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July 14th, 2010
02:11 PM ET

Congress debates biblical stance on immigration

Congress tackled the role of religion and ethics in the politically explosive immigration debate Wednesday as biblical passages and church doctrines were invoked during a heated discussion of various reform proposals.

The argument exposed a sharp philosophical divide on an issue that has taken center stage in the wake of Arizona's passage of a controversial law designed to crack down on illegal immigration.

"We are so far apart philosophically," one Democratic congresswoman said, that it's hard to see how a middle ground can be found.

The debate occurred during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing featuring Richard Land, a leader of the Southern Baptist Convention; Bishop Gerald Kicanas from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Mathew Staver, dean of the Liberty University law school; and James Edwards Jr., a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.

"Immigration is ultimately a humanitarian issue since it impacts the basic rights and dignity of millions of persons and their families," Kicanas said. "As such, it has moral implications, especially how it impacts the basic survival and decency of life experienced by human beings like us. ... Our current immigration system fails to meet the moral test of protecting the basic rights and dignity of the human person."

Kicanas, who is bishop of the Catholic archdiocese in Tucson, Arizona, noted that thousands of men, women and children have died in the desert over the past decade trying to cross from Mexico into the United States.

The current law has to be changed, he said. "Because of a broken system, immigrant families are being separated. Migrant workers are subject to
exploitation by unscrupulous employers, and those attempting to find work by
coming north are being abused and taken advantage of by human smugglers."

Most illegal migrants are coming "not for nefarious purposes," but to reconnect with family members or find work, he asserted. "Church teaching acknowledges and upholds the right of a nation to control its borders. (But) it is our view that the best way to secure our southern border is through (comprehensive) immigration reform."

But Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the Judiciary Committee's top Republican, repeatedly cited passages from the Bible in support of a stronger crackdown on illegal immigration.

"The Bible contains numerous passages that support the rule of law," he asserted. "The scriptures clearly indicate that God charges civil authorities
with preserving order, protecting citizens and punishing wrongdoers."

Smith cited, among other things, Romans 13: "Let every person be subject to governing authorities."

He also noted a passage from Leviticus: "When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong." This, he contended, does not imply that "foreigners should disregard civil laws to enter (the country) or that we should overlook it when they do."

Addressing a passage from Matthew 25 about caring for "the least of these my brothers," Smith contended that it "advocates individual acts of kindness (but) does not mandate a public policy."

"Americans need not repent for wanting to uphold the rule of law and provide jobs for legal workers," he said. "A truly Christian moral approach would be not to acquiesce to illegal immigration, but to work to end it."

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, argued that the government is fundamentally "a reflection of who we are," and that there should therefore be little distinction between individual and governmental roles.

"Focus on (the undocumented) families" at the center of the debate, he said. "Let's focus on the human beings."

Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King, however, complained that for many reform advocates the only "biblically acceptable option ... seems to be open borders."

"I didn't realize that the Bible barred the enforcement of immigration laws and neither did I realize that it erased borders, demanded pathways to citizenship for illegal immigrants, or ... forbid the leaders of a nation from caring most about the well-being of its own citizens."

King noted approvingly that "in the land of the Bible the leaders of today's Israel (have) built border fences to protect their citizens from terrorists or illegal job seekers alike."

There is a "greater and more immediate" moral obligation to take care of
U.S. citizens first, he said.

Land asserted that while "we have a crisis," it is not insurmountable.

"I believe that Congress can and should devise a plan to bring (illegal immigrants) out of the shadows. The more protracted the delay in action the more severe the problem will become." Arizona's law is a "symptom" and a "cry for help ... because the federal government has not done its duty" to control the border.

"Some people would argue that it's immoral to enforce our nation's laws," he argued. "I don't think it's fair and I don't think it's right." But once the border is secured, "I believe we have to have a six- to nine-month grace period for people who are here in an undocumented status to come forward, to register, to agree to pay fines, to pay back taxes, to undergo a background check, to learn to read, write (and) speak English, to pass a test that they've done so, and (to) go to the back of the line so that they are not being rewarded."

Turning to conservative critics of the current reform effort, Land said that he does "not believe that you can strain the English language into saying that is amnesty."

CNN's Alan Silverleib and the CNN Wire Staff contributed to this report

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Politics

soundoff (624 Responses)
  1. Reality

    If one million Mexicans can violate the law, why can't one million Canadians, Germans, Haitians and Cubans do the same thing. Simply open the gates!!!

    July 14, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
    • Kurt

      That is exactly the kind of argument that inflames rather than calms. By the very same logic, one could say: "if you're not enforcing the speed limits 100%, then let everybody go whatever speed they want". I get that it sounds powerful, but it's not very logical in practice.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • Reality

      OK, we won't open the gates but will allow all Canadians, Haitians and Cubans to also break USA immigration laws.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  2. striker

