Kevin… this one’s for you:
The nation’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention approved a resolution backing a path to legal status for illegal immigrants at its annual meeting in Phoenix.
The resolution calls on the government to make border security a priority and to hold businesses accountable for their hiring. It also asks government officials to support “a just and compassionate path to legal status, with appropriate restitutionary measures, for those undocumented immigrants already living in our country.”
While the resolution stipulates it’s “not to be construed as support for amnesty for any undocumented immigrant,” the move comes as a handful of southern states prepare to implement laws aimed at cracking down on illegal immigrants.
I grew up in Southern Baptist churches, and it grieves me to see them get on the same bandwagon as many other denominations. I mostly agree with one point: “[A]ny form of nativism, mistreatment, or exploitation is inconsistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ…” Since every human bears the imago dei, mistreatment is indeed inconsistent with Christ’s teachings. But is it not also mistreatment to allow a society to be overwhelmed by a floodtide of migration that respects no law or process? Our leaders have used this issue as a political football for three decades… yet our nation has not reasserted control over the process of who comes to live among us. Much like the ‘Palestinians,’ a permanent solution is avoided, because then the issue would be lost as political fodder. Is that Christian? What about the large amount of public resources diverted to support this ever-growing shadow population? Yes, it is right to provide emergency medical care to anyone who needs it, regardless of their legal standing. But if our conscience dictates thus (and I’m glad it does), it is compassionate to require citizens to bear an unlimited burden to treat them, and to educate their children?
Thus do I disagree. Thirty years ago, our leaders granted an amnesty, while promising to assert control over our border. It seemed a reasonable solution at the time, but the track record has proven otherwise. There is an order of magnitude more illegal migrants living here now than there was before the amnesty… a policy that sent the signal “live there underground long enough, and it won’t matter.” Any so-called ‘path to citizenship’ now just reinforces that message.
If demography is destiny, our leaders seem to support ‘electing a new people,’ as I’ve heard it put. I believe there’s merit to that quip. Rather than maintain a process that permits our society to be enriched by foreigners who legally move here and agree to assimilate into an American social framework, we’ve instead thrown open the floodgates, and whatever cultural foundation underpinned our unique Republic is considered unimportant in the Brave New World of ‘multiculturalism.’ As I’ve said before, it’s quite possible to have a stable multi-ethnic society — particularly if sincere practice of a Christian worldview is in preeminence. In that sense, I don’t believe my stance is a ‘nativist’ one. Multi-cultural societies, however, will inevitably result in enclaves, balkanization, and eventual conflict.
Is supporting the creation of such a powderkeg, which will require ever-more action by the State to try to mediate between the competing visions for society, a truly Christian thing to do? In an effort to be compassionate to one group of people (illegal immigrants), we’re forgetting justice for those already here. I realize the Biblical injunction not ‘to be unequally yoked’ specifically applies to marriage. But there is also precedent to support the idea that God is not so ‘tolerant’ as to encourage societies to permit alien influences that draw them away from Him. America may not have been officially founded as a ‘Christian nation,’ but there can be no doubt its form derives from the heritage of Protestant, Western European culture. To the extent that heritage is rejected in favor of a “We are the world” construct, we cannot expect the nation to function as originally organized.
In the town where I grew up, the YMCA facility where I learned to swim is now a Buddhist meditation center. I also found this interesting:
“I think Southern Baptists understand it’s just not politically viable to send an estimated 12 to 15 million undocumented immigrants back where they came from,” said the Rev. Paul Jimenez, chairman of the SBC’s resolutions committee, told The Associated Press.
Draw your own conclusions.