June 8, 2010

OF COURSE, THEY'RE ONLY YOUR NEIGHBORS IF YOU'RE RELIGIOUS:

Baptist leader Richard Land backs citizenship for illegal immigrants (Chris Echegaray, 6/08/10, THE TENNESSEAN)

When Nashville's Richard Land talks to Hispanic Southern Baptists this month, he'll tell them the denomination supports establishing a path to U.S. citizenship for illegal immigrants.

After borders are secure, he'll say, there needs to be a way for them to pay back taxes, take a civics course and get in line with others seeking legal status.

Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, admits it's a message that will test some of the church's mainstream membership, but it's one that needs to be said.

"It's love your neighbor, do unto others," Land said. "This is a kingdom issue. They are disproportionately suffering because they are forced to remain in the shadows because of their illegal status."

Land's June 13 speech to the National Hispanic Fellowship of Southern Baptist Churches in Orlando, Fla., comes as the nation turns its attention to a new Arizona law that gives police the authority to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. On Thursday, President Barack Obama met with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to express his disapproval. The Tennessee House passed a resolution commending Arizona for protecting its legal residents.

Religious leaders are trying to find middle ground. Most illegal immigrants in the U.S. are Hispanic, a growing demographic with socially conservative views that could be tapped to increase churches' numbers.

"Do all agree with me? No," Land said. "But (Hispanics) are hard-wired to be social conservatives unless we drive them away. They are family oriented, religiously oriented and pro-marriage, pro-life ... tailor-made to be social conservatives."


That hard-wiring is a goodly portion of why the Left and Right don't want them legalized.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 8, 2010 2:22 PM
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