A moral and just response to the immigration crisis

By Richard Land
May 12, 2010

The time has come for our nation to resolve its immigration crisis. It is imperative that we find an acceptable solution to the plight of the millions of undocumented immigrants living in our nation. Currently, the two extremes of deportation or amnesty are being played against each other, resulting in a stalemate in Congress and growing frustration and division in society.

The recent passage of the new law in Arizona is a cry for help from the citizens of a state made desperate by the federal government’s shameful and flagrant dereliction to its duty to control the nation’s borders and to enforce its laws. This is manifestly a federal responsibility and the U. S. government has failed in its responsibilities to its citizens under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

The Arizona law is a symptom, not a solution. While I sympathize with the plight of the beleaguered citizens of Arizona, the law they have passed faces severe challenges. Attorneys I trust and respect tell me that if the law survives the manifold court challenges it faces and goes into effect, it will be abused by genuinely bad people (like drug dealers and human traffickers) whose unscrupulous lawyers will claim falsely that they were victims of racial profiling and prejudice when they were arrested legitimately.

Neither of the extreme solutions of deportation or amnesty are appropriate, workable solutions. To force those who are here illegally to leave is neither politically viable nor humanitarian. To offer “amnesty” to those who broke the immigration laws of our country is disrespectful of the rule of law. What is needed is a solution that respects the rule of law while at the same time treats undocumented immigrants compassionately.

As Christians, we must think through the question of illegal immigration not only as concerned citizens, but also as compassionate Christians. As citizens of the United States we have a right to expect the government to fulfill its divinely ordained mandate to punish those who break the law and to reward those who do not (Rom.13:1-7).

As citizens of the heavenly kingdom (the church), we also have a divine mandate to act redemptively and compassionately toward those in need. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:39) and to do unto others as we would have them do unto us (Matt. 7:12). Our Lord instructed His followers to meet the needs of those who are suffering (Matt. 25: 31-36). The writer of the Book of Hebrews instructed his readers to “show hospitality to strangers” (Heb. 13:2).

As U.S. citizens we have a right to expect the federal government to enforce the laws regarding who may cross our borders. Border security is a question of national security, domestic safety and tranquility, and the federal government fulfilling its divinely mandated responsibilities to enforce the law.

As people of faith we must lead our churches to engage in multi-faceted human needs ministries on a massive scale to meet the physical and spiritual needs of millions of men, women, and children living in the shadows of society where they are exploited by the unscrupulous and victimized by predators.

As citizens, we also have a responsibility to help our nation respond to the plight of these millions of people in a manner that respects their innate dignity and humanity. The millions of undocumented workers living among us suffer as outcasts without the full protections of the law or full access to the opportunities this nation offers to all to fulfill their God-given potential.

It is imperative that the U.S. Congress—consistent with national sovereignty and national security—expeditiously find a way to resolve this moral problem in ways that are consistent with our national ideals.

View earlier documents by Richard Land on the immigration issue here, as well as a recently released draft White Paper on immigration reform.

I favor a measure that includes controlling the borders and enforcing immigration laws inside the country first, while offering no amnesty for lawbreakers. This is my position and the position that emerges from any fair and objective reading of a resolution on immigration that Southern Baptists adopted at their annual convention in June, 2006.

The resolution calls on the federal government “to address seriously and swiftly the question of how to deal realistically with the immigration crisis in a way that will restore trust among the citizenry.”

It also stresses that it is the government’s obligation “to enforce all immigration laws, including the laws directed at employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants or who are unjustly paying these immigrants substandard wages or subjecting them to conditions that are contrary to the labor laws of our country.”

Proper reform should consist of a program that provides an earned pathway that requires an illegal immigrant who desires to remain legally in the U.S. to undergo a criminal background check, pay a fine, agree to pay back taxes, learn to speak, write, and read English and get in line behind those who are legally migrating into this country in order to apply for permanent residence after a probationary period of years. They must also acknowledge and pledge allegiance to America’s governmental structure, the duties of citizenship and our core values as embodied in the Declaration of Independence. People who fail background checks or who refuse to comply with this generous opportunity to earn legal status, should be deported immediately.

This is not amnesty. Amnesty is what President Carter gave the draft dodgers who came home from Canada with no penalties, no fines, and no requirements whatsoever.

It should be remembered that most of these undocumented workers who have broken the law (and thus should be penalized) came here in order to work whereas most of our home-grown criminals break the law in order to avoid work.

While the government focuses on enforcing the law, Christians are mandated to forgive and reflect God’s grace toward all people within their communities, including illegal immigrants. The recent SBC resolution encouraged “churches to act redemptively and reach out to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of all immigrants.”

As citizens of the Lord’s heavenly Kingdom, we have a divine mandate to respond compassionately toward those who are in need.

There is neither the political nor economic will in the U.S. population for forcibly rounding up 12 million people—many of them who have children who are American citizens—and shipping them back to their country of origin. Politics and public policy are the “art of the possible.” The reality is that it is not feasible for the United States government to attempt to deport 12 million people. There has to be another way to resolve this issue.

In hopes of providing a biblical solution to this matter, I have joined with other Evangelicals in calling for bipartisan immigration reform that:

• Respects the God-given dignity of every person;
• Protects the unity of the immediate family;
• Respects the rule of law;
• Guarantees secure national borders;
• Ensures fairness to taxpayers; and,
• Establishes a path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and who wish to become permanent residents.

The reality is that we have been, and are, a nation of immigrant settlers, and the descendents of such settlers, who braved oceans and many obstacles to come to this matchless land of opportunity to become Americans. Whether our ancestors came early, or late, we are Americans, whatever nationality may be used to describe our heritage before we arrived. We should, and we will, always have room in this great nation for those who are willing to embrace the American dream and the American ideals that both inspired that dream and define it.

View earlier documents by Richard Land on the immigration issue here, as well as a recently released draft White Paper on immigration reform.

Further Learning

Learn more about: Citizenship, Christian Citizenship, Immigration, Legislation, National,

103 Comments

1 On May 13, 2010, at 3:36am, Julius V Sullivan (Christian) (southern Baptist) wrote:

S.B.C. Mr, Land,  I am disappointed about reading an article where you stated it was harsh and imoral treatment to deport 13 million Illegals out of this country. That is exactly what was done at the end of world war two, so the returning service men could find a job. If we dont do something about the invasion from the south across the border the U.S.A. will no longer be. Our people, Citizens! Are the only ones with any rights under our constition To live here. Telling them About JESUS is what we have foreign missionarys to do.
I pray that some day the people of this country will
listen to GODs word when it says, If you will humble your heart and pray, turn from your wicked ways, then will I here from Heaven And will heal your land. GOD bless you and The united States Julius V. Sullivan

2 On May 13, 2010, at 5:57am, Eddie wrote:

You are for Amnesty. Allowing people to have illegally entered the United States to become citizens is Amnesty. That is what you have just advocated in your piece. You’re a traitor to the United States of America and are giving aid and comfort to the invasion that is under way.

Becoming a Christian no more absolves you for providing for your own countrymen first than it does to provide for your own immediate biological family first.

I presume you treat all Children in the world equal to your own? Do you love your neighbors child as much as your own? Would you tell your own Children this to their face?

You say you are for enforcing the borders? How is it that being kind to strangers to throw a wall up in their face oh compassionate one? Do you lock your door at night preventing the ‘‘stranger’’ and ‘‘the alien’’ access to your own personal resources anytime they wish? Then you are a hypocrite.

