Monday, July 19, 2010

Today in Judeo-Christian justification: Immigration

Late in the New York Times' story about how evangelical leaders are teaming up with President Obama to reform immigration law -- including a sort of amnesty for illegal immigrants already on American soil -- we hear from Bryan Fischer of the conservative American Family Association.
Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the American Family Association, a national conservative Christian organization in Tupelo, Miss., said, “What my evangelical friends are arguing is that illegal aliens should essentially be rewarded for breaking the law.

“I think it’s extremely problematic from a Judeo-Christian standpoint to grant citizenship to people whose first act on American soil was to break an American law,” said Mr. Fischer, who hosts a daily radio show on which immigration is a frequent topic.
Well, sure. It's not as though the core doctrine of Christianity involves redemption and forgiveness for a lifetime of sins. It's certainly not like Jesus told his human followers to offer forgiveness for sins "not seven times, but seventy-seven times."

Now, I'm not saying that illegal immigrants should be offered amnesty. (Although I think it makes sense, but that's not the point here.) But even though I'm agnostic these days, I have a long background in the church. And I hate to see people blithely invoke "Judeo-Christian" tradition to justify their policy preferences -- particularly when their invocation actually contradicts the religion they use as justification.


KhabaLox said...

Not to mention, Jesus is one of the most Original Gangsters of all time. He broke almost every law the Rabbis had. That temple riot was [Jon Stewart high-pitched whisper]epic![/JSHPW]

Kelly C said...

Good thought here, Joel. If Matthew's gospel is to be believed, all will be judged on six categories: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving water to the thirsty, tending the sick, visiting those in prison, and welcoming the stranger. Until the AZ law, none of these were illegal, but now welcoming the stranger will get you thrown in jail.

And all the self proclaimed Christians who voted for that law will be sent to hell upon their deaths, if they don't realize that they are already there now.

I like the new look, btw.