Memo From Middle America (Formerly Known As Memo From Mexico) | Bad Samaritans—Grandstanding Alabama Clergy Exacerbate Illegal Immigration Catastrophe
[See also Immigration: An Evangelical Approach By Bill Barnwell; and `Open Heart` Methodists—Empty-Headed Immigration Activists By James Antle; and The Brogue Wears Off: Why The Catholic Church Is Addicted To Immigration, by John Zmirak]
Alabama’s new anti-illegal immigration law was temporarily blocked Monday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Blackburn.
Unlike earlier judges who have harassed state-level patriotic immigration reform, Blackburn is a Republican (Bush I) appointee and the measure’s Republican sponsors are putting a brave face on it, pointing out that the judge explicitly said she was not ruling on the legislation’s merits, claiming the delay is legitimately temporary and that the law will ultimately be upheld. [US judge blocks harsh Alabama immigration law for month of further review, by Mark Guarino, Christian Science Monitor, August 29, 2011].
But if Judge Blackburn ultimately does the right thing, and thus avoids the fate of impeachment that hopefully awaits so many Treason Lobby enablers in our judicial and executive branches of government, it will be no thanks to Alabama’s religous Establishment—as distinct from its long-suffering laity—a matter of particular concern to me , as an Evangelical Christian, and an immigration patriot.
Passed by Alabama’s legislature as HR 56, the anti-illegal alien measure was signed into law on June 9 by Governor Robert Bentley and was mostly scheduled to take effect September 1. It is considered the country’s toughest. [Alabama Sets Nation’s Toughest Immigration Law, by Peggy Gargis, Reuters, June 9, 2011]
Among other stipulations, the new law requires police to detain those who can’t produce documentation, goes after businesses who hire illegals and requires them to use E-Verify.
Needless to say, it has attracted a lot of Treason Lobby opposition—and, as usual, is working: some illegal aliens have apparently already been scared away from the Yellowhammer State. (Tough Alabama Immigration Law Convinces Some to Move (Monique Fields, Reuters, July 14, 2011).
And also needless to say, the Obama Administration has sued the state of Alabama to prevent it from taking effect.
Mexico, for its part, filed a Friend of the Court brief against the law, and invited 15 other Latin American countries to join in.
Besides the federal government, the beleaguered law has been sued by others—there are about three dozen plaintiffs and the ACLU, the SPLC and the National Immigration Law Center are in the thick of it.
All of this is standard Treason Lobby behavior. But this new law is also under particular (and much-publicized) attack from a number of Alabama church leaders. In the United Methodist church, for example, about 150 ministers signed a petition opposing it.
Plus, it’s being litigated by an ecumenical quartet of three bishops and an archbishop: Bishop Henry N. Parsley, Jr. (Episcopal), Bishop William H. Willimon (United Methodist), and Bishop Robert J. Baker (Roman Catholic). Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi (Roman Catholic).
You can contact them here:
- Parsley Email him, telephone (205) 715-2060
- Willimon Email him
- Rodi Email him, telephone (251) 434-1587
- Baker Email him, telephone (205) 838-8322.
Their joint legal action sounds like the lead-in to an old joke, “There was a Methodist, an Episcopal and a Catholic and they go into a courtroom…”
But this is no joke. It’s yet another example of grandstanding liberal church bureaucrats who want to aid and abet the illegal invasion of our country regardless of the opinions of their congregations, and cover it up with religious hypocrisy.
The New York Times had a fawning write-up on the bishops, which must have made them very happy, and so did the Christian Post.
- Bishops Criticize Tough Alabama Immigration Law, by Campbell Robertson, New York Times, August 13, 2011
- Church Leaders: Alabama Anti-Immigration Law ‘Merciless’, by Nicola Menzie, Christian Post, August 2, 2011
According to New York Times’ Robertson, the Alabama Four
“…sued on the basis that the new statute violated their right to free exercise of religion, arguing that it would ‘make it a crime to follow God’s command to be Good Samaritans.’ ”
By “Good Samaritan”, they are referring to the famous story told by Christ, and recorded in Luke 10:25-37. But it’s the story of a man who used his own resources (not those of the taxpayer) to help another man in need—not a political agitator.
The Alabama Four claim that the new law is the “nation’s most merciless” and that it would impede Alabama’s Christian folk from obeying “God’s mandate that the faithful are humbly bound to welcome and care for all people”. The Alabama Four even says that clergy could get into trouble for administering Communion to illegal aliens.
According to Archbishop Rodi: “The law attacks our core understanding of what it means to be a church.”
So is he saying that aiding and abetting illegal aliens is the “core understanding of what it means to be a church”?
Which part of the law do they have a problem with? As the NYT’s Robertson explains,
“To some church leaders—who say they will not be able to give people rides, invite them to worship services or perform marriages and baptisms—the law essentially criminalizes basic parts of Christian ministry.”