    I 've been following your immigration debate and undertakings for several years now! Don't get me wrong, I'm a Canadian who happens to believe in the rule of law , the laws of the land and all they pertain to. My perspective on the whole immigration issue my not be that different than some right wing politicians, but I am in fact right wing. To me that does not translate into an extreme but rather to a "common sense" in the words of the great thinker and nation builder Thomas Payne. I believe that the left has done a remarkable job in blurring the issue, in discredting the Republic and calling the right an extreme element when in fact it is the other way around. Common sense for the good of the nation should never be trumped by the desires of the individuals and their own self interests. The interests of the Nation are what young men and women in the service fight and ultimately sometimes die for. In my opinion self interests are not what the republic stands for now , in the past or ever.
    I do have however a perspective on immigration that i feel are the root causes of the issue. 1. It is politically motivated . For the most part the democrats see the influx of illegals as potential votes. Most immigrants from South of the border tend to vote overwhelmingly democratic.2. There is considerable evidence to show that the Commerce Department has little support fo an immigration crackdown because they are heavily influenced by Corporate America who would sell out it's citizens in a heartbeat for cheap labor.3. There will never be protection for your borders as long as the powerful and wealthy have lobbying power in Washington. It is they who envision a "super highway" of free trade and commerce with the South America's. Any slowdown of anything crossing the border is not in their interests.
    I am afraid I am witnessing the self implosion of the greatest democracy the world has ever seen. Because of the self interests of some "special interest groups" the many are going to suffer and the rebublic will have a stain that will never be removed. So for me , as a quiet observer from the north i would say to my common sense "tea party" followers keep fighting the good fight and you never know you may just drive some "common sense" a la Thomas Payne into "the left wing loonies" and they might just recognize the self destructive path they are on . If not throw them in to the "ash heap of history" in the mid terms this fall.
    God Speed Friends
    Striker

    July 14, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
    • peace2all

      @striker.......Agreement in most of your statements...

      One point left out.......the 'religious right' is.....also very, very much after the votes of the immigrants.

      You might want to consider dialing down the insults....or not...just a suggestion..

      Peace....

      July 14, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
    • James

      "I'm a Canadian.." right about there's all you needed to say. Next?

      July 14, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  3. Victor Jones

    When I think of Christ's teachings the first Biblical quote that comes to mind is "Let every person be subject to governing authorities." Well said, Rep. Smith!

    July 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
    • Elena

      What the bible says is irrelevant. Leave your theistic or religious beliefs at home, not in my Congress please.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
  4. Dean

    Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!

    Yes, but you won't post it. Guess it doesn't agree with your point of view.

    July 14, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  5. Dean

    Censure

    July 14, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  6. Henry Miller

    "Immigration is ultimately a humanitarian issue..." blah, blah, blah.

    Ridiculous! Immigration is an economic and legal issue and any attempt to inject religion is highly inappropriate.

    The US is under no obligation, legal, ethical, "humanitarian," or of any other kind to let the country be overrun be people escaping from other places.

    July 14, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • Kurt Lynn

      We're certainly under no obligation. That doesn't eliminate a Christian obligation if we are Christians, not human rights obligations. We have, as a country, no hesitation in chastising the chinese, myamars, russians, iranians, and many others if we don't like their posture on democracy, feminist issues, gay issues, immigrant issues, border issues, etc. and yet we react vehemently when Calderon chastises us. Turnabout is fair play.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
    • Ahern

      Henry Miller: the issue of humanity in this is not religious. its based on morality. morality is what makes us good and strong. morality is what this country needs to keep itself from falling apart.

      July 15, 2010 at 4:50 am |
    • DON ELLIOTT

      Isnt that how the white man ended up in America to begin with.

      July 15, 2010 at 6:59 am |
  7. theydidit

    What crap-Humanitarian issue–get real . Illegals make a conscious choice to be illegals. How does that make me responsible for their families? This is a legal issue plain and simple. Come here legally and pitch in like you mean it and I'll love you to death do us part. If your an illegal you don't deserve the rights of others. Don't hide behind the bible--It is also a treatise on obeying the law. God and mans laws. What part of legal do people find so complex. You can make any issue difficult with any number of arguments but it doesn't make it right.

    July 14, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
    • Kurt

      I get confused when people insist this is an issue of legal or illegal - we get it. It's illegal. Most people – me too – want to enforce our existing laws – that's it, that's all. But how we do it very important. Oklahoma for example has an anti-immigrant law that does not threaten the freedoms of hispanic citizens. "Amnesty" has been proposed and many interpret that as meaning illegal immigrants get off scott-free. Of course that's false. They have a lesser consequence. There are times, when amnesty makes sense. AFter the civil war for example, we did not prosecute the thousands of TRAITORS to the country although clearly they broke the law. We showed compassion and by doing so, we healed wounds. Desperate people do desperate things. Of the illegals I think you will find that most fall into two camps: the smaller of the two are criminal – drug runners. No law will stop them. The larger of the two camps are people that just want to work and earn a better living for their family. It's true that they are violating the law – but if we are such a great country there is no reason we cannot show compassion.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • Dave Lawson

      Kurt (sorry, that's the only method of address that you gave me), PLEASE step back and look at your statement just a bit. First, I agree that unnecessarily impacting the rights of Hispanic citizens is wrong. However, if that Hispanic citizen is supporting the illegal immigrant (and quite a few do, in substantial ways), that Hispanic citizen is also breaking the law. The best way to avoid such an inappropriate impact on rights is to support actions against the illegals, sucn as "dropping the dime" on them. You don't violate laws because you do not agree. What would happen if we all drove at the speed that WE think is appropriate? No, it isn't the same at all, but it IS the same principle! Second, ALL illegal immigrants are lawbreakers, b definition! More to the point, if, say, 10% of the illegals transiting into this county are serious drug smugglers, by the U.S. Immigration estimates, that means that 240 to 320 serious drug people enter EACH DAY IN ARIZONA ALONE! Think about that! Citizens at crime scenes have their rights temporarily negatively impacted during the investigation.No one complains because it's to the greater good of society, and the law backs up that position. Why are Hispanic rights different, especially since they can directly contribute to making the impact go away? Thought, please, this isn't rocket science.

      July 15, 2010 at 1:18 am |
  8. Chuck

    Yeah lets bring religion into it and really screw it up for everyone. What a shame this country has sunk to the level it has regarding religious ideaology. It is causeing the biggest division in America in a long long time, and I don't see it getting any better, as the rhetoric from the religious right is turning angrier and manufacturing more hate and eventual violence.