3 On May 13, 2010, at 4:53pm, Juan wrote:

I agree as christians we are called to have compassion and love for all, and i agree that the federal government has failed in securing our borders,  I do not agree on a state, like ours, that has an elected official, just to sit idly by and do nothing, our Governor in a sense was forced to do what the citizens elected her to do.  I believe One big issue here, Mexico, we cannot control, force, or have the resources to help them, with the job that they are failing to do, although we have tried to do so.  Mexico cannot control their own borders, criminals, and their own police work with the criminals to further add to this problem, by taking bribes and turning the other way, and if they don’t, they get killed.  I agree with allot of what you have to say, but until Mexico can get their act together, along with congress, this issue is not going to end.  All I can do now is pray, that our God is bigger than all these issues,

4 On May 13, 2010, at 8:29pm, J. D. Smith wrote:

Illegal aliens, no matter how long they have been in this country, should be sent back to their own country.  If they want to enter legally, then we should allow them if they are honest people.
It is immoral to leave these illegal aliens in this country.  Immoral to the citizens of this country.  Whatever country they belong to should be required to treat its citizens morally.
Neither God, the Father, the Son nor the Holy Spirit will tell you to take on the world’s poor, Christian.  We have our commission and it is not to parade ourselves in the political limelight by misusing God’s name.

J. D. Smith

5 On May 14, 2010, at 4:08pm, JessicaM wrote:

The USA is entirely capable of making the illegals leave our country.  Cut off their illegal benefits (which we pay for) and watch them leave.  There is no need for families to be broken up.  Let the American born babies go to Mexico with their families.

You have just betrayed all Southern Baptists who fear and love God.  A true Christian resists evil and does not embrace it as you have done. 

The Lord never told us to aid and abet criminals.

6 On May 14, 2010, at 6:12pm, Rafael de Armas wrote:

Food for thought:  The Pilgrims were the first illegal aliens in this counrty.

7 On May 14, 2010, at 10:42pm, neilrr wrote:

These people are not Christians and will further erode Christian principles,they already have by breaking the law. The majority of the illegals claim to be Catholic. Well then why doesn’t the Catholic Church step up and do something about the conditions in Mexico. You are a Hypocrite and do a disservice to all Christians who are law abiding productive citizens of our country. You should be removed from your office!CNN says your against the Arizona Bill,if your not then go on CNN and refute the allegations! And people wonder why we are losing more and more Christians everyday! Because of people like this ! I will pray for you

8 On May 14, 2010, at 11:12pm, marvin wrote:

mr land i belive in god famly and country i obay the law if i break one i have to pay, illegal immigration is not a victomless crime if we do not stop this onslot from mexico in less then 10 years there will no longer be a country called america as we know it laws are made to protect it citizens not non citizens that make demands of something they have not earned most illegal do not want to blend in by learning english paying tax ,and look at who is paying for the illegals to have 5,6 children it an,t them we are broke the healthcare is broke i am a sb and you do not speak for me or 70% of the american people

9 On May 15, 2010, at 12:35am, Dennis Bradley wrote:

Dear Richard,
I have great respect for you, but you blew it on the amnesty thing. We are not obligated to take care of illegal aliens that cross our borders…Mexico(or their country of origion)  is. If we choose to go to other countries and care for the needy that is a matter of our choice. We are called to do that. For illegal aliens to demand and require us to care for them is theft. They are law breakers and should be treated as such.

10 On May 15, 2010, at 4:47am, Barry wrote:

The only way to convince people that this idea will work is to implement it in phases…the first of which would be to secure the border and guard it tenaciously.  Then perhaps, after earning the trust of the People, then the rest of this plan could be put into play.  Until this happens, none of the rest of it even matters.

11 On May 15, 2010, at 12:03pm, Carroll wrote:

Because a child was born here from an illegal alien does not mean they are automatically a citizen.  The Constitution was referring to the children of slaves at that time.  That does not imply if you break our laws and are not a naturalized citizen that your offspring are American citizens.  The government knows this as well but, I strongly believe most of them have never read the Constitution and I base this on their progressive leftist ideaology and both parties looking for voters.  I like neither party.  I’m a Constitutionist and I support the party that supports me.

12 On May 15, 2010, at 7:04pm, sean mckenzie wrote:

God bless you Rev. Land.  I truly believe that you and the Baptists are the tipping point on this issue.  This is a wonderful article you have written.  I love the contrast you draw between those who break the law in order to work and those who break the law in order to avoid work. 

I believe that there will come a day when you meet your maker that he will say to you, concerning this stand you have taken:  “Well done my good and faithful servant.”  You have used your talent so very well on this vexing issue.

13 On May 15, 2010, at 10:55pm, Dennis wrote:

On WND, May 14, 2010, I see where they of the Liberal far left had asked Sen Schumer of NY to contact you and try to get you, in turn, to get some RINOs to support their amnesty travesty. They don’t want to take all the heat and can point their finger at the RINOS for complicity, in this unwanted program. Why would they even think you would do such a thing?
Save your compassion for those who are lawfully here and need work. They have families that need food, clothing and shelter too. By saying illegals can stay, is condoning lawlessness and ridiculing those that took the time effort and money to come here the lawful and correct way.

14 On May 15, 2010, at 11:14pm, Wayne wrote:

How blessed we are as Americans to not live in an oppressed land, looking at opportunities so close to us and wondering what could be. I do believe there is a solution out there, and it is found neither on the extreme left or right but some where in the middle. I think you are on the right track Mr Land. Your solution may not be perfect but it is a much better place start than most everything else I have heard. Breaking the law should not be rewarded and neither should trying to better yourself be criminalized.

15 On May 16, 2010, at 12:15am, JessicaM wrote:

How often we’ve heard cries of “separation of church and state.”  That was the cry until the liberals needed the church and now look at how you who represent the church scraping and bowing to liberals.  You ignorant people are falling in line and bowing to the left on illegal immigration. You were so easily won over.  And the reason they are being nice to you now is because they want the votes from illegals which will keep them (the liberals) in power forever. You are helping destroy our country with your asinine kowtowing.

I go to the Southern Baptist but I am rapidly losing confidence in the leadership. 

Is it legal for hard-working Americans to support criminals?  Did Jesus tell us to aid and abet thieves?
No he did not!  And when we are forced to “give” it is not charity.

We are tired of the criminals who are invading our country.

16 On May 16, 2010, at 1:29am, Bob wrote:

Dr Land; you are so wrong. Please read our Christian Constitution,

17 On May 16, 2010, at 8:59pm, Jack D. Richardson wrote:

http://forums.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=794&pollShowResults=1

Dear Dr. Land:

I am a 62 year old So. Baptist from SE Texas.  I was deeply disappointed having learned of your decision to sign this “amnesty travesty” document.  Please find the link above to “World Net Daily” poll results regarding this controversy.  I am not alone, by any means, in my opinion that Illegal means not-lawful and that Illegal actions need to be addressed in a legal manner.  We are, indeed, a nation of laws.  What’s good for a law-abiding citizen is good for Illegals, too!

18 On May 17, 2010, at 6:02pm, Ruben Jimenez, Jr. wrote:

Dr. Sir:
I like your idea on immigration rerform, this seems fare to both sides. I’M totally against amnesty, but if people will step up and admit they have broken the law it proves they are honest enough to work with.
Close the border today and work with the ones that are here alredy.

19 On May 18, 2010, at 3:34am, George Smith wrote:

Mr. Land, suppose you were to awake tomorrow to find that someone had broken into your home. This person then announced that he and his family would stay as long as they liked.  You, of course, would be expected to provide for all their needs, because you have so much more than they (wouldn’t that be the compassionate thing to do?).  Would you not eject them yourself, or call the police, or would you consider that they had just as much right to be there as you?  How long would you allow them to stay and continue inviting more and more relatives?  Would you allow more and more to stay so that your own family became hungry and diseased from the overcrowded conditions?  What if your daughter or wife was abused by an uninvited “guest”?  Could you rejoice in the demise of your home and family, and would any of these events glorify God? —Our country is our home too.

20 On May 19, 2010, at 12:01am, Dale wrote:

I consider any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants as amnesty…pure and simple (and I consider your quip that I might therefore, “need a course in remedial English” totally insulting and beneath you).
After we’ve gotten control of the border… I could support giving illegal immigrants some kind of legal status or green card…but NEVER citizenship. 
LEGAL immigrants deserve a path to citizenship; but there needs to be some REAL penalty for “every man doing what is right in his own eyes,” and the tired mantra of paying fines, back taxes, learning English and not being a criminal are petty,insignificant penalties that cheapen US citizenship.

