assist them in returning to their homeland and gaining enterance through proper channels. My father taught me that in most cases, something that started out ‘wrong’ rarely became ‘right/correct’. Let us work together so that these people can become fellow US citizens with all the rights and responsibilities. God Bless America>



report abuse
 

Donny

posted December 14, 2006 at 1:46 pm


Interseting Jim, how you Progressives seem to ignore HONESTY. Immigrants that come to this country illegally are dishonest. How about you leaders in those “Churches” increasingly filled with immigrants, preach about morality and honesty????? How is it that the criminal is demanding civil rights, and ignoring the laws that he or she broke????? How about just a bit of honesty enter into Progressive Christianity just once, Jim????? Illegal immigrants ARE raising children to really believe that honsety is worthless. Trumpeted by the Liberal/Progressive mantra of “Do what thou wilt.” And yet, as always, ignoring that the choices grasped by dishonest people IS harming others. You welcome dishonsty. You preach nothing of the Gospel to the guilty that need to hear it. Helping the poor is not to encourage them to be dishonest and to break laws. Jesus told His followers to obey the law. Paul reiterated that truth. You Progressives ignore honesty for your personal feelings. May God forgive your misguided ways. And may God soon move to heal Progressives of the sickness that envelopes those caught in its embrace.>



report abuse
 

Anne Soens

posted December 14, 2006 at 1:54 pm


While we as Christians are to treat all of God’s children alike, there is nothing in the Bible that says we must welcome people who, by their very being here, are breaking our laws. If we don’t like the immigration laws, we should work to change them. We should not, however, encourage people to come here and break the law by their entry. What about protecting the American workders, whose wages have been driven down by illegal immigrants? What about American scientists and engineers, whose salaries or jobs have been cut by H1B people coming in and driving down salaries?>



report abuse
 

robert

posted December 14, 2006 at 2:07 pm


Robstur: Do you believe those who call upon Christ are elevated to a special status and privelege as “children of God”? Or is it a call to special service on behalf of “the least of these”?>



report abuse
 

robert

posted December 14, 2006 at 2:17 pm


Donny: This issue obviously hits some of your buttons. While legal immigration is preferable to illegal immigration I’m not sure why the call for compassion and justice? Since Jesus broke a few laws, would you consider yourself among those who advocated his crucifixion? And, thank you for praying for me.>



report abuse
 

robert

posted December 14, 2006 at 2:20 pm


…the call for compassion and justice is thereby dishonest?>



report abuse
 

JOHN HEFFRON

posted December 14, 2006 at 2:24 pm


Our nation’s people have a religion based covenant that forbids a theocracy to rule our civil affairs. The Civil law is that immigrants are welcome if and only if they adhere to rules applying to their entry and to the acquistion of a citizenship. The rules and principals of any religious group towards immigration just do not take precedence over our nation’s immigration protocols. To do is a violation of the disestablishment ” clauses within our First Amendment. Given that, let’s not let any religion dictate what’s a U.S. civil matter.>



report abuse
 

jesse

posted December 14, 2006 at 2:30 pm


hhmmm…looks like JW’s “Christian Nation” post was removed. It had fewer f-bombs than the “Songs of Resistance” post from a couple weeks back, which met the same fate. I wonder if the “truth bombs” timks was dropping in his comments led to its removal. Maybe they are reading our comments…>



report abuse
 

robert

posted December 14, 2006 at 3:03 pm


Is there anything in Jim Wallis’ original article that advocates illegal immigration?>



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted December 14, 2006 at 3:50 pm


“Our English (and French) speaking neighbors to the north in Canada have virtually no limitations on how, when, or where they enter the United States.” This is changing a bit, but nonetheless I think the reason for this is pretty obvious. “Is there anything in Jim Wallis’ original article that advocates illegal immigration?” He supports amnesty, and opposes an enforcement first approach. Further, the way he uses scripture implies that the Bible advocates for it as well.>



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 14, 2006 at 3:52 pm


It s interesting to me that no one has addressed the issues brought up by Jorge s translated comments. We seem to forget as we debate this issue that many of the conditions that immigrants are fleeing from were created by American policies. We have dabbled and interfered in the policies and governments of Latin American countries for years, all to our benefit, and in the process have left these countries in shambles. The corruption and greed of the leaders with which we collaborated cannot be minimized; but we also cannot shuck our responsibility for the condition of many of these nations. And so, someone asked earlier why it is our problem to assist in building a stronger economy in Mexico because we helped create that problem to a large extent. This is not a black and white issue (pardon the pun). While I do not believe that our laws should be violated by those who come into the country illegally, I also cannot ignore the horrific conditions that these people are often fleeing from. And the fact that in large measure America has some responsibility in the creation of those conditions. This muddies the waters a bit and creates the reality that we are not completely innocent in this problem. We helped create it, and need to do something to correct it. I do not have the answers as to how that would happen but we at least need to honest with ourselves about it. True resolution will not come about until we are.>