    July 14, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  9. bob bolin

    Maybe if we didnt dredge every policy discussion through some boogie-man-in-the-sky delusion we could make some progress? Less bowed heads and more open eyes, PLEASE!!

    July 14, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
    • Kurt Lynn

      Or, alternatively, more bowed heads. What could it hurt?

      July 14, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  10. DorisV

    Those southern Republicans can sure quote scripture when they want to defend their warped views. What about the various quotes about "love and turning the other cheek"? Seems those are conveniently forgotten. We need to do something positive at the national level. Many "illegals" have been here a long time and are contributing members of the USA society. Would it be good to split up families? Compromise needs to be used. Fairness and good judgment also must be fostered.

    July 14, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
    • Kurt

      You sound reasonable. Perhaps for the others, we should bow our head in prayer and say: Please Lord, protect us from your worshipers. Amen.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
    • Split Decision

      Why so much talk about splitting up families? Neither the United States not its citizens have split up any family constisting of illegal immigrants. It was a choice made by those who broke our laws, left their families and are currently wreaking havoc on our economy by sending U.S. dollars out of our country and taking jobs that Americans would do for a reasonable salary. Let's put the blame where it is due, on the people who are inflicting their own wounds of separation. We should not reward bad decisions.

      July 15, 2010 at 12:00 am |
  11. K-MN

    I'm not in favor of amnesty..but I also don't think it is practical to round up all illegal immigrants and send them back. We don't have the infrastructure to keep up with them as it is.

    – Fine – heavily – employers who hire illegals
    – Fine illegals and make them apply for adjustment of status with an additional fine for illegal entry
    – Refine immigration laws to make them more humane
    – Stop granting babies citizenship if at least one parent is not a citizen.
    – Require proof of citizenship or permanent residence to get a drivers license, do any banking, etc

    July 14, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
    • Merrakesh

      HERE HERE.....
      It should be IMPOSSIBLE for an illegal to work or live in this country!

      July 15, 2010 at 12:03 am |
  12. misha

    at some point of our US history it was LEGAL to enslave people, so the fact that laws backed it up make it right?? NO, it did not!
    So that proves that laws are not perfect – and yes, they have to be sometimes amended – this is one of those times !! Comprehensive immigration reform now. easy enough to comprehend and agree on??!!

    July 14, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
    • TammyB

      Enslaving people IS wrong. However, deporting people back to where they came from because they are here illegally is NOT the same thing, not even close. We need comprehensive immigration reform, true....we also need to enforce those laws as soon as they are made, unlike the last laws we didn't enforce. Passing comprehensive immigration reform is wonderful only if the Federal Government actually does its job this time.

      July 14, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
    • Kurt

      well, good thing we didn't enforce the laws of being a traitor to the U.S. after the civil war. we cut them some slack. We could still be hunting for draft evaders of vietnam, but we cut them some slack. is that so bad?

      July 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  13. Chasemel

    Congress reciting bible verses! How inappropriate!

    July 14, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • artraveler

      Especially the Republicans who refuse to extend the unemployment benefits to their fellow Americans. It must be great to use the Bible when you need a club and forget that whole thing about love. More evil is dome in the name of religion than all of the terrorists organizations the world has ever known (and that was from my world history teacher at a Catholic High School).

      July 14, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  14. Timothy A Montalbo

    Oh that is wonderful. We are now using biblical scripture to ethically justify US Policy. Cough Cough Theocracy Cough Cough

    July 14, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  15. Pasadena47

    Obama forgot to tell you that he is going to hit the RESET BUTTON. He is not going to agree with George Bush again like he has done on everything else. Obama is going to deport all illegals back to their countries of origin, build the fence, and start over.

    July 14, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  16. Robbie

    I thought the powers of church and state in this country were supposed to be seperated. Now they are using the bible to debate political agendas.
    ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL.
    Protect our borders and Citizens!
    Immigrants: Use the front door! No Amnesty for ILLEGALS!

    July 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • rony

      But didn't you forget that illegals are humans?? Or there's no need to care about such things, cause you are in the system and dont have that kind of problems?

      July 14, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
    • Ramon F Herrera

      "ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL"

      Only until they are legalized.

      What part of "illegal" don't I understand?

      There part that says is has to be forever.

      July 14, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
    • Ramon F Herrera

      "No Amnesty for ILLEGALS!"

      Nobody is offering amnesty, and nobody is requesting it.

      Check an English dictionary. Amnesty is a pardon without penalties. Comprehensive Immigration Reform, especially the Path to Citizenship is about the definition and application of penalties.

      July 14, 2010 at 9:17 pm |
    • Unit34AHunt

      Comprehensive immigration reform is merely doublespeak for rewarding criminals for criminal conduct. All illegals must be required to leave the United States and go to the back of the immigration line through a legal process. It can and should be done and it can be done through attrition. It is time for American citizens to stand up for workers' rights for a decent wage, rather than suffer labor dumping on the US market. And it's time for illegals' sympathisers to state whether their first loyalty is to an ethnicity or to the United States of America.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
    • Dave Lawson

      Mr. Herrera, I'm afraid that you are confusing the point. "Illegal" means that it is not in conformance to the law. "Illegal" entry is entry that does not conform to the law. It doesn't matter whether the law is changed later, the fact that the action does not conform to the law is unchanged. So, yes, illegal immigration MUST ALWAYS REMAIN illegal. That is really the point, those individuals knowingly did not conform to the law, and continue to not conform each day that they remain. Your statement is whether they continue to violate the law, and it's really not important, they did not conform in the first place. Yes, citizenship IS an accident of birth. So is inherited wealth, appearance, and countless other things that you might want to change. We CAN'T help everyone, we are not the divine! Are these people more worthy to receive aid than, for example, Haitian's? They're actions do not allow that choice! For comparison to other countries' policies, in particular Mexico's, just why is it that the second major source of illegal U.S. immigration, Haiti, travels to this country through Canada? Could it be policy and practice against illegal immigrants? Is the U.S. to apply different rules because Mexicans are born within reach of the U.S. (another accident of birth)? PLEASE apply some thought and logic, not entirely emotion, to the question!

