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  by  Roy Beck

Leaders of most of the nation's evangelical Christians made a shocking endorsement of illegal-alien amnesty today in Senate testimony.

Their spokesman -- the head of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) -- said high immigration is increasing membership in evangelical churches and is good for the economy.

Polls have shown that evangelical Christians in the pews are the MOST likely to OPPOSE amnesty. If you are one of them, you may want to contact your church leaders immediately. 

The NAE phone number is:  202-789-1011 ---   Fax number is 202-842-0392

The NAE email address is:  executivedirector@nae.net   and  govaffairs@nae.net

Please be respectful and thoughtful in your comments to the NAE. I would suggest that only evangelical Christians make the contacts.

NATIONAL EVANGELICALS PRESIDENT SAYS PRO-AMNESTY SUPPORT WAS UNANIMOUS

Rev. Leith Anderson, president of the NAE, was invited by Sen. Schumer (D-N.Y.) to testify in favor of the Senate immigration chairman's push to create amnesty legislation this fall. 

Sen. Schumer asked Rev. Anderson if many of his colleagues agree with his support for legalizing 12-20 million illegal aliens and increasing the legal immigration far higher than the 1 million a year current level (the two key components of "comprehensive immigration reform").

Rev. Anderson answered that there was no dissent in adopting the pro-amnesty resolution on the 75-member NAE board of directors.

ZERO dissent!

SOME OF THE DENOMINATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS BEHIND THE AMNESTY PUSH

Rev. Anderson described the NAE as:

. . . a network of 40 denominations comprising more than 45,000 local churches located in every congressional district and every state. The NAE membership also includes evangelical universities, seminaries, ministries, local congregations, and individuals.

Here is the list of the denominational members:  http://www.nae.net/membership/current-members

Notable among the members are:

If you have a connection with any of these denominations, you may want to contact them and ask if they really want to side with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Council of La Raza in flooding the country with millions more legal foreign workers while 15 million Americans are looking for a job but can't find one.

There is a good chance that even the leaders in your national church agencies are not really aware that their representative voted for a massive amnesty and increase in foreign worker importation.  

Rev. Anderson is Senior Pastor of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minn.  It describes itself as non-denominational with some Baptist connections.  http://www.wooddale.org/default/index.cfm 

EVANGELICAL OFFICIALS REFUSED TO EVEN HEAR MORAL ARGUMENTS FOR REDUCED IMMIGRATION

I would note that NumbersUSA and others have made requests to NAE for several years to present our moral arguments for less overall immigration to protect the stewardship of the nation's natural resources and to protect the nation's most vulnerable citizens.  The NAE has resolutely refused to hear any voice but pro-amnesty voices, as far as we have been able to tell.

When you read Rev. Anderson's prepared testimony, you find much that is thoughtful, including:

Evangelicals do not condone law breaking. . . . Evangelicals believe that government is a gift of God for the common good. Borders are necessary for public order. We support intelligent enforcement of our nation's immigration laws as long as the enforcement measures are consistent with respect for human dignity, family values and sanctity of human life.

-- Evangelicals President

But then Rev. Anderson told Sen. Shumer that the Gospel requires that Christians be willing to forgive illegal aliens for breaking immigration laws which means that:

We believe that undocumented immigrants who have otherwise been law abiding members of our communities should be offered the opportunity to pay any taxes or penalties owed, and over time earn the right to become U.S. citizens and permanent  residents. The process of redemption and restitution is core to Christian beliefs, as we were all once lost and redeemed through love of Jesus Christ.

-- Evangelicals President

Furthermore, the 75 national evangelical leaders agreed that immigration laws that have allowed legal immigration to soar from a traditional average of 250,000 a year to more than 1,000,000 a year are too strict and must be changed to allow many more foreign workers to enter.

FAULTY THINKING, FAULTY PROCESS, FAULTY ANALYSIS, FAULTY THEOLOGY 

The staff at NumbersUSA are members of the Evangelical, Catholic, Jewish, Mainline Protestant, Liberal Protestant and no religious faith. We all believe in ethical systems that say it is wrong to run an immigration policy that hammers down the weakest, poorest and unemployed members of our society while making it impossible to achieve environmental sustainability. It grieves our hearts to see evangelical leaders join national Jewish, Catholic, mainline Protestant and liberal Protestant leaders who have already fully endorsed amnesty and massive increases in foreign workers and U.S. population growth.

We have no doubt that all these national religious leaders have failed in their duties of fact-gathering and thoughtful analysis. They bring discredit on their religious faiths from their sloppiness in truth seeking and their lack of intellectual integrity. 

We call on all NumbersUSA members of faith to point us to leaders in their own religious traditions who are open to discussing the full ethical issues involved in immigration.

The NAE's call for forgiveness seems to ignore the Gospel context of "go and sin no more."

We do not call for a policy that locks up and throws away the key on foreign citizens who have broken our immigration laws.  Most of us are willing to let most illegal aliens return to their home countries under no penalty whatsoever.

But the NAE has proclaimed that our forgiveness of illegal aliens should allow them to keep the very things they broke the law to steal:  U.S. jobs and access to U.S. infrastructure.

How many billions of people in the world would like to line up for that kind of forgiveness?

We have pled with the NAE leaders (as we have with leaders of all other faith traditions) to talk to them about how mercy shown by governments can easily create injustice against a society's weakest members.  In general the Judeo-Christian scriptures call on individuals to show mercy but governments to provide justice.