21 On May 19, 2010, at 12:21am, Dale wrote:

Dr. Land
I’ve been in Honduras the last three years and church leaders there said that having so many men going to the US for jobs is destroying their family structure. The men are gone for 6-12 months and often don’t send money back, or marry someone in the states and never return.  Or come back and discover the wife messed around and they throw her and the kids out.  We’re NOT showing Mexico and Central America any true Christian love by skimming their excess population away and enabling their governments to not deal with their problems.
    I consider your lack of support for the specific part of Sen. Charles Schumer’s immigration bill that requires a biometric identification card for workers, and opposition to the Arizona law, as evidence that you really DON’T want to close the borders at all.  I had to carry my papers everywhere in Honduras, Israel, and New Zealand, etc…so why is it such a terrible thing to make immigrants do it in America?

22 On May 19, 2010, at 1:24am, Chris Wire wrote:

Mr. Land, I have enjoyed your commentary in the past, but you are well and truly wrong on this issue.  Rewarding law-breaking only invites more law-breaking.  And where is the compassion for our own citizens, many who have been victimized by illegal immigration either through criminal activity or by displacement from their job in favor of an “undocumented immigrant”?  It seems that Christians are quick to become the tool of the Democrats whenever the Dems can’t make the case on its merits.  Christians support many humanitarian causes worldwide, and the USA in particular is by far the most giving nation on earth.  That does not mean we should turn a blind eye to lawlessness, or invite more of that which is already harming our great nation.  The nation that cannot, or will not, secure its borders cannot stand.

23 On May 21, 2010, at 8:02am, Marlee wrote:

Jesus did spend his time with prostitutes and sinners.
Reference: Matthew 9:10 and Matthew 2:15
“Do to others what you would have them do to you.” Matthew 7:12
As someone who has read and studied the bible I do not believe that the Lord would be anti-amnesty. Jesus preached to helping those less fortunate. Charity shouldn’t be devalued based on race.

24 On May 21, 2010, at 7:26pm, Sean McKenzie wrote:

On this issue we have to ask ourself two questions:  what would we do if we were in the shoes of the migrant, and what does our faith require of us.

If our kids were hungry, the best chance of providing for them was across the border, and it would take ten years to get across legally, what would any of us do?  What kind of parent chooses the law over their children?
Only the Pharisee never breaks the rules, no matter the moral requirements of a particular situation.

If we crossed illegally, we would hope that Christians would obey Christ’s command to treat “the least of these” with compassion. 

Dr. Land’s proposal includes penalties and is therefore not amnesty, but it is Christian and compassionate.  The possibility that it may be an unpopular proposal makes it a courageous one.  Unlike Peter, who turned his back on Christ when the chips were down, Dr. Land refuses to distort scripture in order to get better poll numbers.

25 On May 21, 2010, at 7:41pm, Catherine Carillo wrote:

Please stay out of Amnesty matters. In the Bible it states render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar and to the Lord what is the Lord. The Bible states we are to follow the laws.  These people are lawbreakers and a slap in the face to every American ( my grandparents who are turning in their graves)who came from Mexico and did the right thing. Please stay out of political matters and focus on teaching the Bible and the 10 Commandments.
We had an Amnesty program in the 80’s . It is apparent that it did not work.

26 On May 21, 2010, at 8:25pm, bob s wrote:

i agree with needing to close the borders first, but disagree with your conclusions. illegal is illegal, & Christ always encouraged law abiding behavior. as noted above, many will leave if their benefits are cut off. several studies have estimated those @ $36.hour/illegal 24/7/365. also change the laws to ban birthright citizenship unless the parents are citizens or legally on that path. lastly, they will leave & be deported in stages as found. that will allow filling their jobs with unemployed citizens. lacking those, anyone on welfare who is at all employable must take jobs, even in the fields as a condition of their benefits. refusal means they are cut off.

27 On May 21, 2010, at 9:37pm, Allen John wrote:

Bravo for the call to compassion but let us not be foolish and irresponsible.  Citizenship and access to the social welfare net and rights of citizens is the issue.  Illegal aliens should NEVER be allowed to obtain citizenship.  We can compromise and provide them a legal status that allows them to stay here and work but they must not be allowed to participate in our free education system or our social security.  Further, we must ensure that they are not given access to abuse our healthcare for free.  They have cost us in dollars, cultural disruption/dislocation, and a sloppy decline in our attitude for the law more than they have contributed.  You are not wise to capitulate and define compassion as giving away the Country.

28 On May 21, 2010, at 10:50pm, Julie wrote:

Dear Mr. Land,

  All of your arguments are old and moldy and sound like the worn out rhetoric of the lefty Marxists.

  While you are so busy being “the compassionate Christian”, how do you apply that compassion to the rest of the Americans who are being forced to foot the bill to pay for all of your compassion?

  Also, please justify your reasoning that only Mexican illegal aliens should be given amnesty.  Yes, your “pathway to citizenship” most certainly is an amnesty because it is remitting the penalty that justly would be due—deportation.  And don’t give me the “completely unfeasible” argument for deporting all of them.  If we simply enforce the laws on the books and stop the free gravy train, they will self-deport in no time flat.  We are all tired of condescending do-gooders forcing us to pay for your grandiose plans.
If you are so concerned about the poor, disenfranchised illegals, why don’t you go to Mexico and start your own ministry there at your own expense?

29 On May 25, 2010, at 7:35am, Miguel R. Urias wrote:

As I read all the comments on the immigration, I can see that this issue will be the same as the abortion issue.  Half for and half against it.  John 14:12 ” The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father”.  What did Jesus do with the prostitute, she broke God’s commandment?  What did the religious leaders and people want to do to her?  Maybe this can help some of you decide what side you stand on.  We are all sinners, and the ones who think they are not.  Then they should line up to cast the first stones at the illegals.  May God almighty have mercy on all of us and bless us with a clean hearing heart.

30 On May 26, 2010, at 10:08pm, JL TAYLOR wrote:

Dr. Land,

Before another illegal immigrant is deported, there needs to be a means of preventing the person from re-entering the country, such as a patroled fence.

It is not surprising that the current administration is not making this issue a priority, since the president himself is suspected to be a non-citizen of the USA, and refuses to make his “documents” public.

31 On May 26, 2010, at 10:26pm, Lorraine Williams wrote:

Mr. Land. Your article was well thought out and compassionate as it should be. I am surprised at the number of Christians who disagree with you and how few have blamed the American employers who not only break the law by hiring illegals, but pay them less than minimum wage and pay them no benefits. Should all the illegal aliens be returned to their respective countries,it will be interesting to see how many legal citizens are willing to do the same lowly jobs. I don’t recall Jesus ever saying “Love thy neighbor as thyself as long as he or she is a legal immigrant or citizen of the USA”

32 On May 26, 2010, at 10:55pm, Gary Bartlett wrote:

Mr. Land—I agree with you.  There has to be some sort of middle ground—deporting that many people is delusional thinking—it will never happen.  Nonetheless, those here illegally need to pay a price for breaking our laws.  Here’s hoping that our Congress will agree to some sort of middle ground and do so quickly so that this ultra contentious problem can be put behind us.  But first like you said….seal the border NOW!

33 On May 27, 2010, at 7:08pm, Doug wrote:

Ever heard “how to eat an elephant”?  One bite at a time!  Let’s keep the pressure on the Feds to do their job.  First and foremost, close and secure the entire border.

34 On May 27, 2010, at 9:03pm, Michael Beard wrote:

Would it help the “aginers” (i.e., those against providing a path for citizenship) if we split the illegals into two groups:  first, those with no integrity and a criminal bent who have no intention of trying to become citizens; and second, those who are here because of freedowm and opportunities to work in still-the-greatest county on earth?  To the first group , zero tolerance.  They get deported on the spot. For those with honorable intentions, step up, declare themselves, settle up back taxes, pledge allegiance to America, learn English, and indeed, get in line for eventual possible citizenship, behind those here legally. 