      July 15, 2010 at 12:47 am |
  17. bestglenn

    Jesus was legally prosecuted and executed under the "Rule of Law"
    Some laws are just plain wrong!

    July 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
    • Dean

      Wrong.......Jesus was not justly prosecuted and executed under rule of law. It was done Obama style, behind closed doors in the middle of the night. Thenin the morning the sentence was announced.
      The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. (Paul) Notice 'people' is restricted to those in Jerusalem who asked for the execution–the 'crowd' again.

      July 14, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • Henry Miller

      It's true that "some laws are just plain wrong," but the existence of bad laws does not imply that any particular law is bad, and laws designed to protect American citizens from illegal interlopers are not only good, but necessary as well.

      July 14, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
    • peace2all

      @bestglenn.........You are mixing your metaphors here.... Jesus 'allegedly' knew what was coming and wanted to 'die for our suppoed sins'.... So, wrong example to start from in the first place....

      Secondly, you are presupposing by your statement...."that some laws are just plain wrong."........The unstated inference is...that you know without a doubt(your way of thinking claims right or wrong). Not sure if you are aware of that...?

      Lastly, back to the issue at hand.......shouldn't we be making laws that defend our borders....?

      July 14, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
    • Reality

      As per many contemporary NT experts, Jesus had no trial. He caused a disturbance in the Temple, was captured by the Roman soldiers and as with all trouble makers summarily executed as agreed upon by the Roman and Jewish authorities prior to the Passover celebration on how to deal with any disturbance by anyone. By the way, most Conservative Jews and their rabbis (~1.5 million total members) believe Passover was a myth.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
    • Kurt

      of course, Pilate was the rule of law. And politics played a role even then. Thus it was ever so.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
    • Jesus

      If you see Jesus tell him I have the 20 bucks I owe him for the lawn cutting.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
    • Mike

      Lol Dean has Obama killing Jesus now. Where does it end? These idiots quoting scripture over this would have the Founders livid. "Christianity is the worst perversion ever shone on the face of man" – Thomas Jefferson (perhaps you've heard of him)

      July 14, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • Mike

      Also couldnt help but notice the Jesus freaks saying multiple ways Jesus trial (or lack thereof, depending on which of these guys you listen to) went down. 2,000 years and you people still cant agree on how one of the most important parts of the story went down. Very telling.

      July 14, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
    • Jythie

      This is why I found the entire piece and the arguments in it confusing.

      You have one side saying 'The bible says we should obey the laws!', and the other side is saying 'the bible says we should change the laws!'.. which seems to be a bit of cross talk, esp since setting the laws is kinda these people's job.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
    • skeptic56

      Calling in the religious folk to testify at a hearing on moral issues? Why not bring in the janitor or the night watchman? I'd say they were just as qualified. Faith in the unprovable and unevidenced should not reserve one a seat at the table.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
    • JimK

      Dean: "Obama style"? Give me a break. Do you remember the Bush admin and its secret decisions in the middle of the night? Or better still, virtually every president in the modern era? This kind of stupidity is so very tedious.

      July 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  18. Ryan

    I'm a Christian, but this is absurd. Politicians using out of context verses to support political arguments?! Come on! Can you make an argument without quoting scripture? Better yet, make an effort to understand scripture as a whole, instead of just picking and choosing verses that support your argument.

    The Bible is not to be used for talking points! Show some reverence if you actually believe what it says.

    As far as immigration is concerned, I just hope we come up with a way to enforce our own laws. I'm all for people coming to America, I just want people using the front door. How about creating a pathway to citizenship for those that are here while securing the border/ending new illegal immigration?

    Immigrants would need to pay a fine, learn English, and register with the government/agree to pay back taxes, but at least it's a start. This way there is an opportunity for immigrants who want to come here, but we would have clear rules in place as well as a clear path.

    July 14, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Ryan.....Very well stated........I thank you for reinforcing my initial post up top...

      Peace....

      July 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • Bobby Nakka

      The only problem with letting people already here for pathway of legalization would garner more interest for more illegal immigrants to jump the border in hopes that 10 years down the line they would be rewarded with legalization.

      Here is another solution. Let the people here illegally gain legal pathway to citizenship but they have to pay for their own immigration department, to keep it seperate from the legal immigrants. All offices working on their cases should have an automatic 10 year wait (it is approximately takes that long for legal immigrants to become citizens). They should pay an additional tax on their incomes for processing of their status.

      Don't get me wrong but I have lived in multiple neighborhoods over the course of my lifetime. You can call me racist (I am of Indian descent by the way) but I have noticed in my new neighborhood I see trash laying on the streets and there are 100's of illegal immigrants in my apartment complex. I wonder if it is a coincidence.

      July 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
    • Darrin

      As an ESL teacher, I know that learning English is crucial. But it's harder than you might think. People are talking is as if learning English only takes a few weeks. Learning another language to fluency for most people takes YEARS. And most of the immigrants that come are working at least one full time job which makes that an even longer process.