But Alabama state senator Bryan Taylor doesn’t think so. He’s quoted as saying:
“It’s not as explicit as the churches would obviously like…But I do not think that any church or any clergyman is subject to prosecution for doing their Christian mission.”
According to the NY Times,
“Transporting an illegal immigrant, lawmakers point out, is considered a crime under the law if it is done ‘in furtherance of the unlawful presence’ of the person in the United States. “Harboring” an illegal immigrant is a crime only if it is done to shield the person from detection.”
And yet, that is their argument. According to minister Andy Heis
“It [the law] puts you in a really, really hard place. I understand legally where they’re coming from. But spiritually, I have to do what God calls me to do.”
Well, I have a suggestion. If these ministers are really eager to help illegal aliens, there is a way to do that without obstructing the law: They can volunteer to be chaplains at an illegal alien detention facility. Think about it—they could preach to illegal aliens who have already been detained. They’d have a captive audience!
Or if their goal is really to help poor Mexicans, they could go down to Mexico and minister to Mexicans there. (I’ve taught in Mexico. Have they?) Or take up a collection and send money to a ministry already working in Mexico.
But what they’re doing—agitating against Alabama’s new law—is the obstruction of a law designed to slow an invasion.
Speaking of which, has any of these clergy grandstanders spoken up for American who are harmed—or even killed—by mass illegal immigration?
Even the NYT article admits that the law is popular in Alabama:
“…the politics are thorny for ministers, who acknowledge that the immigration law is broadly popular. Congregations are not in lock step behind their leaders.”
As a matter of fact,
“Take Mac Buttram, a retired Methodist minister and a Republican who represents Cullman in the Legislature and voted for the law. Like other lawmakers, he insists that many of the law’s opponents misunderstand or exaggerate what it says. Mr. Buttram also said he was surprised by comments from church leaders, including his own bishop, implying that those who supported the law were being mean-spirited and un-Christian. “It’s a Christian issue, it’s a moral issue, but it’s not an issue in which we should be casting judgment,” he said, adding that several Methodist ministers had since called him expressing their support for the law.”
And since this is Alabama, they have to bring up—well, you know….
“For some church leaders, the issue cannot be cut free of the weight of Alabama history.”
What do you suppose they’re driving at?
Bishop Willimon goes so far to say that,
“Alabama needs to sit this one out. The civil rights memorial in Birmingham is kind of a reminder that we’ve got to watch this sort of thing.”
So the Bishop Willimon is saying that, because of things that occurred decades ago in Alabama, the state has no right to enforce federal immigration law to prevent an invasion of their state?
Even though the evidence is overwhelming that it is African Americans who are the first victims of mass unskilled immigration?
Bishop Willimon ought to be ashamed of himself for such faulty logic.
Even the Southern Baptist Church, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, has gone off the rails on this issue, now supporting amnesty.
“… At its best, the Christian church has never allowed the government to dictate to whom its message and ministry may be directed. Baptists, especially, have championed the separation of church and state. Anytime the government attempts to tell the Church with whom it may share the gospel, that government is out of bounds. Baptists have bled and died to keep the government from ruling the Church. The government may not use its power to control the Church’s ministry….The Alabama Legislature knowingly attempted to insert itself into the sacred space reserved for God alone in dictating to churches to whom and how they might minister in Jesus’ name. Now churches find themselves in that untenable position of facing the possibility that a youth director could be jailed because he allowed an immigrant child without proper papers to ride in the church van to Vacation Bible School. That should not be.”
So do Terry and other Illegal Alien boosters believe we shouldn’t enforce the law?
What about American-born criminals? Should they be not be detained? Should they not be incarcerated?
Why is it only a problem when it’s illegal aliens we’re talking about?
And, frankly, to start talking about religious freedom in this context—when Christians in some other countries are really persecuted for their faith—just makes clergymen sound like spoiled Americans.
The plain fact is that many American clergymen, both Protestant and Catholic, are card-carrying members of the Open Borders Lobby. In that they resemble other elite sectors of American society. Political, business and academic leaders cheer on the illegal invasion as well.
Church leaders who encourage Open Borders and obstruct enforcement of the law justify it with pious claptrap that makes them feel good about themselves. But they are supporting a mass immivasion which exacerbates poverty in the U.S., breaks up families in Mexico and Central America, and allows ruthless criminals in Mexico and the border region to rob, rape and murder illegal aliens with impunity. That’s a high price for their self-righteous posturing.
As a Christian myself, I say that American Christians shouldn’t stand for this to be done in their name. If your minister promotes illegal immigration, you need to educate him. Point out his inconsistencies. Paint the big picture. Send him VDARE.COM articles. In short, hold his feet to the fire.
If you have to, withhold your offerings from churches and ministries that promote the illegal invasion, and send your money to a church or ministry that doesn’t.
In Alabama, as in the whole country, church leaders who encourage illegal immigration are exacerbating a continental-wide humanitarian disaster.
They sound more like “Bad Samaritans” to me.
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) recently moved back to the U.S.A. after many years residing in Mexico. 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.