This problem is almost beyond fixing, because Amerca’s leaders - both Republican and Democrat - have failed to act at all.  Now, a problem has become a big problem, and the ‘best’ solution will still be painful and gut wrenching.  God help us!

35 On May 27, 2010, at 10:05pm, JessicaM wrote:

Jesus saw many poor people during his stay on earth.  There is nowhere in scriptures that says he gave them homes, food, education etc.  He never told us to work hard and support criminals.  In fact, he said “the poor you have with you always.”  He didn’t try to change that by telling his listeners to redistribute their wealth. 

When a person comes to the USA without proper documentation, that person is breaking the law. That makes him a criminal.  Even if he came to get a job he’s still a criminal.  There is no such thing as a good, law abiding illegal.  They are not law abiding when they are illegal.

If I rob a bank because my children are hungry, does that make me a non-criminal?  Would needy children mean I could get off scott free?  No!  I would still be breaking the law and when the law is broken, a punishment is incurred.

Don’t speak for the rest of us, sir.  If you want to help them, I suggest as someone in a previous post….go to Mexico and start your own mission.

36 On May 27, 2010, at 11:48pm, Carroll wrote:

I just received a reply to my comment and I believe the person got a little mixed up and sent their reply to the wrong person.  Let me make this even more clearer; I do NOT support illegal aliens.  They should all be deported and if they want to live in America then they should apply for citizenship and get in line.  I believe they should send between 6 to 10 thousand troops to the border with the authorization to do whatever is needed including firing shots to discourage illegal entry. This also will stop the flow of drugs into our country but, most importantly it will keep the terrorist out.  You would be very blind if you don’t believe some are already here. Some are naturalized and are just waiting for their time to attack.  My original comment I said that the reference to being born here was directed to slaves and their children. Just because your an illegal who gave birth in our country.  They are NOT lawfull citizen Americans.  I hope this clears up the matter.

37 On May 28, 2010, at 4:21am, Rolda Hammond wrote:

I attend the North Phoenix Baptist Church in Phx AZ. And as such, I have learned that unbeknownst to most Southern Baptists, their annual conventions in recent years have been passing resolutions that have become increasingly explicit in support of foreign workers who are in this country illegally. And in this state of our economy, you are now pushing for AMNESTY! Shame on you, when you probably have thousands of members out of work.

And I was appalled after reading your article for the Mid June conference making an even more direct endorsement of rewarding illegal immigration.

How can this happen when polls indicate that Southern Baptist members are overwhelmingly against “comprehensive immigration reform?”

continued….

38 On May 28, 2010, at 4:47am, S. J. M. wrote:

Judging by the reader comments, Mr. Land is laying the same Grade AA Jumbo goose egg as his politicial hack allies with his mumbo-jumbo, it’s-an-amnesty-even-though-we’re-calling-it-not-an-amnesty blather.

Mr. Land’s proposal doesn’t vary from many already out there for “pathway to citizenship” or “earned legalization.” Lamb isn’t the first to claim such plans are not amnesty, and his plan joins others in being identified by what it truly is—amnesty. 

Former Attorney General Ed Meese, who implemented the “one-time-only” amnesty under Ronald Reagan, accurately characterized such blather 5 years ago in his May 24 2005 New York Times op-ed “Amnesty by any other name.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/24/opinion/24meese.html?ex=1306123200&en=aa37c8e0f0977449&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

39 On May 28, 2010, at 5:36am, Rolda Hammond wrote:

continued from previous….

The answer is that the resolutions tend to be filled with language about treating foreigners with respect and biblical love that virtually every Baptist would agree with. But slipped into all the verbiage usually is a quick reference to a pathway to citizenship for those who are currently denied it.

I truly believe that hardly any of the Baptists attending the annual convention have been aware that they have allowed resolutions to move the denomination increasingly into the same camp as the ACLU, National Council of La Raza and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in their desires for an open global labor market in the U.S.

40 On May 28, 2010, at 5:55am, S.J.M. wrote:

What Land cites as reasons his plan isn’t amnesty were done in 1986, with high fraud rate and widely recognized failure.  That he urges Americans to “try this failed solution again” suggests he is either delusional or totally lacking in experience and reality on the issue.

Mr. Land shows lack of recognition of the true problem, and that’s the knowledge of citizens that the federal government will not enofrce any immigration laws, either those currently in effect or new ones under “comprehensive immigration reform.”  Having learned that hard lesson, Americans will not accept promises; we insist on consistent and long-term enforcement action that we were promised back in 1986 and is yet to be delivered.

Mr. Land’s position is very disappointing and reflects the missing moral compass so common in society:  we must understand and sympathize with the sinner, sin isn’t really sin and isn’t really wrong.

41 On May 28, 2010, at 6:46am, S.J.M wrote:

All the RINO clergy’s calls for “compassion” conveniently overlook the repeated Biblical examples of the consequences of repeated sin to the children of Israel—capture by enemies and sent into bondage, otherwise called DEPORTATION.

His “plan” isn’t at all unusual; we’ve heard it many times from various politicians.  That religious leaders are now adopting it just lets us know of another group whose counsel isn’t to be trusted.  For a politician to achieve that standing is disastrous to a constitutional republic; for a member of the clergy to attain it is a tragedy, for is no one believes him what does a Christian have?

42 On May 28, 2010, at 3:32pm, Allen John wrote:

Well, it seems that most agree that there is little wisdom in Mr. Land’s position.  I struggle with trying to focus on what is the proper response as a Christian.  I think we have to clearly distinguish what is our personal response and what is an appropriate response as a country.  I’m trying to increase my willingness to help individuals as a personal response.  However, I cannot see either a mandate or the wisdom of allowing citizenship and permanent resident status to any illegal aliens as a country.  We need to keep discussing this issue as the body of Christ to develop a clear understanding and response.

43 On May 28, 2010, at 8:31pm, marvin wrote:

illegal not legal to be undocumented is just that no papers, you are illegal you are not a citizen you have no rights to be in this country for all of you that think it is ok just go to mexico and start making demands like the illegals have and do here ,you want to know what would happen to you buy buy adios go to jail or tag on the toe,and never be heard of agin, the church needs to refrain stay out of immigration law we the people and member do not want or need the church speaking for us i can speak for my self

44 On May 28, 2010, at 11:44pm, George wrote:

I totally disagree with your position of amnesty for illegal aliens!  We have illegal aliens who have overstayed visas and those who have crossed the borders!  We have a government that is out of control and those politicians who want illegal votes!  We are allowing aliens to come here who do not believe in our God and who want to kill Christians and Jews, period!  Why have you agreed with others to support illegal aliens?  We have to deport all illegal aliens who are all law breakers and who have no rights to live here.  We are spending billions of dollars on these aliens!  They have to be deported, now!

45 On May 29, 2010, at 4:45am, DavidD wrote:

As a Southern Baptist, I do not share your personal views on amnesty.  As such, the recent article in the NY Times where your name and office appeared for amnesty is unacceptable.  I’m offended you seem to take a political position on the matter for the Southern Baptist Convention and its members.  I truely beleive it is time you step down from your position and follow the political path rather than hiding behind the Convention and speaking for those of us that do not have the same openion.  Illegal seems to indicate they have broken the laws of the United States of America and their continued stay only compounds the violation.  Please do not speak for me in the future.

46 On May 29, 2010, at 2:55pm, George wrote:

Dr. Land, we as Christians are not told to ignore the laws of our country!  You have taken the approach that we should just turn our eyes away from the continued crime of those that have overstayed their visas or those who have come here by crossing our unguarded borders!  We have to deport these illegal aliens, now!  We also have to stop giving citizenship to those who are born here by visitors or illegal aliens, now!  We should be a country of laws, but we have become a country that has forgotten our history and God!  You are not helping us focus on God!

47 On May 29, 2010, at 9:37pm, Rev. Ken Fryer wrote:

Dr. Land,
Once again, you are woefully out of touch with the vast majority of Southern Baptists.  I will be in Orlando and will speak out against any amnesty resolution that you propose.  Yes, you have already anticipated the opposition and tried to cover yourself by stating that, “my critics will accuse me of promoting amnesty.”  Yes, because it is true.  Your stand is amnesty, pure and simple, because it does not punish lawbreakers, but ultimately rewards them with citizenship.