When the government shows mercy, it allows people to break the rules.  But if breaking the rules harms law-abiding members of society, that mercy creates an injustice against them. 

I am especially devastated by the national evangelical leaders' callous disregard for the U-6 unemployment rate of nearly 20% -- job-seekers (active and recently discouraged) who cannot find any job or who have been forced into involuntary part-time work.

It is incredible to read Rev. Anderson's testimony talking about the failure in having enough immigration visas to fill the needs of the U.S. business community! 

I am embarrassed for him and his 74 colleagues.  I am sure they do not mean such inhumane treatment of their fellow Americans. And I am sure they dug themselves into this shameful hole with the most well-intentioned of shovels.

I suggest that the readers of this blog consider forgiveness toward these religious leaders while thoughtfully guiding them to see all the shades and complexities of the immigration issue to which they weren't exposed by the NAE staff and the open-borders lobby which led them to this pro-amnesty position.  

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA. He was honored with dozens of religion journalism awards during the 1980s for national and international reporting on the intersection of Protestant churches and social issues. He is an active member of a Mainline Protestant congregation and 20-year leader of youth mission teams providing better housing for poor Americans.

SPECIAL EXCERPTS FROM NUMBERSUSA MEMBER COMMENTS

FROM: Allen0912 of Minnesota

I am a pastor but we are not members of the (NAE) organization. . . . Please do not broad swipe all of us because there are many, many pastors out there that do not believe in amnesty for illegals.

FROM: Laurel6425 of Illinois

Pastors are sometimes naive about the world. I think Jesus would have wanted illegals to stay in their home countries and fight for justice there instead of "stealing" jobs from other nations. Pastors never mention the "theft" of jobs, identities, tax money, or services from U.S. citizens either.

FROM: Kathleen8719 of North Carolina

It is indeed shameful that these supposed 'religious leaders' are unwilling to even consider the enormous harm that has come to Americans as a result of illegal immigration. Essentially what they are saying is that they could care less, and that American citizens don't count. This means to me that their agenda is purely political and has little or nothing to do with true biblical teachings. Religion is again being hijacked for a political cause.

Where is the justice and compassion for the many millions of Americans who have had their identity stolen and their lives turned upside down? Apparently, these 'religious leaders' consider such crimes against real people irrelevant.

Where is the justice and compassion for the many millions of Americans, especially our young, our minorities, our poor, who cannot get jobs or have lost their jobs due to competition for low-skilled jobs by illegal aliens? They have families too. But to them, they are seemingly non-existent.

The testimony given in is this hearing was about advancing a political agenda. As a pastor's wife, I find it really sad that their lack of concern for Americans is so obvious.

FROM: Charles3857 of Alabama

These religious groups or NAE do not speak for me. I believe in being compassionate to the 15 million American citizens and legal immigrants who are out of work. I believe we need to be compassionate to all people when applicable.

I do agree that these churches can hear the cash registers ringing, cha-ching $$ and cha-ching $$, at the thoughts of having all of these new illegal members with extra American dollars.

FROM: Alan8374 of Arizona

Wow, I can only imagine the financial benefit they wish to maintain or gain, as being the motivational factor. Is the law of the land no longer to be obeyed and enforced, just to fill the donation baskets? Is this what Jesus would have really wanted?

I belong to a bible based church of more than 6 thousand in Arizona and this behavior is not accepted. We believe the law of the land must be obeyed and order must be kept, if we wish to continue providing the world with outstanding contributions generation after generation.

FROM: Grace0715 of Kansas

I am appalled to see my church denomination on the above list! . . . Surely this action was taken in a hasty and not well-thought-out manner. Where was the input from members? I had never heard that our leaders were going to vote on this issue and then, even worse, side with Senator Schumer in advocating amnesty for the millions who are taking over our country illegally.

While Grace does mean undeserved love, it does not mean aiding and abetting lawlessness...

It does not mean favoring someone who sneaks in and steals from your family (or country) over your own family. (John 10:1) This is foolishness.

It does not mean encouraging a person who is thieving to continue to disregard law and order. (Ephesians 4:28)

It does not mean a sham apology is acceptable so law-breakers can soak law-abiding taxpayers' money against their will.

It does not mean encouraging people of one country to forsake loyaty to their own country and demand services of another country.

The Apostle Paul wrote: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!” (Romans 6:1-2) Grace does not mean we forget Law or overlook sin. Grace has no context unless we first understand that law exists to be respected and obeyed. And grace is no grace that promotes envy and stealing in order to favor those who are not citizens. Surely such a prejudicial policy was never meant by our Savior to be mistaken for grace.

Amnesty means, not forgiveness, but shutting our eyes to a great sin of theft of our nation’s resources. By failing to teach responsible immigration, amnesty promotes further immorality. By mislabeling amnesty as Christian duty, religious leaders are foisting upon their members additional taxes and often suffering through taking their life-sustaining jobs.

I pray God will open our leaders' eyes to the damage being done to millions of our countrymen. I fully believe that much of the reason we are in such dire economic straits is because we have not listened to the Proverbs to the wise. Through lax law enforcement of immigration laws, we have encouraged lawlessness, financially unsound policies, and lent to those who cannot repay, etc.

Grace is to be dispensed by persons, to persons, not by governments. Churches can encourage private service but they must not demand that government do any such inappropriate thing. The duty of government is to protect its citizens and its borders.

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