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Memo From Middle America | Borders Are Biblical! Evangelicals Resisting Their Pro-Amnesty “Leaders”
Among the many leaders of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform a.k.a. Amnesty movement are evangelical Christians attempting to guilt-trip their congregations. See my article The "Evangelical Immigration Table"—A Treason Lobby Front, which discusses an evangelical group (linked to George Soros) that spearheads the campaign.
Evangelicals don’t form a monolithic entity. There is no hierarchy or central organization that can claim to speak for them. It’s always risky saying “evangelicals” support anything—let alone Amnesty. But that hasn’t stopped various Main Stream Media outlets from proclaiming it in headlines.
In a recent article on the Christian Post website, Napp Nazworth asks On Immigration Reform, Will Evangelicals Follow Their Leaders? February 25, 2013. Nazworth is, of course, referring to pro-Amnesty leaders. He reports research conducted by Dr. Ruth Melkonian-Hoover, [Email her] which she presented at a meeting of the American Enterprise Institute.
Dr. Melkonian-Hoover is not a disinterested observer. She explains her research in a blog entry on G92.org, an evangelical pro-Amnesty website.
If the evangelical community is to be a leading voice in the call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) [i.e. Amnesty], what steps need to be taken to ignite its voice? In recent years, key leaders within the evangelical community have been instrumental in the support of versions of CIR that attempt to balance moral imperatives of justice and mercy. …Enthusiasm, however, appears to be greater among national leaders than among people “in the pews.”
Evangelical Perspectives on Comprehensive Immigration Reform (Ruth Melkonian-Hoover, G92, December 5, 2012)
So that’s an admission, right off the bat, that the pro-Amnesty drive in evangelical churches is being driven by leaders—not the grassroots.
Dr. Melkonian-Hoover’s research is based on data collected in 2010, before the current Amnesty drive. Recall that data from 2009 shows that evangelicals are more anti-Amnesty than any other major religious grouping. She reports:
- “…white evangelicals see immigrants as more of a threat to both society and the economy than the overall sample of the American population (50.7% versus 35.2%).
- “…only 21.0% of white evangelicals—compared to 40.3% of the overall national sample—believe that immigrants strengthen both the economy and the society.”
But her research also indicates that “…experiences within congregations affect these perceptions.” This is not surprising, given the vast differences among evangelical denominations and congregations.
Dr. Melkonian-Hoover concluded that the key factor was not “frequent church attendance” but “positive messages”. Among regular white evangelical churchgoers whose clergy had discussed immigration, 30.0% reported a positive message and 31.0% a negative one. Among those who were exposed to a “positive message”, the proportion seeing immigrants as a threat decreased from 50.7% to 26.1%. According to Dr. Melkonian-Hoover, if they heard a “negative message” it didn’t correlate with an increase in their perception as immigrants as a threat.
This sounds vague. There’s a difference between seeing individual immigrants “as a threat” and disagreeing with the whole system of mass immigration and viewing multiculturalism as a threat. Plus what exactly is meant by “positive” and “negative” messages?
Here’s another interesting tidbit from the research
“evangelicals who worship with immigrants are much less likely to see immigrants as a threat, but no more likely to support legalization policies.
This indicates that evangelicals can distinguish between individual immigrants that they know, and public policy.
Dr. Melkonian-Hoover claims that 54.0% of white evangelicals in her study support a qualified path to citizenship [Amnesty]. However after hearing those “positive messages” that support rises to 81.5%. (However, even with that group, “48.6% say that legalization and border security are equally important”)
I question whether the support for Amnesty is that high, especially given the 2009 date. It may have a lot of do with the sample and with the way the questions are worded.
Needless to say, Dr. Ruth Melkonian-Hoover wants to increase such influence: “On the whole, it is clear that efforts by evangelical leaders to influence the laity are making a difference.”
But, although most of the MSM articles on this topic are triumphalist, a recent story by David Ward of the Deseret News adds proper perspective.
According to Ward
Evangelicals are not largely behind comprehensive immigration reform, which is commonly taken to mean a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and, simultaneously, measures for improved enforcement of immigration law.
Yes, scores of leaders, including prominent conservatives from the Southern Baptist Convention and Focus on the Family, have signed on to such coalitions as the Evangelical Immigration Table, Christian Churches Together and G92 — all of which advocate for comprehensive reform. But among the rank and file, the attitude is something closer to "not so fast."
Not so fast: Evangelicals differ with their leaders on immigration reform. February 21, 2013
Ward interviewed me, so some of my quotes wind up in the article. Ward also interviewed Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum, James Edwards of the Center for Immigration Studies, and American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer
Ward points out that
A June 2012 Pew Forum survey found that evangelicals prioritize "better border security" over "creating a path to citizenship" by a ratio of nearly 3 to 1. Among the American public in general, the ratio is 1 to 1.
I think it’s clear that the majority of grassroots evangelicals are not gung-ho for Amnesty. But many prominent evangelical leaders have jumped on the bandwagon/ gravy train. (Did I mention George Soros?) And they could do a lot of damage.
I urge evangelical readers of VDARE.COM: educate the leaders of your congregation and denomination. Some of them are just not well-informed. As Bryan Fischer told the Deseret News’ Ward: "I do think that evangelicals, because we place a high value on love and compassion, can easily be fooled into compromising justice based on a shallow understanding of compassion.”
Evangelicals should demand that those who speak on immigration address the entire issue.
They must distinguish between Christian charity (freely given by individuals and churches in the name of Christ) from Big Government welfare, which is what our mass immigration system essentially is.
- Distinguish between real compassion and pseudo-compassion which makes social problems worse.
- Be informed about how mass immigration hurts Americans—how it’s threatening our cultural unity, identity and sovereignty.
- Consider how immigration to the U.S. is viewed in the sending countries—the problems emigration causes them.
- Be aware of the agendas many immigrants bring to our country.
And for those evangelicals (there are some) who believe Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics, they should just stay out of the Amnesty debate. After all, there is no way to express an opinion on the subject, pro or con, without getting involved in politics.
What we need is a new evangelical-based immigration reform organization to defend patriotic immigration reform and defend Americans harmed by mass immigration. It would stand against globalism and defend the existence of nation-states (and not only our own).
After all, St. Paul declared in Acts 17:26 that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined …the bounds of their habitation.”
Borders are biblically-based!
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) moved back to the U.S.A. after many years residing in Mexico. Allan's wife is Mexican, and their two sons are bilingual. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.