48 On May 30, 2010, at 4:43am, freedomnotseparation wrote:

WOW!  I am completely confused!  I just read that you are calling for a filibuster in the Senate over Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but agree that the AZ legislation on immigration is draconian and wrong?  The DADT policy, which I agree morally should remain the law of the land, deals with a group that has legal rights within our borders.  The AZ law reinforces what is already a Federal law on the books against a group that is operating within out borders illegally, but it is wrong.  BOTH ARE MORALLY REPUGNANT, but you choose to go heavy against the legal group.  I am getting tired of the “can’t we all just get along” leadership within the SBC.

49 On May 31, 2010, at 1:31am, Tom Cook wrote:

Michael Beard, you cannot split the “illegals” into two groups—one bent on criminal activity and the other with honorable intentions, since by your own admition—they are all illegal.  Regardless of intentions, both have broken the law by entering the country illegally.  Illegal.  Illegal.  Illegal.  How do we arrive at such confused, situational ethics?  Let’s split the murderers in our country into two groups: one who was bent on criminal activity, and the other with honorable intentions.

50 On May 31, 2010, at 7:28pm, Carol Parks wrote:

Wow.  I never do this.  This is a first.  After reading many of the comments I am convinced people - godly and not godly - just don’t read.  You said Proper reform, earned pathway, you listed penalties for the crime, probation periods, and then those that do not - have to go. 
  I say to the writers here: do you really think it is possible to kick 12 million people out of this country?  What you better think about is how do we keep them from becoming and uninformed voting mass? 
  This proposal is right on, - one which follows Scripture:  admit the sin, ask forgiveness, make amends, grow, mature, be productive.
  Thank you Mr Richard for all you do!  The fear of the Lord be with you, that His wisdom will continue to come from you.

51 On Jun 1, 2010, at 6:16pm, Rev. Ken Fryer wrote:

First, AMEN to DavidD!  Second, to Carol: I sincerely want to treat you with respect as a fellow Christ follower, so I truly mean no disrespect to you in my reply.  With that said, in my opinion, Dr. Land, et al. are naive that the NAE proposal will lead to anything other than amnesty for illegals.  As someone said, “Whether or not you call it an amnesty, legalizing millions of illegal aliens is rewarding people with the very thing they broke the law to get—U.S. residence and permanent work permits.”  The key word regarding illegal aliens is “illegal.” They were criminals the very moment they entered this country in violation of the law.

52 On Jun 1, 2010, at 6:36pm, Rev. Ken Fryer wrote:

Dr. Land,
You are right about one thing:  Our political leaders lack the courage and will to solve this crisis.  Trust me when I tell you that the liberals are not concerned a bit about “compassion.”  They see one thing: voters.  Speaking of Compassion, what about compassion for the millions of unemployed American citizens who have lost their jobs to cheap labor?  What about compassion for the states who are bankrupt because of illegals?  What about compassion for the people who went through (and are going through) the process of becoming a citizen the right way?  This business of paying a fine, learning English, etc. is a farce!  If they wanted to do that, they would do it now, rather than protesting and waving Mexican flags on Cinco de Mayo!

53 On Jun 1, 2010, at 7:59pm, JessicaM wrote:

Yes, Carol, it is possible to deport ALL of the illegals.  First, you cut off all their leeching such as food stamps, free education, free medical care etc and that makes a lot of them go home to Mexico or wherever.

Then you round up the rest of them up and deport them.  Put some armed troops on the border with orders to do whatever is necessary to keep the illegals out.

Jesus definitely taught forgiveness.  He told the woman taken in adultery to go and sin no more.  If we allow illegals to continue to live here, they are not correcting their sin of criminal activity but are sinning more by staying.

No where did Jesus legalize sin.  He did not tell that woman “oh it’s ok. I declare adultery to be non-sin.”

54 On Jun 1, 2010, at 8:10pm, MARVIN wrote:

dr land email is running 5 or 6 to 1 disagreeing with your stand on illegals, we as americans have to obay the law, not the ones we want or choose in 1986 our goverment gave amnesty to 3 million illegals and said we will close the borders no more illegals will be allowed to cross the border now 25 years later in 2010 we have 20 million and of that there are 6 to 7 million female age 13 and up having a baby a year at tax payers expence most have 5 to 6 children they get free food free housing free health care, now they are called birth right citizens, but the 14 amend to the constitution is and was for the children of the slaves forced to come here not a baby of an illegal, sir you may have a good job with good pay but 20 million unemployed americans do not there is a differance in a helping hand and a hand out, the handouts have broke this country,at the rate the hispanish are having babies, with the help of people like you and the can,t hear don,t care liberals in congress,

55 On Jun 2, 2010, at 3:56am, Curtis Hanks wrote:

Did not read them all, but enough to agree with Carol Parks who stated pretty much what I was going to say. I have been a Southern Baptist for all my life (72 years), did 33 years in law enforcement (5 in Colorado,6 mo. in Arizona, 18 mo. in the central Pacific and 26 in Tulsa, OK and after 14 years of retirement am still in uniform every week doing security at my church);so in those 47 year I have seen a “lot” of lawlessness by both “legals” & “illegals” and until our “lawmakers” give up their selfish & self-serving attitudes nothing is going to get better. I do not agree with Dr. Land in toto, but enough to say in Christian love;“GET OFF HIS CASE”!

56 On Jun 2, 2010, at 5:18pm, JessicaM wrote:

I, too, am a senior citizen. I am 71 years of age and have been a born again Christian since 1964.

In the USA (at this time anyway) we still have freedom of speech.  We are free to disagree with Mr. Land and free to voice our objections to what he is advocating.

As a Christian, I believe that all who love God should adhere to obeying the laws of the land.  Our laws in the USA makes it illegal to trespass in the USA.  These laws are not being upheld by our government and that is why there is much confusion.

I encourage everyone, including you, Mr. Hanks to freely express your beliefs here.  The first amendment to the Constitution gives us this right.  I most certainly will continue to exercise my first amendment rights.  Thank you.

57 On Jun 2, 2010, at 6:03pm, Rev. Ken Fryer wrote:

Curtis,
Dr. Land is a great man who has been mightily used of God.  I am not “on his case,” but I do strongly disagree with him on this issue.  I confess that, for many, this is an emotional issue and if I have shown any disrespect to Dr. Land or my Christian brothers or sisters, I apologize.  I do believe, however, that Dr. Land’s proposed solution is wrong.  No doubt it is well thought out and well-intentioned, but still wrong, in my opinion.  Certainly, you would agree that Southern Baptists have a right to disagree and speak out on this issue, would you not?

58 On Jun 2, 2010, at 6:06pm, Al wrote:

I am not on Dr. Land’s case but I do think that if he hopes to build an consensus he is going to have to work much harder.  Citizenship and access to our tax dollars through the social welfare and retirement net are the issue.  I agree it is impractical to send all 12 or 25 million illegals home but his formula of fines and penalties and such are just fluff.  Eliminate the possibility for them to gain Citizenship, get free education and health care, and participate in social security and they can stay and work.

59 On Jun 3, 2010, at 3:14pm, Rich wrote:

Mr. Land,

You have fallen for the romantic myth that the people crossing the border from Mexico are poor, freedom loving, parents who are seeking a better life for their children.  The truth is most of them a gun-toting, drug-smuggling gang members.  Are the murders of ranchers in Arizona and the presence of Mexican cartels on American soil not enough for you?  They are planting marijuana crops in remote areas of the American Southwest. 

Wake up.

60 On Jun 8, 2010, at 4:00pm, Bob wrote:

I see you are continuing down your chosen path for “social justice”. As a loyal Southern Baptist it was with great pain that I opened my Tuesday edition of the “Tennesean” newspaper only to see you face plastered on the front page of that liberal mouthpiece.Here you go again spouting off about how Americans must provide a path to citizenship for a bunch of law breakers. About the only thing I agreed with is that the border needs to be secured. I have asked my pastors over the past few years who this Richard Land person is that keeps speaking for all Southern Baptists on politcal issues. They have told me that you do not speak for the Southern Baptist Convention. Maybe someone forgot to inform you of that. It seems that possibly you have been in a position of power and influence too long - like many in Washington - and have lost touch with the local church body. How much more damage are you going to inflict upon America?