      July 14, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
    • Carolyn

      Well put my friend.
      It does seem ridiculous that it has come to this... and everyone that is living in the United States that is NOT Native American is from a family that at some point immigrated to this country. Amazing how quickly we forget!!

      July 14, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
    • Drinker

      What about those of us who are trying to immigrate legally? I am from Canada, my husband and I have lived in the US for 11 years and have been unable to find an employer willing to sponsor for a green card. Can we just pay for ours too? Nope, that's what we get for paying taxes and following the law!

      July 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm |
    • NMEast

      Whatever happened to the separation of church and state?! I don't want you comparing our country's laws to what is found in a book written by old men. Debate the laws on their own merits. I don't care what some supposed prophet said 2000 years ago. Especially because there is no irrefutable evidence that he even existed. The world has seen more suffering based on religion than it deserves over the course of hundreds of years. Our country was built on the idea that the church had one place and our government had another. You can believe whatever you want, but don't take it into a discussion on what is good for our laws and our country, as your religion does not apply to me, but the laws of the government do.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
    • DoubleD

      I know people that have been waiting 10 years plus waiting for our system to work. These famlies can't wait 10 years to become citizens. In 10 years their kids are adults having kids of their own. It should only take 2 to 3 years to become a U.S. citizen.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
    • Linda

      Our entire political system was based upon philosophical thought, which was co-mingled with the Christian reliigious beliefs of all the founders.

      I am proud that our senators today still follow in the footsteps of our founders by logically debating Christian thought, moral thought, etc. surrounding immigration. Even those of you who are athiests are basing your opinions on various combined and usually conflicting philosophical thoughts.

      Christian thought FOUNDED THIS COUNTRY and is justly debated by our leaders as it relates to our public policy. Afterall, the vast majority of our current leaders claim some religious beliefs, mostly Christian. Why not just get it out in the open.

      Don't forget that many of the most celebrated and revered THINKERS and PHILOSOPHERS in human history were devout Christians. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King Jr., Pope John Paul II, and Jesus Christ are among them.

      Don't dismiss and demean public leaders who intelligently debate Christian thought because this just shows your own lack of education.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
    • John

      Ryan,
      You asked about the difference between our history and now...the major difference is altruism. When our borders were wide open, those that are working were not expected to support those that aren't. Entitlements are destroying our ability to allow new immigration because there are so many people expecting free services that they think that they are "owed". In our history, people came here to move...not to get money and send it out of the country. They came here for the "chance" to succeed...not for the guarantee. They came here to become a part of our society...not just visitors. People who become citizens swear their loyalty to THIS country...not the one they came from. With illegals, there is no such expectation and their loyalties often lie elsewhere.
      If you want to open up the borders to immigrants again, fine...get rid of ALL of the entitlements. You receive the services that you pay for and no one is expected to pay for someone else. The govt would be reduced back to what it was created for...not taking from those with money and giving it to others...but taxing all to SECURE OUR BORDERS. Article 4 section 4 of the Constitution says: "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence." Right now we have ARMED INVADERS crossing our border into Arizona, New Mexico, California and Texas...where is the Constitutionally Guaranteed protection that the Federal Government is supposed to provide? We have police officers in these states that are under threat of death for upholding the law...where are our soldiers who are supposed to protect them? One more thing...Article 1 Section 10 of the Constitution reads: "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay." Armed invaders crossing our borders IS AN INVASION...and every state has the AUTHORITY under the Constitution to take up arms, under such circumstances, to defend their sovereignty. The Federal government has shirked their responsibility to protect our border...thus leaving that responsibility to the States.

      July 15, 2010 at 12:01 am |
    • Justin

      Linda: Name anywhere in our founding documents that expressly and unarguably establishes the United States as a Christian nation. Once you've realized there aren't any, then read the Treaty of Tripoli which expressly states that the United States is not a Christian nation. Then please remind me again why Christian literature should have any impact on United States public policy.

      I don't mean to sound rude nor to demean your faith, but nobody's religion has any place in our immigration laws. Everyone can work their hardest towards doing good things for many people. You don't need religion to do that.

      July 15, 2010 at 3:07 am |
    • Al

      Linda, Jesus was not a devout Christian. He was a devout Jew. Christianity didn't come about until the council of Nicea in 325 AD. Prior to that, it was a cult. If JESUS was such a great THINKER/PHILOSOPHER, then why is it that he never wrote anything? Because he couldn't write. Why didn't his disciples write anything? Because they were illiterate as well. There is not one person that lived during Jesus' time that wrote anything that Jesus said. The New Testament was written long after Jesus was dead. It's anybody's guess what he really said.

      Every Christian Conservative believes that the founding fathers developed this country's government with Christian beliefs, thoughts, and ideas. I like to believe they were more intelligent than that. Just look at European history and you will see the negative effects that Christianity had on society. Who knows how many people have been murdered in the name of Christianity. Some of those nut jobs came over in the late 1600's and started murdering "witches". We have had a seperation of church and state for over two hundred years and it needs to stay that way to protect us from ourselves.

      July 15, 2010 at 3:42 am |
    • chris

      how about getting americans to pay their back taxes , the rule of law is broken , innocent Americans go to jail everyday where is their rule of law . government makes laws they break themselves , the rule of law only is good for rich an powerful not the weak an helpless, example , my landlord i helped fix his heating system , cleaned the hallways , raked his lawn an cleaned up the place , but because im not a military punk just in it for the school money he took his side when he tried bullying me . he used the rule of law on me , what ever happened to honor among men , actions speak loader then words , an the government has shown how incompetent they really are.

      July 15, 2010 at 7:50 am |
    • wjenny

      Learn English first? It would be nice if our citizens who graduate from our own schools could read and write English proficiently. Most of them would probably flunk a citizenship test as well.

