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Friday, October 14, 2011

Churches and the Alabama Immigration Law

The Decatur Daily the other day posted this, um, interesting story about a local charitable ministerial-alliance group, the Committee on Church Cooperation, which is taking "extra steps to make sure undocumented immigrants do not obtain food, clothing and other assistance, much of which is donated to the agency by Morgan County churches."  Needless to say, doing so is not barred by law, but neither is it required by the Alabama immigration law, whose provisions on harboring and aiding and abetting were enjoined by the district court in its recent decision.  The executive director of the group is quoted as saying: "It used to be about 10 percent (Hispanics) that we served. . . . Since cracking down, I haven't seen anybody, especially in the last month."  

It appears that many of the churches that belong to this group were unaware of the group's policy.  In the story, many of them refrain--understandably, but perhaps far too much--from saying anything negative about the CCC.  But a number of them make clear their disagreement with the policy.  One of them says: "That's just ludicrous. . . . That's embarrassing as a Christian. Our Lord was an undocumented immigrant to Egypt as a baby. He was taken to Egypt the same way most kids are brought to America, without having a say in the matter."  

I do find interesting a strain of unwillingness to judge that comes through in the story.  Thus, a state legislator from the area who supported the immigration law is quoted as saying: "If they have citizenship as one of their requirements, I certainly would not oppose that. . . I would not have an opinion on whether that would be right or wrong."  And then there is this extraordinary quote from the minister quoted earlier about Jesus's immigration status, who clearly disapproves of the policy: "All I know is Jesus said poor people are closer to God's kingdom than rich people. I don't like that Jesus said that, but unfortunately he did. I know what I'm deserving of, and thank God he does not deal with me according to my desserts. To me, this is another absurd intrusion of political ideology into Christian work."

"Unfortunately he did?"  Jesus wept. 

Posted by Paul Horwitz on October 14, 2011 at 08:45 AM in Paul Horwitz | Permalink


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"[T]hank God he does not deal with me according to my desserts." So, the concern here is that God might prefer chocolate pudding to key lime pie?

Posted by: Michael J.Z. Mannheimer | Oct 14, 2011 11:57:57 AM

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