Center for Immigration Studies fellow James R. Edwards Jr. has nothing but scorn for Jim Wallis’ op-ed last week making an evangelical Christian case for immigration reform.
In a CIS blog post yesterday, Edwards mocks Wallis for touting an evangelical pro-immigration lobby day in Washington. Edwards claims that all the evangelical Christians he saw “trolling congressional offices” on the lobby day were Latino, so they may or may not have been “wholesome Christian families” and “the ethnic version of Ozzie and Harriet”:
Jim Wallis, the head of the politically leftist “evangelical” organization Sojourners, has penned an op-ed that the L.A. Times ran. Wallis’s op-ed claims biblical “compassion” requires Christian lawmakers to enact amnesty. He liberally employs the term, playing on emotions and sob stories from illegal aliens. He cites a recent Washington fly-in of 300 “evangelical Christians” who met with 110 legislative offices, mostly Republicans.
I happened to spot some of the participants trolling congressional offices that day. All that I saw were Latino, some dragging the elderly and kids along, trying to give the impression of being wholesome Christian families. I have no way to know if they are or are not truly followers of Christ or if they are actually the ethnic version of Ozzie and Harriet. What I do know is that they were part of a larger lobbying campaign that atheist George Soros has helped underwrite. In that regard, they are merely willing political props and favor-seekers, just like every other special interest in Gucci Gulch.
Edwards then puts a Phyllis Schlafly-like spin on the Bible’s message on immigration, suggesting that those who are tempted to extend compassion on undocumented immigrants replace the term in their mind with “robber” or “burglar.”
“Only those who lack a biblical understanding of the boundaries of true compassion that Christ set forth would fall for such an emotion-laden political stunt,” he concludes.
In his op-ed, Wallis quotes Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.):
I think the biggest change hasn’t been in the pulpit; it’s been in the pews. … It’s one thing when 11 million is a statistic. The other thing is when one of those 11 million is your friend, a human being who you now know … as a father, as a husband, as a mother, as a worker, as a worshiper. … Our faith has always been about compassion and it compels you to do something. If you took compassion or the principle of compassion out of the Bible, it would be in tatters because it’s all over the place.
Of course, an accurate reading of Scripture is that it puts forth compassion as an individual moral precept, not one incumbent on civil government. Want to prove this? Then substitute “robber” or “burglar” for “11 million” in Rubio’s paragraph. The state wields the sword of justice, entrusted to it by God to protect innocent members of its society. In the context of the amnesty question, the innocents the state is charged with protecting are U.S. citizens. The state’s trying to operate on the basis of “compassion” as Wallis and his ilk use it results in perverse outcomes, where the innocent are punished.
Sojourners’ political propagandists promptly disseminated the opinion piece on Capitol Hill, aiming to convince evangelicals in Congress to buy into the amnesty argument. Only those who lack a biblical understanding of the boundaries of true compassion that Christ set forth would fall for such an emotion-laden political stunt.