At a press conference on Thursday, House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) claimed that “the Bible folks” are “getting impatient about Congress taking action” on comprehensive immigration reform.
Pelosi told the assembled media:
The fact is that many Republicans in our country support comprehensive immigration reform.The badges, law enforcement community; the business community; the Bible folks — many of them are Republican, they have been very enthusiastic over time and [are] getting impatient about Congress taking action.
Mark Tooley, an evangelical Christian and President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, quickly contested Pelosi’s claim that “the Bible folks” support the Senate’s version of immigration reform.
“Since the Bible doesn’t specifically address the details of U.S. immigration policy,” he told Breitbart News, “‘Bible people’ have diverse views on this political issue. Liberals who are anxious to claim the Bible backs their political views even when the Bible is vague typically are not interested in what the Bible actually says on specific issues it does address strongly.”
Kelly Monroe Kuhlberg, co-author and editor of Finding God at Harvard and organizer of Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration, which describes itself as “an ad-hoc movement of citizens,” responded directly to the Minority Leader and her comments. “Representative Pelosi,” she said, ” while we continue to reach out to the poor in many countries, the majority of evangelicals surveyed oppose the ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill, for biblical reasons. The whole counsel of Scripture calls for both justice to citizens as well as kindness to guests. We don’t see balanced wisdom and justice to Americans in this bill.”
On average 70% of Americans, across all ethnic and faith groups but Islam, oppose this bill for its influx of foreign labor. The bill is unfair to twenty million unemployed Americans including lower-skilled workers, college graduates, veterans and the elderly with disappearing savings thus still needing work. The bill is unkind to our children who are already facing an unconscionable seventeen trillion dollar national debt which the ‘Gang of Eight’ bill will escalate by trillions of dollars.
Ms. Kullberg recently sent a letter to the House, advising them not to pass the Senate’s immigration bill. The letter has been signed by more than one-thousand evangelical Christians, including Mr. Tooley, author Eric Metaxas, Tim Wildmon, President of the American Family Association, John Killian President of Alabama State Convention of Southern Baptists, Kris Mineau President of the Massachusetts Family Institute, Thomas Shields, Chairman of the Coalition for Marriage and Family, and Carol Swain, Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University.
In the June 22 letter, Ms. Kuhlberg directly addressed the argument that biblical values require the passage of the Senate’s immigration bill.
Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration oppose the ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill for its lack of wisdom and kindness to American citizens and to the great story and future of America. We honor American first principles and the Judeao-Christian essence and values that made America a nation our own sojourning ancestors believed in, loved and served for their children — for us — to appreciate and to further steward.
Kullberg identified a specific concern that:
The ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill will increase debt and danger in America for both citizens and guests, thus further precipitating the decline of the America we love and steward. In Scripture we are taught to make wise distinctions between the well-meaning sojourner (the ‘ger’ in Hebrew) and the foreigner who does not advance a nation’s faith, values and story (the ‘goyim’).
Kullberg criticized George Soros and the National Immigration Forum for their roles actively promoting the Senate bill. “Open border and open society profiteers, most notably Mr. George Soros, have hugely funded the National Immigration Forum which quietly and cleverly created an ‘evangelical’ campaign to advance the bill, but the fact is that nowhere in Scripture do we find blanket, undiscerning immigration, asylum and amnesty,” she wrote.
Kullberg concluded her letter by stating:
[t]he inflow of illegal immigrants must be stopped. The President and Congress have the means but have not shown the will to do so. Existing laws should be enforced. Citizen rights must be respected, as well as the dignity of guests as persons. Then, together as citizens and elected officials, let us start afresh on immigration reform and culture-making from a place of mutual listening, problem-solving and re-establishing America’s future on a firm foundation.”