      July 15, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  19. Keith

    "he does 'not believe that you can strain the English language into saying that is amnesty."

    Oh, you vastly underestimate the ability of the conservative lobby to twist words and facts. Remember how guaranteeing seniors that they could discuss end of life care with their doctors without having to pay for it became "death panels?"

    July 14, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • Rocco

      No matter what is required of them – if they are not required to eventually leave the US and then enter the immigration system at the end of the line, that is equivalent to amnesty, because by allowing them to stay here is rewarding them for breaking the law to begin with, because no other immigrant between the front of the line to the person at the back of the line is allowed to just come here and live while their immigration application is being processed (student and work visas aside). Anything that does not require them to leave is rewarding them for coming here illegally and is tantamount to amnesty.

      July 14, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
    • verify

      Hey Tamale, Anyone who is a LEGAL CITIZEN doesn't have to go back to anywhere.

      July 15, 2010 at 12:30 am |
    • Jennifer

      If legal US status were as simple as paying a fine and passing and English test, there would be literally a billion or more people who've never violated US law who are eligible for it. If "going to the back of the line" really means that, then illegals will have no chance at legal status during their lifetimes, which is fine. Anything short of that is amnesty. There's no need to twist anything.

      July 15, 2010 at 12:34 am |
  20. peace2all

    Trying to decide political laws and policy....even if some are to consider this in a moral context......to be citing and spouting bible versus at each other to make decisions is scary on a variety of levels..

    1)We need to secure our borders, and stop the ILLEGAL crossing of our borders.

    2)Reinforcing the path to LEGAL U.S. citizenship.....another priority...

    While this can be seen in the context of 'human rights' issue........Does that mean we should just allow anyone to stream across our borders unchecked.....?

    Is there anyone out there that thinks we should just do nothing...and by doing nothing to stem the tide of the thousands of illegals streaming across our borders will not have any effect on the U.S in a very negative way, as it already has...?

    Please....Law makers......do something about it.....

    July 14, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • Unit34AHunt

      We don't need to make it easier for immigrants to become citizens. We need to instead remove many of the immigrants already here so that low-skill wages will increase, and direct immigrants into the agricultural sector, rather than into construction, light industry, and meat processing.

      July 14, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
    • David K.

      @ peace2all

      Yes, I do think we should do almost nothing. America has ALWAYS been the land of Immigrants. Back when the ancestors of most americans, were first entering this nation back during the late 1800s, there was a poem written about the Statue of Liberty, which became very famous, the more famous part of the poem goes like this:

      "Give me your tired, your poor,
      Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
      The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
      Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
      I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

      Millions of immigrants came to america with virtually nothing, no money, most with no skills and just the scraps of cloth that they happened to be wearing at the time. There was no major record keeping, no one knew if any of these people were criminals, which some of course were. Almost none of them spoke english, and the ones who passed through places like ellis island, would have there names written down, checked for the plague, and then let go into the city. The idea of an illegal immigrant didn't exist.

      I think we owe it to all of our ancestors to due away with this crappy immigration system that only allows a few thousand to become citizens per year, even though FAR more are willing to become citizens and pay taxes and everything like everyone else, but aren't allowed too. America is the land of opportunity, the place where any one, even peasants, can go and get a job, eat regular meals, and even own land. The American Dream, if anyone forgot about that, is essentially the poor being given the opportunity to become rich. The concept of merely the chance of becoming rich without being a noble, or royalty, was invented in America. Why should we change that, by not allowing people the same chance that all of our ancestors worked SO very hard to achieve, from fighting in wars to defend that chance, to settling unknown and very hostile land and just surviving the horrible conditions of the trip to get here in pursuit of that chance.

      – an American.

      July 14, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
    • Linda

      Our entire political system was based upon philosophical thought, which was co-mingled with the Christian reliigious beliefs of all the founders.

      I am proud that our senators today still follow in the footsteps of our founders by logically debating Christian thought, moral thought, etc. surrounding immigration. Even those of you who are athiests are basing your opinions on various combined and usually conflicting philosophical thoughts.

      Christian thought FOUNDED THIS COUNTRY and is justly debated by our leaders as it relates to our public policy. Afterall, the vast majority of our current leaders claim some religious beliefs, mostly Christian. Why not just get it out in the open.

      Don't forget that many of the most celebrated and revered THINKERS and PHILOSOPHERS in human history were devout Christians. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King Jr., Pope John Paul II, and Jesus Christ are among them.

      Don't dismiss and demean public leaders who intelligently debate Christian thought because this just shows your own lack of education.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
    • usafsam

      Here is the passage I stand by- John 10:1 Truly, truly, I say to you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

      We are a nation of laws... the system is not broke, there are just too many people ignoring it and the Laws that govern it. Time for a modern Foreigner Repatriation Operation. Make a declaration: ALL illegals regardless of where you are from have 60 days to pack up and leave. During that time EVERY employer will utilize E-Verify & SAVE to verify every employee and prospectove hire. EVERY welfare office will do the same for EVERY recipient. EVERY Public School will do so for EVERY student enrolled.... When WE THE PEOPLE demand the law be enforced the illegals will be forced to leave.

      On DAY 61 open the web page & phone lines for the New Illegal Alien Crime Stoppers agency where citizens can turn in neighbors and coworkers they know to be here illegally. The caller's reward (when it leads to and arrest) will be paid by the illegal person's employer that illegal's monthly salary. If the illegal is not working & collecting welfare (due to ID theft & Fruad) the caller gets that family's benefit for that month.