61 On Jun 9, 2010, at 7:32am, Lee wrote:

I have great respect for Dr. Land and have for a very long time. The statement here read is somewhat more against the “amnesty” position than statements quoted in today’s (June 8) Tennessean. I’m more troubled to know Dr. Land will make a statement at the SBC in Orlando that “the Southern Baptist denomination” supports the path to citizenship as he outlines it. No, Dr. Land, I truly do not believe the denomination supports that view…You support that view and you are making a rather presumptuous statement for 16 million people on a highly controversial topic. I wish on this one the denomination would not take such a position, but perhaps would remain more neutral.

62 On Jun 9, 2010, at 5:27pm, Sara P wrote:

I am almost afraid to post my comment, because I agree with Dr. Land.  When I think of the phrase,“What Would Jesus Do?”, and compare it to many of the comments, it depresses me.  Matt.25:34-36 has always worried me, but now I see how people who call themselves followers of Christ can demonize an entire people.  People who are also God’s children…and Jesus loves them.  Don’t see much love in the comments.  This land does not belong to us.  It is ours because God allowed it to be. Are we really following Christ?

63 On Jun 10, 2010, at 12:37am, Emma wrote:

I agree with most of this article, and I am pleased to see, as a Jewish liberal, that not all Christian fundamentalists are close-minded bigots.
We cannot blame immigrants for the problems that have arisen in our country out of poverty, which is where most crime and criminals come from. It is racist and intolerant to claim that since Jesus claimed that we should not “aid and abet criminals,” that means we should deport all illegal aliens. THERE ARE FAR WORSE CRIMES THAN BEING AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT.
Many of them are coming here to support their families back home because the Mexican government is too corrupt and does not offer the kind of opportunities that life in America does. In discovering the best possible solution, we should have empathy for these people who work harder than a considerable amount of Americans.

64 On Jun 10, 2010, at 3:05am, JessicaM wrote:

Be assured Sarah, that Jesus would not say “I want you citizens to work, pay taxes, and support the people who are coming into your land illegally.  Show courtesy to the the murderers, the rapists, the drunken drivers and thieves. Allow them to rape and kill your daughters and sons. Allow them to march and demand their “rights” to your money.  Allow them to fly their national flag above yours and allow them to keep saying derogatory remarks about you and your fellow countrymen. Let your own children become uneducated because the teachers have to teach in so many different languages to over-crowded classrooms.

65 On Jun 10, 2010, at 3:59pm, Robert from Kingwood wrote:

Laws are already in the books that outline pathways to citizenships.  What you might be implying along with other groups is a way to find a short-cut.  Short-cuts are what have gotten us into this mess.  Well short-cuts and lack of enforcement of existing laws.  The SBC’s luke-warm stance on a hot-button issue frustrates an SBC member like me because all luke-warm is is the divisive middle of hot & cold.  States should have the right to protects it’s borders & citizens.  Whether it’s a bike, an entertainment system, or citizenship, people need to follow proper instructions.  When you try to wing it, people end up getting hurt.  I truly hope the SBC wants what’s best for country and not just pandering to the passing plate.

66 On Jun 10, 2010, at 7:00pm, marvin wrote:

the shooting of a teen on are border is evidence that the people of mexico have no respect for are law or police, and it is are goverment,s fault for none enforcement
people of other countrys think they have a right to illegally enter this country, that put the green light on, if we can just get to america they will let us stay and we can have all the children we want ,this is a nation of laws that i can not pick and choose the ones i want to obay, and don,t never think that throwing rocks is harmless if an american citizen thru rocks at a police officer the out come would be the same,people get hurt by breaking laws, dr land or no one need to incourage,amnesty,it did not work in 1986 and will not work now 3 million in 1986 20 million 2010 what next 50 million,we need to just enforce the laws on the books if we let the the liberals in congress and people like dr land have there way we will not be a country in less then 20 years,you incourage law breaking you get a lawless country

67 On Jun 10, 2010, at 7:54pm, Ruben Jimenez, Jr. wrote:

Untill the FED. GOV. dose it’s job we are just blowing smoke, and getting mad at each other. So make sure to vote for people that love America,enough to show it. This administration dosen’t know how.

68 On Jun 11, 2010, at 6:52am, Lee wrote:

Why in the world do people like Sara believe that because we believe people must abide by laws we don’t love them? Did God not love His people when He outlined 614 laws for them to live by? Do parents not love their children when they set rules for them to obey? Scripture tells us that God disciplines those He loves; indeed, those He does not discipline are as bastards… illegitimate children in His eyes! God’s love never has been one of permissiveness and “anything goes.” And he certainly had ways of getting His people’s attention when they wandered away from Him. God does not change…so why would we think He would be different today? Our authorities must run our nation according to certain laws or anarchy will reign. Those who want to live here must abide by those laws or they cannot be allowed to live here. By breaking our laws to enter, they immediately express their disdain for our laws, and by implication, for our nation. Thus, they are not worthy of citizenship!

69 On Jun 11, 2010, at 3:33pm, jo wrote:

Shame on you sir. Seeking to reward sin? They broke the law - that’s a sin. you and the other ‘conservative’ christian leaders who are supporting this nonsense obviously have not thought it out; these people may be social conservatives, but they vote largely for the anti-family, anti-God democrat party. My mom’s family is from Mexico (legally) and most of them vote Democrat. When I confront them, about how this jives with Catholic values (pro-life, for example), they reply that there are ‘other issues to consider’. THAT’S what you aiding and abetting. I think the problem is that liberal, secular humanist education you got at Princeton and Oxford. I hope that we see you removed soon from your position. Defending those who broke the law GREATLY undermines your moral authority.

Perhaps we can give thieves cash prizes, or murderers shiny new pistols. Why not? That’s the same logic behind what you and other ‘conservative’ christians propose.

Disgusting.

70 On Jun 12, 2010, at 5:52pm, Grant wrote:

“Proper reform should consist of a program that provides an earned pathway that requires an illegal immigrant who desires to remain legally in the U.S. to ... People who fail background checks or who refuse to comply with this generous opportunity to earn legal status, should be deported immediately.” (referring to the paragraph as a whole however suffecient space is not available)

This does not sound like amnesty to me.  It sounds like an acknowledgement of the crime(sin), a severe punishment, an opportunity for grace to be given to the sinner should he or she repay their debt to the government/society, and a final penalty for not fulfilling the requirements of the crime.

Though Dr. Land’s article is not an “end all” to the problem of illegal immigration I feel that it seeks a better solution than we currently have.

71 On Jun 13, 2010, at 3:15pm, Thomas Geraghty wrote:

Mr. Land, you are well meaning but without command of the facts. The reason Americans oppose giving illegals, legal status is quite simply that it doesn’t solve the problem. It doesn’t work!

We tried this already in the 1980s. Then we had 2 million illagals. So, if that was the solution, there would be no trouble now, right? But it only made the problem worse. Since that amnesty, there’s now 20 million illegals. And your solution is to do it again.
Sorry, that’s just foolish.

72 On Jun 14, 2010, at 2:51am, Shepard wrote:

Dr. Land, you are so wrong in your position presented in this article. You can not find one line of scripture to support your position. Nowhere in scripture will you find any mandate from our Lord to support law breakers. As you say, this is your opinion. This is not the opinion of the vast majority of Southern Baptist as you can see from 99.9% of the comments above. You are just as wrong about this as you were when you tried to sign up Southern Baptist to the ecumenical movement and embrace Catholics and other perverters of the Gospel. There comes a time when it is wise for a man to retire before he makes a fool of himself. I believe that time has come for you, sir.