report abuse
 

K. Copeland

posted December 14, 2006 at 4:00 pm


Caring for the poor and downtrodden was Jesus’ central message. And in spite of the criminals, drug runners, welfare thieves, etc., there are still some people crossing the southern border illegally who fit the stereotype of the decent, hardworking peasant looking for a better life in America, who actually wants to be an American and when he is finally awarded citizenship, turns out to be a fellow American we are lucky to have around. They are a dwindling minority in the illegal immigration tide, but they are still there. Being a committed follower of the savior does not mandate turning the badly-burdened infrastructure of a country over to another country’s poor. American Christians can be found in the four corners of the world doing their best to follow Jesus’ mandate that we look after those among us without the prosperity we are blessed with in America. What is it about this particular country, Mexico, that is different? Why do we see objecting to the horrific strain illegal immigration puts on our country and having a heart filled with compassion for the poor as incompatible? They simply aren’t. The people of Mexico have been neglected and abused by their government. It’s far easier for us to go on missions to Mexico to minister to them than it is to go to Darfur or Serbia, yet missions to those far-flung places to do the savior’s work are common in American churches. It doesn’t occur to us that we can only minister to them by importing them into the United States. Mexico is no different. Mexico, by all rights, should be a country not unlike the United States — a place rich in natural resources and in huge amounts of beautiful, fertile farmland. A ministry that makes its way into the heart of Mexico and makes inroads into turning the rural towns and villages being emptied of their people by massive, vast immigration to the U.S. back into nice places to live. If we could somehow dissect political correctness out of this it would be clear that not only is that a more rational approach for us as Christians, we would also see that it’s a superior approach. It’s something along the lines of “If you give a man a fish you feed him for one day. If you teach him to fish you feed him for a lifetime.” If it’s Christianity to throw the 3000 mile long door at the southern border wide open to any and all comers — comers which we now know include more criminals, gangs, and drug runners than the downtrodden poor we think we’re ministering to — it’s lazy Christianity. True Christianity would require a little more sacrifice than that. Like spending money we may be spending on missions to far-flung places on missions to Mexico. Humanitarian missions designed to help the neglected, abused people of rural Mexico to take their homeland back and turn it into the near Garden of Eden it is supposed to be. Who knows, it could be so successful it might be a place the poor of the world might begin to immigrate to in masses, instead of being a place the poor have no choice and no voice in.>



report abuse
 

Robstur

posted December 14, 2006 at 4:04 pm


Robert wrote… Do you believe those who call upon Christ are elevated to a special status and privelege as “children of God”? Or is it a call to special service on behalf of “the least of these”? The only ‘status’ we have as ones who call Christ as Savior and are therefore ‘Children of God’ is that we are forgiven. We have the hope of heaven because of what Chirst did for us with His death and more importantly His resurection. ‘Children of God’ have the hope of heaven because they have submitted to God’s will and accepted the give of salvation. Our faith should be the motivator to help ‘the least of these’ as show them the love of Christ with the cup of cold water, food etc. Being God’s ‘creation’ is just what we are. Being ‘children’ is who we are because of submitting our lives to an almighty God through his loving Son.>



report abuse
 

Kris Weinschenker

posted December 14, 2006 at 4:05 pm


Gee….what happened to Jim Wallis’s blog entry on the America being a Christian nation??????????? Did the ‘thought police’ get it ;o)>



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted December 14, 2006 at 4:11 pm


That’s been happening a lot lately. the other day a piece on Congress extending its weekly sessions diappeared into the e-ther too. Wolverine>



report abuse
 

Patti

posted December 14, 2006 at 4:14 pm


I am so glad to see Sojourners take a stand in solidarity with immigrants and join other faith communities in advocating for a comprehensive immigration reform. No matter what your view on immigration, you have to admit that the current system doesn’t fit the reality and needs to be reformed. And although the coalition will have to define their common ground in regards to the specific measures to implement, it took the right step in using the Bible’s mandate to welcome the stranger as a starting point. The Catholic Church has developed an extensive campaign on this issue with plenty of resources for anyone who would like to learn more: http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org>



report abuse
 

j.