      BY Day 61 pass a federal statute specifying that the 14th Amendment does NOT allow for babies born to foreigners not legally in the country to be citizens. Then granfather it to revoke citizenship for all those (anchor babies) who obtained it via that fruad. If you read the actual language of Amendment 14,
      Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, AND subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

      ENFORCE EXISTING LAW = PROBLEM SOLVED no reform needed!!!

      July 14, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
    • Mary

      geez I wonder what the Native Americans are thinking of all this......maybe we should go back to when our government marched the Native Americans off of their land and took it for ours.....so that is what we Americans really are afraid of........that someone or some group is going to do the same that we did to the Native Americans......

      July 15, 2010 at 12:22 am |
    • Barry

      Linda How many times does the truth have to smack you in the face ?? This country was NOT founded on CHRISTIAN THOUGHT OR BELIEFS. The Founding fathers had no use whatsoever for Christianity or any other Religion. Most of them Detested Christianity openly. The country was primarialy founded on the Idea that there should be representative taxation. That there should not be a Federal State backed Religion was addressed by Thomas Jefferson, in his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association when they want to establish a State Religion, that there shouild be a seperation of church and state. That meant that NOT only should the State not be in the business of religion but religion should also not be in the business of the State. That system was why the prilgrams had left England because the State demanded that all belong to the State Church, The Church of England, that was set up by Henry the 8th. It never ceases to amaze me or many others with educations how the Christian Right absolutely refuses to face Historical Facts.

      July 15, 2010 at 12:23 am |
    • GW

      David K., over 1 million immigrants became US citizens in 2008, far more than the "few thousand" you claim. Also, at Ellis Island, inspectors seperated those who "would be liable to become a public charge" so as not to burden our social welfare programs in place at the time. This became a cornerstone of US immigration policy as early as 1882.

      July 15, 2010 at 1:12 am |
    • Derek

      Barry,

      Thank you for being one of the few intellectuals who read history books instead of listening to right wing propaganda for the philosophy behind how our nation was conceived and created.

      Sincerely, thank you.

      On the immigration note, I believe people aren't quite realizing what is going on in Mexico. There are thousands of murders a year. These murders aren't solely warring drug cartels or cartels versus government agents, these are terrorist tactics to keep the general public of Mexico afraid to enforce their own laws. Mexico has become a third world country. By just removing the Hispanic population from Arizona and condemning them back to Mexico, we are sending them into what is nearly a war zone.

      As a nation our primary focus has been on the Middle East as well as North Korea while we have neglected to pay attention to the fact that one of our nearest neighbors is fraught with an escalating drug war, an economy so bad the U.S.'s Great Depression would be an upgrade and a government that's too poor and too corrupt to take control back from the dangerous cartels. Just blindly sending everyone back is downright cruel.

      We complain about illegal immigrants coming in and taking our apparently high valued agriculture jobs where their pay is minimal and that's assuming they aren't just used and discarded by their employers without pay. No American citizen would put up with the abuse we put the illegal immigrants through for jobs no one wants. If someone wanted to take their job there is a movement by an illegal immigrant activist group that is along the lines of "You want our jobs? Take them." Even in a time of a recession that program isn't bursting with volunteers.

      If you want to protect American jobs for American citizens, look at work visas. That program willingly gives good jobs to foreign visitors whether they plan on immigrating or not... and it's legal.

      If you want to stop illegal immigration, help Mexico become someplace worth being. Instead of focusing our attention on the eternal war in the Middle East. Save our borders by making Mexico someplace Mexicans could want to be.

      July 15, 2010 at 1:21 am |
    • yboybillybob

      Has any one prayed to GOD to forgive our ancestors for taking this land at full force from the Natives and declaring it ours. Remember my fellow men, what goes around comes around. The bible states great nations will rise and great nations will fall. We easily condemm others without first condemiing those of ours that did the samething. Before we condemm and judge others we must first justify our being here in this great land.

      July 15, 2010 at 1:27 am |
    • Al

      Linda: Don't forget that many of the most celebrated and revered THINKERS and PHILOSOPHERS in human history were devout Christians. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King Jr., Pope John Paul II, and Jesus Christ are among them.

      Linda, Jesus was not a devout Christian, he was a devout Jew. Christianity didn't come about until 325 AD at the council of Nicea. Prior to that it was only a cult. If Jesus was such a great thinker/philosopher then why is it that he never wrote anything? Because he couldn't write. Why is it that his followers never wrote Don't forget that many of the most celebrated and revered THINKERS and PHILOSOPHERS in human history were devout Christians. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King Jr., Pope John Paul II, and Jesus Christ are among them.down what Jesus said? Because they were illiterate as well. No one during Jesus' time wrote down anything that Jesus said. The New Testament was written long after he was dead.

      July 15, 2010 at 1:34 am |
    • Garett

      First...This country was started to escape religious persecution. Religion has no place in government. Move to Pakistan or Iran if you want it that badly.
      Second... Check you facts. the main men who penned the constitution were not christian but in fact were what you would call atheists. You see, the majority of us highly intelligent people are.
      Third... The basic need for religion is facilitated by the general populations inability to think for itself. IE: Adam and Eve... the punishment of free will.
      Fourth...Tax churches. Why not right? They do no real community service in most areas.
      Fifth.... The bible is like Sears. It has gone by many different names before it was called the bible. The story is always the same. The weak willed and uninformed always believe.
      Sixth... Any political OfficeMax whom leans on the bible or any faith for that matter should be removed of their post immediately. You see they are violating the constitution at it's core.
      Seventh... While the rest of the developed world continues to mature and advance... We appear to be regressing at an alarming rate.
      This is no longer a tongue in cheek matter. The brilliant minds of the world need no longer hold their tongues. Sometimes the sheep need to see the wolf because the smell isn't enough to get the point across.

