At our press conference on Monday announcing the formation of Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, I remarked, “If given the choice on this issue between Jesus and Lou Dobbs, I choose my lord and savior, Jesus Christ.”
As you might imagine, Lou didn’t like that very much. In his column on CNN.com, “A call to the faithful,” rather than addressing the need for reforming a broken immigration system, he accuses us of being “hell-bent on ignoring the separation of church and state” as we “conflate religion and politics” by our “political adventurism.” Then he suggests:
… before the faithful acquiesce in the false choice offered by the good Reverend, perhaps he and his followers should consult Romans 13 where it is written: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”
I don’t think Lou read our statement, where we clearly said:
We believe in the rule of law, but we also believe that we are to oppose unjust laws and systems that harm and oppress people made in God’s image, especially the vulnerable (Isaiah 10:1-4, Jeremiah 7:1-7, Acts 5:29, Romans 13:1-7).
The current U.S. immigration system is broken and now is the time for a fair and compassionate solution. We think it is entirely possible to protect our borders while establishing a viable, humane, and realistic immigration system …
Dobbs doesn’t understand that compassion is not amnesty, and that reforming an unworkable system is not simply flinging open our borders. But then, he long ago stopped being a journalist, and is now one of the leading advocates against comprehensive immigration reform.
He also doesn’t seem to understand that most people now believe that bringing our faith into public life is not undermining the separation of church and state. As I’ve said many times, where would America be if Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had kept his faith to himself? And on this issue, given a choice between Jesus and Lou Dobbs, I’ll still choose Jesus.