posted December 14, 2006 at 5:07 pm


K. Copeland raises a very good point that any actions that we encourage our government to take in regard to immigration should be supplemented by our financial and missional support for the people living in those countries. but, i take issue with the dividing up of illegal immigrants into the “downtrodden poor” who need our compassion and the “criminals, gangs, and drug runners”. when did Jesus say that those who commit crimes are out of his reach and are not worthy of the same love and compassion as everyone else? we’re all faulty. when we minister, we should minister to those who need the love, compassion, and hope that christ offers. that includes criminals, gangs, and drug runners.>



report abuse
 

Lloyd Crump

posted December 14, 2006 at 5:12 pm


Kevin S. writes: “Why on earth is this our responsibility?” “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ He said, ‘I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?'” Genesis, 4: 10>



report abuse
 

Ryan, Web Editor

posted December 14, 2006 at 5:35 pm


RE: “Gee….what happened to Jim Wallis’s blog entry on the America being a Christian nation???????????” Relax, vigilant readers. We accidentally prematurely posted that piece, which per Jim’s agreement with the On Faith discussion sponsored by The Washington Post/Newsweek is embargoed for 24 hours after it’s posted on their site. Wouldn’t want to step on our partner’s toes. You can see it on their site right now, but we’ll re-post it later this afternoon. (And for the record Wolverine, Duane asked me to take down the congressional work week piece because he wrote it Friday but the publication was delayed by a Blogger software snafu and he didn’t think it relevant to post on Tuesday.)>



report abuse
 

Soren

posted December 14, 2006 at 5:42 pm


I wonder if the following commentary has any bearing on this conversation (some of you might recognize it — it’s our own Declaration of Independence). “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” Our very existence as a nation is fraught with “illegal” actions, which were to right the wrongs of a government which had usurped the inalienable rights endowed by our Creator with fallible laws of Man. The inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness on which this country was founded are extended to ALL — not just those who are already citizens. If the laws we now have are resulting in the dimunition of these “inalienable rights” to some, then it is our moral imperative to change those laws, or to change the government that has instituted those laws. This is not a question about “honesty” or “dishonesty.” This is not a questions about “legal” or “illegal.” What is before us is a moral question of “right” and “wrong.” If our immigration laws are resulting in the abandonement of “inalienable rights” of life, liberty and happiness endowed by the Creator for all people including “aliens,” AND are resulting in the deprivation of life, liberty and happiness for “law abiding citizens” in the forms of overburdened education systems, overburdened health care systems, and overburdened justice systems, then we have a fundamental problem with the laws, and they MUST BE CHANGED. The second chapter of Daniel in the Old Testament talks about the “stone cut out of the mountain without hands,” which is the Kingdom of God that will “break apart” the governments of the earth. This prophecy will only be fulfilled as the laws of God, which are extended to all people, break down the laws of Man, which are extended to only to an elite few. And for those who feel so strongly that justice must prevail, remember that Christ gave amnesty and showed mercy, too.>



report abuse
 

splinterlog

posted December 14, 2006 at 6:28 pm


“Why on earth is this our responsibility?” Maybe for the same reason that it is America’s responsibility to “spread democracy” around the world.>



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 14, 2006 at 6:34 pm


“Maybe for the same reason that it is America’s responsibility to “spread democracy” around the world.” I don’t think it is our job to spread Democracy around the world, and neither do you. We have constructed a system of government that few have chosen to emulate. As a result, we have been very successful as a nation. Economic success requires reforms that make societies less dependent on government. We cannot solve any country’s problems until they are willing to engage in their own solution. Instead, people fall for dictator types who make handouts of oil company money. Of course, there are people like that here, too.>



report abuse
 

splinterlog

posted December 14, 2006 at 6:50 pm


True – we can’t solve another country’s problems. We shouldn’t even try. On the other hand, insofar as these problems affect us, we would be unwise to just turn the other way. By “affecting us” I mean really affecting us e.g. by taking more out of welfare safety nets than is put in (rather than imaginary WMDs or conspiracies). We need to ensure that any immigration reform is not a “band-aid” solution to what might be more deeply seated problems.>



report abuse
 

beth

posted December 14, 2006 at 7:10 pm


The orginal article, “I Was a Stranger,” stated that guest workers pay taxes. Could you help me understand this? The one illegal immigrant I am trying to help does not pay taxes because he has to work “under the table.” He is paid in cash for construction work. People often promise to pay him a certain amount and then pay far less after the work is done. He has no recourse.>



report abuse
 

beth

posted December 14, 2006 at 7:10 pm


…..but to my knowledge, he does not pay taxes.>



report abuse
 

Robstur

posted December 14, 2006 at 8:46 pm


Lloyd Crump wrote… “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ He said, ‘I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?'” I am not sure that this is totally applicable to this discussion. God ‘knew’ what Cain had done and was in the process of exposing his sin of murder. I do believe that I am my brothers keep…not his caretaker. I personally have to draw the line on illegal immigrants. I will show them compassion and make the transistion back to their country of origin as smooth and easy as possible. I will even help them enter this great country ‘legally’ and obtain citizenship so they have all the rights (life liberty voting) as well as responsibilities (taxes etc) we all have access to in the US. There are so many that desire to come to this country ‘legally’ that to make too many exemptions for those that broke the laws to get here…makes a mockery of our society. OK – I am my ‘brothers keeper’ if my brother respects our country and way of life and follows the laws to get from there to here.>