73 On Jun 17, 2010, at 6:19pm, Al wrote:

We already have a pathway to citizenship.  The issue is that those who came her illegally should not get a path that is any easier than the path everyone else has.  Secondly, we have learned through this that we do not want unfettered immigration.  Dr. Land’s proposal is not designed to address the big picture.  A leader in his position should be working to propose solutions that we can build consensus around.  A consensus of American Citizens, not a consensus of illegal aliens and international critics.  The crimes being committed by illegals and the drain on our social services (cost to us) are very serious issues.  We can compassionately send them home and provide a way for them to stay and work while ensuring that they are not eligible for free education, free health care, social security or any other cost to tax payers.

74 On Jun 19, 2010, at 6:12am, sean mckenzie wrote:

All those who are condemning Dr. Land are misguided.  In Matthew 25, Jesus not only tells us to welcome the the stranger, but warns us of eternal consequences if we do not.  The Old Testament tells us to “love the alien living among you as yourself.”  To those who say “what part of illegal do you not understand” I ask:  what part of scripture do you not believe?  Which is higher, God’s law or man’s law?  What we need, which Dr. Land is trying to achieve, is humane reform which will move God’s and man’s law closer to agreement.

75 On Jun 19, 2010, at 8:30pm, Carole wrote:

Because of the failure of the SBC to sever ties with Richard Land who promotes the socialist Democrat Party view of granting citizenship to people who have broken our immigration laws, I have stopped tithing to my church.  I will not permit one cent of my tithe to go to the SBC since they insist upon supporting lawbreakers.  I have directed my tithe to other ministries who are actually concerned about winning lost people to Christ and helping the truly deserving people around the world.  Shame on SBC and Richard Land for injecting politics into the SBC.

76 On Jun 20, 2010, at 11:10pm, J D Richardson wrote:

I have been awaiting your response to the “backlash”, of which I am part. 

I’ve re-read your article.  I come away believing that you would teach us that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our amnesty. 

Please let me know that I am incorrect in my perspective of your lengthy comments.

Respectfully,

J D Richardson

77 On Jun 21, 2010, at 6:33am, Richard Chapin wrote:

Dr. Land, I appreciate the wonderful and courageous article that you wrote. We are indeed a nation of immigrants, and we as Christians should be compassionate and loving in our treatment of them. I find your solution to the current illegal immigration dilemma reasonable and responsible. Certainly a good place to start in the solution to this present situation. It’s Godly men like you Dr. Land that give me hope for the future of our denomination, and the Christian faith as a whole. The hate and greed that I hear in many of the posts above disturb me deeply, and I can only see why people are leaving and wanting to leave our Churches. Keep it up Dr. Land. I am encouraged by good men such as yourself as I continue towards my calling as Youth Pastor.

78 On Jun 21, 2010, at 6:34pm, Ken Fryer wrote:

Sean, you forgot to quote 1Peter 2:13-15, “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” Dear brother, showing kindness (which we should do) does not mean we reward their lawlessness.

79 On Jun 21, 2010, at 6:40pm, Ken Fryer wrote:

Carole, I understand your frustration, but do not compound your frustration by disobeying God in the area of tithing.  Give joyfully unto the Lord.  Remember, Dr. Land is expressing an opinion; the SBC has not officially done anything in the area of illegal immigration.

80 On Jun 21, 2010, at 6:40pm, AL wrote:

sean mckenzie quoted Matt 25 “welcome the alien” and asked if I believe the bible since I do not support amnesty. 

I believe the bible.  Do you read this passage as saying that we are to give perpetual free room and board and title to our property?  I do not.

Do you read this passage as saying that we are to welcome the alien who just broke your laws?  I do not. 

I think you need to do some more thinking before you condemn your borthers.

81 On Jun 21, 2010, at 6:45pm, Ken Fryer wrote:

Richard, my dear brother, expecting people to obey our laws is neither hateful nor greedy.  No one is saying that we shouldn’t allow immigration; just that we should not have open borders and allow people to come here illegally.

82 On Jun 21, 2010, at 8:23pm, marvin wrote:

befor opening mouth and inserting foot like dr land and obama my advice would be to ask, and read, look around you, do not be lead by your narrow view, you do not speak for all,laws are for all not just some, illegal is not legal

83 On Jun 21, 2010, at 10:15pm, AL wrote:

Carole wrote: Because of ... I have stopped tithing to my church.

I encourage you to consider your responsibility to your local body and your obligation to live in submission to those who lead and feed you. You should support where you worship or you should worship somewhere you can support but don’t treat that relationship lightly.  Immigration is a big issue but don’t let it be used of the Devil to hurt the church.  This issue is not heresy - in other words it is not big enough to allow it to divide us.  We who love Christ can disagree on this issue and still love Christ and each other.  A strong church is much more important than a strong country.  We are citizens of God’s Kingdom (the Church) we are only sojourners in this world.  A strong church (i.e. strong lovers of Christ) is the only hope for the world or the USA.

84 On Jun 21, 2010, at 10:33pm, JessicaM wrote:

When you pay tithes, make sure it is going to the Lord’s work.  Do not pay tithes to an organization that promotes rewarding evil-doers for breaking the law.

85 On Jun 22, 2010, at 2:28am, Richard wrote:

Ken,

Hate and greed are at the very heart of many of the posts. read them again… I never said anything about open borders, the government needs to do their job. I said ” I find your solution to the current illegal immigration dilemma reasonable and responsible. Certainly a good place to “start” in the solution to this present situation. ”  Reform is much needed in this case, and I believe that Dr. Land starts in the correct place.  Laws are very important, I never said they were not. That said though we are also to show grace, mercy and forgiveness to others. I am glad that God shows grace, as everyone here is I would sure hope.

86 On Jun 23, 2010, at 6:28pm, BiancaR wrote:

Mr. Land it is great to finally see someone with compassion and understanding (at least on your behalf).
Whether or not you believe we (illegal immigrants) should be here or not, we are here (permitted by God). This would be a great opportunity for the church to opens its doors and hearts to minister instead of turning a blind eye and a cold shoulder.
Like Mr. Land has said employers not only hire illegal immigrants but also subject them to conditions that are contrary to the labor laws of our country. You would be appalled to see the kind of conditions they are in, and that is our reward. Have we forgotten what we are ultimately here for?

87 On Jun 24, 2010, at 1:23pm, sean mckenzie wrote:

Ken, if your kids were hungry and the only way you could provide for them would be to illegally cross the border, would you choose the law or your kids?  Many very decent parents have chosen to provide for their kids and have broken no other laws.  What is the Christian response to these people?  How do we follow the instructions of 1 Peter and “do good?” Is it by ruining their lives because they broke one law?  No, we should do what Dr. Land proposes:  punish them by fining them, making them pay back taxes, learn English, and go to the back of the citizenship line, but not by deporting them and ruining their lives.  That, it seems to me, is not a Christian response to “the least of these among us.”

88 On Jun 24, 2010, at 8:15pm, JessicaM wrote:

Dearly Beloved, we can show mercy and compassion without having to feed, clothe, provide medical care and support to millions of illegals.  We are showing love and mercy to our own children and grandchildren by trying to protect them from being slaves to an irresponsible government.  And now, it appears, an irresponsible church has joined in to try to force this slavery upon them. 

We are showing true love to the illegals when we insist that they do not break our laws. What you are showing is maudlin sympathy robed in Christian platitudes.

89 On Jun 24, 2010, at 10:17pm, AL wrote:

sean - if my kids were hungry…  You buy into the lie that all or most illegals coming here would starve otherwise.  Read the research.  Most come here for a better life because they know that they can better themselves in the kind of culture and environment we have developed here as opposed to what they have in their country.  We are not talking here about the kind of choice the jews had to make in 1930’s of immigrate or die.  I encourage you to stop painting those who disagree with you as not being compassionate.  You divide us rather than unite.  There are many works that I and my church and my denomination participate in to send aid to Mexico.  We go every year and build one or two houses as well as contribute to financial aid.  There is plenty to prove our compassion to the needy.

