Religious Right leaders typically claim that the Bible speaks to most political issues of the day. Once voters agree with their conservative take on what the Bible says about such matters, they argue, then Republican candidates will win elections in a landslide.
Rarely do we hear a movement leader urge pastors to quit talking about a political issue in biblical terms, but that is exactly what Eagle Forum founder and Donald Trump endorser Phyllis Schlafly did in her syndicated column today, telling Christian leaders to stop pursuing the cause of immigration reform.
Noting that the “immigration issue may be preventing some church leaders from siding with Donald Trump,” she wrote that it “is the time for church leaders to listen to their own flock on the important issue of immigration.”
Faith leaders, she said, need to recognize that the “amount of immigration allowed by a nation is a political matter, not a religious one” and that they cannot hold out for an ideal candidate because “Jesus will not be on the ballot.”
Touting the rise of a far-right party in Austria, Schlafly said conservatives who have religious reasons for supporting immigration reform should instead get with Trump’s anti-immigrant message because it has proven to be more politically popular.
“No church would urge people to unlock their doors at night in order to allow anyone in, and we should not persist with open borders to welcome hordes of illegal aliens who include many hardened criminals,” she wrote. “When an unwelcome ‘neighbor’ comes into our home, we ‘deport’ him out of our house, and Trump’s leadership on the immigration issue has earned him the support of millions of Democrats and Republicans alike. Loving our neighbor does not mean unlocking our doors to any and all comers.”
The immigration issue may be preventing some church leaders from siding with Donald Trump now. While opposition to Trump is expressed in moral terms – even though they had no trouble supporting the divorced Ronald Reagan in 1980 – a real motivation is that church leaders do not want Trump’s criticism of immigration.
Rev. Luis Cortes, as president of an Hispanic Christian network and nonprofit legal organization that helps immigrants, declared after the White House meeting that “the entire religious community” supports an Obama-style immigration reform package. “For the first time … all the major denominations and churches and religious bodies of this country believe that it is a moral imperative that we get immigration reform done,” he asserted.
But churchgoing voters indicated otherwise during the Republican primaries, by nominating Donald Trump. Now is the time for church leaders to listen to their own flock on the important issue of immigration.
The amount of immigration allowed by a nation is a political matter, not a religious one, and this issue has become the elephant in the room impossible to overlook. The stunning election results in Austria two weeks ago demonstrate that those who try to duck or downplay the immigration issue are headed for defeat.
As in the United States, the leaders of both major political parties in Austria ignored the problems caused by immigration. A candidate emerged there named Norbert Hofer, who campaigned on “putting Austria first” despite the media giving him little chance of winning.
On April 24 Austrians voted with a large turnout, and the candidate opposed to permissive immigration won the first round in a stunning double-digit landslide. The two major parties that had echoed failed immigration policies, as Democrats and Republicans here have done, fared so poorly that they failed even to qualify for the upcoming runoff, which the Trump-like Austrian candidate is also expected to win.
Church leaders should recognize that responsibility is just as important as charity. No church would urge people to unlock their doors at night in order to allow anyone in, and we should not persist with open borders to welcome hordes of illegal aliens who include many hardened criminals.
When an unwelcome “neighbor” comes into our home, we “deport” him out of our house, and Trump’s leadership on the immigration issue has earned him the support of millions of Democrats and Republicans alike. Loving our neighbor does not mean unlocking our doors to any and all comers.
There will not be a third-party candidate who is as good as Trump on immigration. There will be only two viable candidates to choose from this fall, only one of whom will safeguard our country against immigration – and Jesus will not be on the ballot.