report abuse
 

MB

posted December 14, 2006 at 9:08 pm


Well Soren, a most excellent job. I find today I feel a tad bit disheartened. I read this different blogs and see such a huge difference in what followers of Christ believe. No wonder we are such a horrible witness to the world. I could seemingly understand that we may have differences of opinion in regards to how the government should operate. What is the governments role, if any. But I don’t just see it being a division re: governments role. It’s how as followers of Christ we are to help, support, offer hope fellow human beings. Whether those be illegal, in jail, in poverty, the list goes one. I guess it would be different for me, if in fact – it was stated I don’t believe that this is the governments role but as a follower of Christ – Christ commands me to act as an individual. I don’t know. Have a good evening everyone.>



report abuse
 

MB

posted December 14, 2006 at 9:42 pm


One last comment. When I read the New Testament – what screams out to me from Christ is that as a believer it is my responsibility. For everyone is my neighbor. In that I am supposed to show compassion to my neighbor, or my enemy – because that is what Christ did. I am supposed to help the less fortunate – because that is were Jesus was, right smack jab in the middle of the less fortunate and the sinners. It is my responsibility to be a voice to the immigrant whether legal or illegal. There is a reason they come here, we offer hope. It is our job as Christians to offer that hope. And in this maybe change the world. Not through violence – it doesn’t work – voilence only promotes more violence. We change the world by being there for one another – no matter who they are. It’s exactly what Christ did.>



report abuse
 

Brian B.

posted December 15, 2006 at 6:50 am


Jesus went out of his way to minister to people who were in deeply hurting, just like today’s illegal immigrants. He considered their needs far more than their legal status. At the same time He openly reproached the heartless, sarcastic, “white-washed graves” who supposedly represented God but worried more about laws that human lives. Tragically we still have so many religious people who can’t see beyond the law into the deep needs of human suffering.>



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 15, 2006 at 7:01 am


No oddball statistics – Mentioned here: NY Times – May 29, 2006 Rules Collide With Reality in the Immigration Debate By JULIA PRESTON Rememberm, I am talking about specifically 5,000 low-skill, entry-level visas every year (I believe they are defined as H-1B Visas, but don’t quote me on that). We may allow other types of Mexican workers in every year, but they are qualifying for a visa due to their education, financial status, marriage or other family association. They are not filling a job that is driving say the growth economy in my home state of Arizona. “Interesting. Which should govern this nation, in your opinion?” I don’t know if I understand your question. Are you insinuating that God’s given laws are unattainable and therfore we should accept whatever faulty system we have inherited based on its current legality? “Nobody gives a crap about this. Race has nothing to do with this argument. It’s not your trump card anymore. Come to terms with that.” I don’t want a trump card. I wan’t to talk honestly about our current situation. The immigration conversation gets so vitriolic so quickly – I would be careful to dismiss>



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 15, 2006 at 7:10 am


any discussion around racism or xenophobia. It appears clear to me that we have many folks who are motivated by fears of the ‘other.’ This only makes them human. When we are able to call a spade a spade we can work towards healing. When we dismiss casually any talk about the new face of contemporary racism we disallow any ability to dialogue about the problem at its core. Mel Gibson and Michael Richards are two people who have, in my opinion, shown the unique face of racism today. A racism defined by its hiddeness – we are so good at disguising it that we even hide it from ourselves.>



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 15, 2006 at 7:39 am


Undocumented Immigrants Pay Taxes??!! – All pay property taxes (even if they rent, the landlord uses a portion of that rent to pay property taxes). – All pay sales taxes – Many pay income taxes – Immigrants can obtain a ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) and pay income tax like any resident/citizen. This happens quite often. – Many pay Social Security – Researchers estimate the money coming into our Social Security system from the undocumented totals in the billions of dollars maybe even buoying the entire system. http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,600123790,00.html Cato Institute Study: “Immigrants as a whole do not impose a fiscal burden on native-born Americans. The 1997 [Nation Research Council] study calculated the fiscal impact of immigrants and all their descendants over their lifetimes that is, expected tax payments minus the expected cost of government services they would consume. Those services include welfare, Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, public schools, police and fire protection, and government health services. The NRC found that the typical immigrant and his or her descendants paid $80,000 more in taxes than they consumed in services during their lifetimes. The fiscal impact was even more positive $105,000 on the federal level, where immigrants typically begin to pay immediately into Social Security and Medicare but do not collect benefits until decades after they arrive.” http://www.freetrade.org/pubs/pas/tpa-019.pdf I highly recommend reading the (relatively short) Cato Study especially for those of us from a more conservative persuasion as they are a Libertarian group and successfuly, in my opinion, construct a balanced, economically sensitive approach to addressing the immigration situation.>