90 On Jun 25, 2010, at 7:41am, Lee wrote:

Sean, So if my children are hungry it’s OK to rob a bank to get money to feed them? It’s the only law I ever broke, and I don’t plan to ever break another one. My kids are hungry and I’ve tried everything else! No, Sean, you can’t justify breaking laws! Besides, too many are coming here for far less principled reasons; or haven’t you seen the photos of assault weapons, drugs, etc., and heard about the kidnappings and awful violence on the border by the drug cartels? Now they are telling our American law enforcement officers if they dare to stop them, they will kill them just like they do on the Mexican side. No other crime, Sean? That’s hardly the case…and that’s only the beginning of why we can’t allow amnesty! And what about all the homicides by drunk drivers who are here illegally, rapes, murders, assaults, violent gangs, etc. These aren’t nice family folks, contrary to the propaganda! We MUST seal our borders and demagnetize our country before it’s too late!

91 On Jun 25, 2010, at 8:14pm, sean mckenzie wrote:

Al, with respect, I’m not surprised that you didn’t answer my question:  if your kids were hungry and you could only help them by crossing the border illegally, what would you do?  You didn’t answer because I believe that you like any other decent parent would choose your kids over the law.

It’s admirable and compassionate that you build a house or two in Mexico every year. However, Dr. Land, the policy leader of the Baptist denomination, is proposing a just and humane immigration policy that will help millions of people while enhancing the rule of law.

Those who do not support Dr. Land, it seems to me, are being at least as divisive as I am.  This is especially true since there are so many potential values voters and Baptists among Latinos.  The Latino kids that I teach, whether they have their papers or not, are nearly all anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, people of faith.

92 On Jun 28, 2010, at 4:47am, Barry Lund wrote:

Dr. Land does not speak for the vast majority of hard working S.B. members. Jesus never condoned sin, in fact He told seekers that they must go and sin no more.  Wanting a better life does not justify breaking this countries laws. The U.S. is the life boat in a sinking world and it has been overwhelmed by the onslot of 12 million illegals and the liberal policies of the past 60 years.  The U.S. is broke and 13 Trillion dollors in debt. These illegals do not know it yet but they are in the “new” Mexico. When it all goes down, are you Dr. Land going to feed my children?

93 On Jun 28, 2010, at 6:09pm, Chris Wire wrote:

There is nothing “just” about the policy being advocated by Dr. Land, nor do I believe it is the majority opinion in the SBC.  I do believe, however, that it will do damage within the body of Christ for the SBC to advocate for such a policy and attempt to portray it as a widespread opinion among believers.  This is more about positioning than policy, and I would much rather the SBC take a step back from this stance and redirect its energies elsewhere.  Allowing illegals to remain here while law-abiding immigrants wait for years to be granted entry is not “just”.  Nor is the rewarding of illegal behavior simply because there is no political will to address it.  We don’t whitewash the gospel, so why should we whitewash our immigration policy?  “Go and trespass no more”, and file for legal immigration status like the rest of the world must do.  That is called “just”.

94 On Jun 28, 2010, at 6:15pm, AL wrote:

sean:  I don’t mind answering your question.  I have five children and I would do anything I could to care for them even die to protect them.  I doubt I would pay $600 or more to a smuggler to help me get across the boarder if my kids were starving.  I certainly would not teach my kids to expect that America should welcome them if I broke the law to feed them - as you suggest.  So, now that I have answered you what does that prove.  I am not saying that everyone here illegally is bad.  I’m saying that we do not owe them citizenship or permanent residency.  To use your example if they broke into my house to feed their children I should make up the spare room and let them all move in.  I may not prosecute them for breaking in out of compassion for their kids but I don’t owe them a place in my home.  This is what I’m talking about in terms of looking for solutions that unite us, that give us something to work towards rather then throwing stones in our own house.

95 On Jun 28, 2010, at 11:40pm, Jay wrote:

Thank you, Dr. Land:

“Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion”

Number 27, Current Communist Goals, Jan 10, 1963

EXTENSION OF REMARKS OF HON. A. S. HERLONG, JR. OF FLORIDAIN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES


Congressional Record—Appendix, pp. A34-A35

96 On Jun 29, 2010, at 12:14am, Jay wrote:

RE: AL “I don’t owe them a place in my home.”

But Dr. Land would allow them live in his home after breaking and entering, shot his dog, ate his food, if they:

1. Said they were sorry
2. Became a Baptist
3. Be tested on Baptist Faith and Doctrine
4. Repayed the food they stole, with interest
5. Paid reasonable rates for the room and board
6. Agreed to follow all future rules

That way they wouldn’t have to be prosecuted and held accountable to the same rule of law as everyone else. If I follow Dr. Lands thinking.

97 On Jun 29, 2010, at 5:49am, Stephen Byrd wrote:

Mr. Land,

You do not speak for me nor the overwhelming majority of those in the Southern Baptist church in which I serve.  After many discussion, we are thoroughly displeased and disappointed in your stance on this issue.  My hope is that you would reconsider your position or that the convention would denounce it.

98 On Jun 29, 2010, at 2:14pm, sean mckenzie wrote:

Well Al, you’ve got one more child than me.  And I’m with you:  there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them -climb the highest mountain, cross the widest sea… or cross the desert in Arizona.  Man, people die in that desert just about every week to get here.  As a Christian, if I broke the law for my kids I would pray that other Christians would have compassion for me.  That’s the golden rule.  We should treat folks the way we would want to be treated.

Surely something we can agree on is the Sermon on the Mount.  Among the words that unite Christians everywhere are the following: 
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will show be shown mercy.” 
“Forgive us out trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” 
“Do not judge or you too will be judged.”
“If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
And of course the golden rule.

The Gospel is very demanding, but we believe it and should follow it.  This unites us, it seems to me.

99 On Jun 29, 2010, at 2:23pm, sean mckenzie wrote:

Al, I ran out of room on my last post.

I just don’t think the house analogy is apt.  The United States is an awfully big country, much bigger than a house - we can’t even put someone on every foot of the border!  I’ve worked with lots of undocumented immigrants over the years, and nobody has ever asked me for much, certainly not to stay at my house.  The ones I know have great work ethics and are very independent.

Another teacher I know was so inspired by one young man that she adopted him - and he’s still not legal! He’s studying to be a nurse.  He just wants to help people. That’s why we need comprehensive reform.  Tighten the border, sure, but provide a path to citizenship for people who demonstrate that they will be good, productive, law-abiding citizens, and provide a decent, legal way to come here.  VISAS take 10 years or never!  If you’re desperate, that doesn’t leave you with many options.

100 On Jun 30, 2010, at 6:39am, JayTurner wrote:

Please add my name to the ever-growing list of Southern Baptists who think Dr. Land is wrong.

To The Moderator:

Why are you allowing AL and Sean to express their views to the exclusion of others?

FROM THE MODERATOR: We do our best to upload comments in a timely fashion. Though we do not always upload them in order, as many comments are for other documents. Please be patient.

101 On Jul 1, 2010, at 4:27pm, A. Burson wrote:

The best way to end the controversy in AZ., is to change our immigration policy to exactly what Mexico has and enforce it the same way.

102 On Jul 7, 2010, at 5:42pm, AL wrote:

Now that the Federal Government has filed suit against AZ we know that they have no intention to secure our boarders.  We the People are going to have to do it for ourselves at the voting booth at every level of government.  No amnesty, no free access to cross our boarders - we can still be compassionate and humane while putting our house in order.

103 On Jul 10, 2010, at 9:13pm, Donna Beeman wrote:

I am glad to see how many have written to correct this foolish stance of Dr. Land.  Helping people be lawless is not compassion or the love of Christ.  This is no different that giving an addict whatever drug he is addicted to and calling that compassion.  Has it been so long since Dr. Land has ‘allowed the Word of God to dwell in him richly’ that he can take scripture so out of context and come up this this mess.  How many times did our Lord express his disapproval of lawlessness, remember his words, ‘depart from me you who work lawlessness, I never knew you’.  Dr. Land reminds me of those who wanted the political power of this world and consequently opposed Jesus and eventually had him crucified.

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