Obama Wins Unlikely Allies in Immigration
It's actions like these that really shows me how lost many Churches and their leaders are today. Do they not take any time to read the bill themselves?
To see Church leaders standing up for something they apparently have no clue about. Really makes me question these Churches.
I find this very sad.
immigration overhaul seem most dim, supporters have unleashed a secret weapon: a group of influential evangelical Christian leaders.
Normally on the opposite side of political issues backed by the Obama White House, these leaders are aligning with the president to support an overhaul that would include some path to legalization for illegal immigrants already here. They are preaching from pulpits, conducting conference calls with pastors and testifying in Washington — as they did last Wednesday.
"I am a Christian and I am a conservative and I am a Republican, in that order," said Matthew D. Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a conservative religious law firm. "There is very little I agree with regarding President Barack Obama. On the other hand, I'm not going to let politicized rhetoric or party affiliation trump my values, and if he's right on this issue, I will support him on this issue."
When President Obama gave a major address pushing immigration overhaul this month, he was introduced by a prominent evangelical, the Rev. Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois. Three other evangelical pastors were in the audience, front and center.
Congress is unlikely to pass an immigration law this year. Republicans and Democrats who face re-election in November are skittish about the issue, given the broad public support for Arizona's new law aiming to crack down on illegal immigration.
The support of evangelical leaders is not yet enough to change the equation. But they could mobilize a potentially large constituency of religious conservatives, an important part of the Republican base better known for lobbying against abortion and same-sex marriage. They already threaten the party's near unity on immigration.
About 70 percent of Hispanics in the United States are Catholic, but some 15 percent are evangelicals, and they are far more likely than the Catholics to identify themselves as conservative and Republican.
Evangelicals at the grass-roots level are divided on immigration, just as the nation is. But among the leaders, recent interviews suggest that those in favor of an immigration overhaul are far more vocal and more organized than those who oppose it.