report abuse
 

robert

posted December 15, 2006 at 1:36 pm


Robstur: Are you saying that only those who confess Christ as Savior are forgiven and may be called “children of God”?>



report abuse
 

robert

posted December 15, 2006 at 1:44 pm


Kevin: I find in the Sojourners/Call to Renewal polcy on poverty a statement about the necessity of securing our borders etc. So you believe amnesty equates to advocacy of illegal immigration? The Christian Century ran an article by John Fanestil that many might find interesting. Isn’t Wallis really advocating compassion from Christians for all persons regardless of their status? (Without advocating illegal immigration?)>



report abuse
 

robert

posted December 15, 2006 at 1:47 pm


I’d like to know if the statistics quoted by Jerry from the LA Times were from an opinion piece…>



report abuse
 

robstur

posted December 15, 2006 at 2:25 pm


Robert – no comment…I a Troll TTFN>



report abuse
 

WAYNE

posted December 15, 2006 at 5:32 pm


It would be a good idea if every one could stop using political “catch phrases” like “amnesty”.Actual amnesty has never been proposed by anyone. What you mean is a program whereby these “illegals” can become legal by paying a steep fine and having to back pay any taxes they might owe. I for one do not think any of us would consider a $2,500.00 fine amnesty, much less having to deal with our IRS. If you think otherwise I would suggest you reconsider whether the race card is really just a way of casting aspersions on your character verses something you might want to consider your need to repent of. Further no one seems to want to admit to the need we have for these workers. All those evil farmers who refuse to pay a decent wage so you can go pick their crops, (a scenario I find truly unbelievable.) Do we really think we have enough people who would work at jobs like this? Do any of you think you would actually pay the price for food that policy would entail, much less that large numbers of people would be lining up in todays American economy to take those jobs, regardless of what they might pay? California crops went largely unpicked this year, not because we don’t have enough aliens, but because we have too many other jobs that no American wants and that pay better and are not as hard. People who need food and want a better life will come here. It does not matter how many obstacles or fences we construct to keep them out. If you were in their shoes you would do the same. Why not be thankful for what we have and regulate the borders? Why not know who is here and what they are here for? Why not manage our border and make it profitable for everyone to create jobs and employ people who want to work? Then we could address the need for fair wages if needed. 5,000 visas per year for low wage, unskilled workers for the entire planet is simply ludicrous. We need immigration reform not fear of poor people who speak Spanish. We are a nation of immigrants very few of which ever had to jump the legal hurdles we have contructed today.>



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 15, 2006 at 10:06 pm


Yes, Jerry can you present a link to the LA Times article that outlines the above mentioned statistics? They seem way off base…>



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted December 15, 2006 at 10:58 pm


The article in question does not exist. You can read this for more information. “>http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/taxes.asp>



report abuse
 

Jim Burke

posted December 15, 2006 at 11:19 pm


Those who need to be moved to compassion or reality on immigration reform should be reminded of the unfairness or hypocrisy of taking national pride in the Statue of Liberty and Emma Lazarus’ poem. Today we are not welcoming our Hispanic neighbors ‘yearning to breathe free.” Our national pride and heritage as a welcoming inclusive nation depends on a compassionate and historically consistent liberal immigration policy.>



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 16, 2006 at 10:35 am


Kevin S. – Thank you for helping us clarify. Statistics like those in question do not help in trying to accurately quantify the current situation. Again, I recommend the Cato Institute study (www.freetrade.org/pubs/pas/tpa-019.pdf) as an educational tool when seeking accurate statistics/facts.>



report abuse
 

Linda

posted December 17, 2006 at 2:10 am


Remember that Dr. King and Rosa Parks were acting to ENFORCE the law, not break it. The U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that segregated transportation, education, and other public services were unconstitutional. The states refused to implement these court rulings; that was the cause of the modern civil rights movement. Dr. King NEVER violated a court order–that’s a fact. There is nothing intrinsically wrong or immoral about a nation limiting immigration. If you oppose a duly enacted law, then you must pay the consequences until you can change it: that is the first principle of civil disobedience, dating back to Thoreau and the Mexican American War (he thought it was an immoral war to expand slavery). But do not ignore the importance of the rule of law, the absence of which is one reason Mexico (as the source of most illegal immigration to the US) is corrupt and poor. Importing lawlessness is not a solution to poverty. If you want to use a civil rights movement analogy, then the best solution to illegal immigration is to have a “Freedom Summer” movement in Mexico. Anglos from El Norte should spend a summer (at least) south of the border, legally or illegally, helping build schools, register voters, and fight corruption. Empower Mexicans to change their country, rather than become refugees. That’s how the American South was transformed.>



report abuse
 

Milton Erhardt

posted December 17, 2006 at 3:38 pm


The face of “illegal” immigrantion has changed greatly in the last few years. “Illegal” immigrants now come as much from Central America and the most southern reaches of Mexico as the stereotypical immigrant. These are places from which the US has had few migrants, either “legal” or “illegal” in the past. The reason for this change has been the NAFTA and CAFTA trade agreements. These agreements have so crippled the econimies of these nations that many many of the citizens of these are coming to the U.S. out of desperation. There is impky no way that these people can make a living anymore. Both of the trade agreements were crafted by international corporations for the sole benefit of those corporations. They were sold to gullible, and ofentimes corrupt, politicians as a boon to the national economy. You don’t believe me? Just look at our own economy. It too is being torn apart by “free trade” agreements. In nations that were largley poor to begin with these agreements have been utterly disasterous. I could go on providing more facts concerning the “free trade” agreements, but I have not the the time. Any one truly wanting to stop “illegal” immigration must contact thier congress persons and Senators and demand that the U.S. withdraw from these trade agreements immedtiatley. This will be the first step to stopping such immigration, as well as protecting our own economy.>



report abuse
 

timks

posted December 17, 2006 at 5:35 pm


Linda – Mexico jails illegal immigrants. How would a swarm of Americans in Mexican jails help empower Mexicans to change their country? Isn’t this proposal the same as importing lawlessness into Mexico?>



report abuse
 

timks

posted December 17, 2006 at 5:37 pm


Milton Erhardt – Putting aside the discussion of the flaws of NAFTA and CAFTA, how does free trade increase poverty? Or are you saying it is poorly crafted so-called free trade agreements that do that?>



report abuse
 

Barbara Wall

posted December 17, 2006 at 9:33 pm


Remember the Samaritan? One of those people any responsible citizen wouldn’t have been caught dead talking to? How would the parable go today: Say, a car accident on the I-80 and guess who stops to see if anyone might have been hurt…? For me it happened around midnight on an icy, dark Highway 259 outside of Stockholm. My car slid into the divider and conked out. All the other drivers (10 or 12 of them!) just drove past. Until a Middle Eastern family stopped and asked if I was okay. They drove me to the still lit-up hamburger place just up the road, but the owner there shook his head behind the locked door and gestured that they were closed for the night. So the family drove me back to my car and stayed with me until I was able to reach my family by phone. Things haven’t changed all that much in 2000 years – but perhaps they could? Barbara, Stockholm>



report abuse
 

Anonymous

posted December 17, 2006 at 9:59 pm


Linda – It is not immoral to enforce immigration laws. It is immoral to amass great wealth on the backs of immigrant labor for decades – all the while never permitting those immigrants to come out from the shadows – whereby creating and allowing for a increasingly messy situation full of fear and forced ‘law-breaking.’ Most immoral of all is the current schizophrenic stance that accepts the clean hotel rooms, washed dishes, and affordable housing while completely abandoning those workers societally labeling them criminal, threating, second-class. Oh, and Linda, Dr. King was no slave to laws. He inherited a wonderful legacy, including but not limited to earlier abolitionists, who called nations to obedience to a Higher law rooted in justice for the widow, orphan, and STRANGER…>



report abuse
 

Lorne B.

posted December 19, 2006 at 5:52 am


Let us never forget that Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus had to secretly sneak into Egypt in order to avoid the wrath of Herod the Great. Perhaps they used the precious gold, frankencense, and myhrr to bribe the Roman border guards and to obtain false papers along the way? Whatever the case, Jesus, a man “aquainted with sorrows” knew what it was like to be an illegal alien in Egypt! If He were here today I’m sure He would champion the aliens rather than the religious zealots who claim to speak for Him, yet show no love for His fellow sufferers.>



report abuse
 

pilgrim

posted December 28, 2006 at 5:55 am


Lorne, You misunderstood Matthew 2. What happened was that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus escaped from Herod, King of Judea, by traveling into Egypt. It doesn t say that they illegally entered Egypt. Therefore, they weren t illegal aliens.>



report abuse
 

Wayne

posted December 28, 2006 at 8:05 pm


Dear Pilgrim I think you’re just silly. Just because Egypt didn’t have “La Migra” as we know it doesn’t change the dynamic of the story. They were unwanted. They traveled secretly through a dangerous desert. They probably did much of their trek by night and were certainly afraid of being “found” by the authorities. Do you really need that pointed out to you? Can you honestly think Jesus’ only comment to the undocumented would be to remind them that American Law somehow overides their need to protect and feed their families? Dear Pilgrim, you, (we) must be better than that.>



report abuse
 

pilgrim

posted December 29, 2006 at 6:50 pm


Wayne, People may be unwanted and travel to another country to find a better life, but that doesn t mean they must do it illegally. We legally let huge numbers of immigrants into this nation every year. The authorities you refer to which Joseph, Mary and Jesus were escaping from were those of their own country. Thus, my point about them not being illegal aliens in Egypt is perfectly valid, whether you want to admit that or not. Since you seem to think that it s ok to enter America illegally as long as those who do it are attempting to find a better life for themselves and their families, why not let half (or maybe all?) the population of Mexico in? Who cares if it impoverishes us and destroys our standard of living, as long as the immigrants have a better life. I know do-gooders just want to make everyone happy, but it s better to think about the consequences before acting on such feelings.>



report abuse
 

Wayne

posted December 31, 2006 at 5:17 pm


Dear Pilgrim We legally let huge numbers of immigrants into this nation every year. Do you know what those huge numbers are? What do you call huge? I am not trying to be mean but this kind of statement is just the sort of thing people who do not know what they are talking about say. Please clarify. I would say we certainly let huge numbers of people enter illegally. I do not want anyone and everyone to come and I suppose you do not either. The problem is that nothing that has been proposed by the anti immigration side of this discussion will do that. Walls don’t work and if you think they will just ask Israel how well their wall is doing for them? Do you want us to build that kind of wall? Second my point was that Jesus could certainly identify with these undocumented people, not that He was exactly like them. Again you are just being silly if you think Jesus would not know what it was like to be unwanted and looked down on. The savior would absolutely identify with every one of these people you call “illegal.” Everywhere Jesus went every person who was from the ranks of those who could be called “unwanted” knew that He loved and accepted them. The organized church has never been able to repeat this either in fact or attitude. I am afraid Pilgrim you are just demonstrating that the church is still a huge failure in this regard. As to the consequences, what are they for those who are hiding in fear inside the streets of our cities and towns? What are the consequences to the Christian’s heart when they turn their backs to the needs of these “unwanted” human beings in the name of American “Justice.” There is a great reference in a previous blog to the cato institute’s report on immigration. You should read it!>



report abuse
 

Wayne

posted December 31, 2006 at 5:37 pm


Pilgrim As to you statement “that doesn’t mean they must do it illegally.” Actually if our laws remain unchanged and as restrictive as they are today it actually does mean that. There really is no way for a poor uneducated Mexican national to come here in the numbers we require and in the numbers they need. NONE! Read the immigration laws. They are vastly inadequate and wrong! If you read very far at all you will see anonymous’ reference to the 5,000 visas per year for the entire planet for people in this catagory is in fact true. It is also true that only two of these 5,000 went to anyone from Mexico. An additional 167,000 come on other programs that are different and would not be of use to most of the 500,000 who come every year illegally. These 500,000 almost entirely find work here. I do not think any of us should deny these facts. By the way 1% of our poulation would be 3,000,000, do the math, 500,000 is 1/6th of 1 percent. The numbers are only huge if you want them to be.>



report abuse
 

Kamryn

posted February 3, 2007 at 5:58 am


allstate insurance northbrook il allstate insurance northbrook il allstate insurance northbrook il // lortab online without prescription lortab online without prescription lortab online without prescription>



report abuse
 

Kathy

posted March 9, 2007 at 11:00 pm


I m a Denver native, teaching for Education Station (a Sylvan company) in two of Denver Public Schools 26 elementary schools filled with children of undocumented aliens. Both Denver and Aurora Public Schools are now more than 90% Hispanic, mostly illegals from Mexico. By the way, Denver has been a sanctuary city, with Mayor Hickenlooper openly hiring illegal aliens for his restaurant. In fact, one of them killed one Denver police officer and wounded another, then fled to Mexico. Now extradited, he faces life in prison for which we taxpayers will pay. In American jails, 25% of the population is illegal immigrants. One of the schools at which I teach has 97% illegal immigrants. At each school, due to the low wages their parents receive, children qualify for free breakfast, free lunch, free health care, 35 hours of free Supplemental Services (Sylvan) tutoring, and many other social services as they learn the ropes. Couples usually have an anchor baby within their first year here, and a child every other year thereafter. Most families have five children. As soon as one is settled here, they bring extended family, with twenty not unusual. Entire neighborhoods become little Mexicos within a few months of the first illegal “settlers.” You say they pay their way? No, we as taxpayers, pay their costs so that businesses may increase profits. Center for Immigration Services Research has shown taxpayers pick up at least $2500 per year for every working undocumented person. I spoke with a local agency with headed by a local citizen Hispanic. He said, nearly in tears, that Illegal aliens have overloaded our local agencies so that citizens who are poor cannot receive the help they deserve. Jobs that used to pay a living, no longer pay enough for housing, food, and heat. The poor suffer the most, and many of our poor are Hispanic CITIZENS. Why aren t we enforcing current laws to fine employers and deport illegals? The only public attempt at enforcement (Swift) brought reporters from other parts of the country who had no idea how many illegal aliens we have along the front range of Colorado. They interviewed illegals, not citizens. Swift is an example of a U.S. company that is willing to sell out it’s own countrymen. All this due to employers’ greed and their pressure on government NOT to enforce existing law. Mexico s second largest source of income ($19 billion annually) is money sent back by illegal aliens. President Fox did all he could to ensure that income is secure. Presidents Calderon and Bush are eager to combine Mexico and the United States in a sort of American Common Market. We must do what is best for the CITIZENS of the United States in the long run. What about that tiresome old saw that Americans won t do these jobs. I would like to share two examples of how that really works. By the way, this comes from a school custodian s daughter me! No one in our family is afraid of hard work. Construction used to pay enough for the summer to attend college. Homebuilder D.R. Horton fired its American painters, lowered pay and eliminated benefits. Now construction jobs are held by undocumented aliens. For example, a man from Oaxaca has painted for a national home builder for nine years, earning so little that his family qualifies for benefits that we taxpayers pay to subsidize bigger profits for Horton. That job used to support American CITIZENS. Another example is the King Soopers store a few blocks from my home. Overnight, non-English speakers appeared in the store. A checker said Krogers had revised the job description for stockers and cleaners, lowering the pay. Neighbors who held these jobs had to look for other work to pay their bills. Undocumented aliens filled the jobs that had helped support families in my neighborhood. What part of illegal do you not understand? For the future of this country we MUST secure the border. We can no longer make taxpayers subsidize greedy employers, nor put our national security at risk.>



report abuse
 

C. Ammel

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:04 pm


If you ask me you are cherry picking scriptures from the Bible to validate your views. The same can be done on other issues. For instance, why don’t you endorse what the Bible says about interracial marriage? Deuteronomy 7:2-3 2 and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, Joshua 23:12-13 12 “But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations that remain among you and if you intermarry with them and associate with them, 13 then you may be sure that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the LORD your God has given you. Judges 3:5-7 5 The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 6 They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods. 7 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; . . . Ezra 9:1-3, 10-12, 14 1 After these things had been done, the leaders came to me and said, “The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices, . . . 2 They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.” 3 When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled. 10 “But now, O our God, what can we say after this? For we have disregarded the commands 11 you gave through your servants the prophets when you said: The land you are entering to possess is a land polluted by the corruption of its peoples. By their detestable practices they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other. 12 Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, . . . 14 Shall we again break your commands and intermarry with the peoples who commit such detestable practices? . . . Ezra 10:2-3, 10, 19 2 Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the peoples around us. But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel. 3 Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. . . . 10 Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful; you have married foreign women, adding to Israel’s guilt. 11 Now make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives.” 19 (They all gave their hands in pledge to put away their wives, and for their guilt they each presented a ram from the flock as a guilt offering.) Nehemiah 10:28-30 28 “The rest of the people–priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, temple servants and all who separated themselves from the neighboring peoples for the sake of the Law of God, together with their wives and all their sons and daughters who are able to understand– 29 all these now join their brothers the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the LORD our Lord. 30 “We promise not to give our daughters in marriage to the peoples around us or take their daughters for our sons. Nehemiah 13:23-27 23 Moreover, in those days I saw men of Judah who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab. 24 Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod or the language of one of the other peoples, and did not know how to speak the language of Judah. 25 I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God’s name and said: “You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves. 26 Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? . . . 27 Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women?” 1 Kings 11:1, 2, 6 1 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter–Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2 They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done.>



report abuse
 

goumsb

posted September 1, 2007 at 7:35 pm


linkdomain buy phentermine online 1.com linkdomain buy phentermine online 1.com linkdomain buy phentermine online 1.com. novastar home mortgage novastar home mortgage novastar home mortgage.>



report abuse
 

website

posted August 30, 2014 at 3:56 pm


My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different website
and thought I might as well check things out.
I like what I see so i am just following you.

Look forward to finding out about your web page repeatedly.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting God's Politics. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 11:14:07am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Why I Work for Immigration Reform (by Patty Kupfer)
When I tell people that I work on immigration reform, they usually laugh or say, "way to pick an easy topic." Everyday it feels like there is more fear, more hate. Raids are picking up in Nevada, California, and New York. A number of senators who supported comprehensive reform only a few months ago

posted 12:30:52pm Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Audio: Jim Wallis on "Value Voters" on The Tavis Smiley Show
Last week Jim was on The Tavis Smiley Show and talked about how the changing political landscape will affect the upcoming '08 election. Jim and Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, debated and discussed both the impact of "value voters" on the election and what those values entail. + Down

posted 10:11:56am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Verse of the Day: 'peace to the far and the near'
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them. But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss u

posted 9:35:01am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Daily News Digest (by Duane Shank)
the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds. Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail » Blog action day. Thousands of bloggers unite in blitz of green

posted 9:31:25am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.