      July 15, 2010 at 1:45 am |
    • Lawrence

      Derek: thanks for knowing the difference between "there" and "their." I bet you also know "they're."
      Refreshing to see. Thanks. As for congress debating public policy by slinging bible verses at one another,
      it's just the slippery slope that the Theocratic Christian Dominionist movement and American History
      Revisionists who are dumbing down this country (read: Intelligent Design Creationism) wants this country
      to be sliding down. Before you can control the masses, you must first foment chaos. Beware of Texas GOP! Any time you see a Texas Republican speaking, think Christian Dominionist and History Revisionist! Read Texas GOP party platform 2010 to understand exactly where they are coming from.

      July 15, 2010 at 2:27 am |
    • TeaClown

      The Tea Partiers are Christians who love Jesus (Geezuzz)...but they hate the poor, needy 14 year old boy crossing the border named Jesus (Hayzooss). So much for being Good Samaritans.

      July 15, 2010 at 3:57 am |
    • DON ELLIOTT

      The only true and real Americans (the American indians) were totally helpless against the white man who decieved them into believing they came in peace, but who were rather intent on stealing thier country, while murdering and raping thier women. Could be that what goes around comes around.

      July 15, 2010 at 6:54 am |
    • Obey

      Congressmen stated "Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, argued that the government is fundamentally "a reflection of who we are," and that there should therefore be little distinction between individual and governmental roles.

      "Focus on (the undocumented) families" at the center of the debate, he said. "Let's focus on the human beings."

      I would say to him, What about the American, they are human beings too. Why not focus on American families who also are struggle to survive? Why don't you have more compassion on American people that live here and not from somewhere where you don't even know who they are. The border must be protect from illegal invasion and terrorists and should never ever be compromise on their behalf...We make the law not the terrorist or the illegal immigrants...this is my final message to Congressman Gutierrez....

      July 15, 2010 at 7:20 am |
    • chris

      first off cherry picking the bible to suit your own needs is a sin in my eyes , the bible is a tool to teach from past mistakes,or good . we want to take an take from others but never want to give back, imo if you fight against humans rights you violate them , boarders are a sign of selfishness an greed , these people need food water an a safe place. an lets see how safe is mexico. drug policies hurt mexicans an americans , bible thumpers need to stop making rules that benefit them an start working to benefit all. understand the problem before you start running off to make laws that only benefit the rich an selfish.

      July 15, 2010 at 7:43 am |
    • UH60L

      The treaty of Tripoly. That is all that needs to be said here.

      That, and "enforce our laws".

      July 15, 2010 at 9:05 am |
    • SomeThought

      It would be easier from a morality standpoint to support the immigration law proponents if their idea of “fixing” the lack of immigration law did not involve a Trail of Tears reenactment of 8-10 million people to the Mexican boarder. It is fine to say “the law is the law” but do the supporters honestly think it is morally right to press these people out of the country? The $600 billion cost to remove them all aside, we are talking about enforcing our laws with no consideration for compassion for our fellow man.

      I am not surprised the church is on the side of immigrants on this. It is the compassionate choice and immigrants are by far more religious than Americans. Will the church have any influence on their right leaning allies? Doubt it but it is interesting to see the discussion.

      July 15, 2010 at 9:18 am |
    • Abner Gamboa

      Unit34AHunt
      Maybe we should send you to the agricultural fields!!!!

      July 15, 2010 at 9:25 am |
    • Mr love

      @usafsam Your plan is a stroke of genius. I would still like to confiscate money and property of those here illegally. This would help cut any cost of the exodus and maybe recoup a portion of what was swindled from us through social services. Now to find an administration who isn't afraid of a commonsense idea.

      July 15, 2010 at 9:39 am |
    • MaryM

      Unit,

      So what you're saying is we are going to restrict what industries immigrants work in? Hitler felt the same way..

      July 15, 2010 at 9:51 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      'Don't forget that many of the most celebrated and revered THINKERS and PHILOSOPHERS in human history were devout Christians'
      Lets not also forget those great christian philosophers.....Socrates, Plato and Aristotle... 😛

      July 15, 2010 at 9:52 am |
    • Ron Benson

      Republicans can say whatever they want. All they care acout is getting their money. At any cost!

      July 15, 2010 at 9:54 am |
    • kevin

      Leave the Bible out of politics. if this is a moral issue the Bible is in NO WAY a good reference to go by.

      @Linda, this country was in no way founded or co-mingled with the christian doctirenes, if you can provide a single example i will submit.

      July 15, 2010 at 10:11 am |
    • Mike in NYC

      Ron Benson
      Republicans can say whatever they want. All they care acout is getting their money. At any cost!
      July 15, 2010 at 9:54 am
      ___________________________________________

      No Ron, you've got it wrong. All we Republicans want is to be able to KEEP the money we've worked so hard for. All Democrats are interested in doing is TAXING it so that they can perpetuate the socialist welfare state that they use to keep themselves in power.

      July 15, 2010 at 10:26 am |
    • LRussell

      I want to know what any of you did to become citizens. I was simply born here and my parents were born here. We did not have thousands of dollars of legal fees or a long immigration process. Why should things be easier for us who were here before the racist immigration policies of the 1900's were passed. I do not like the double standard we place on people because of where they were born. We have plenty of natural born terrorists, tax evaders, and public assistance abusers. I would venture to guess that our prisons are full of criminals born right here. Grant amnesty and start taxing those that are here. I also think children should be granted a path to immigration. Many children come with there families when they are only a few years old. They live most of their lives here speak fluent english and and graduate our high schools. They have no path to legal immigration while here so even if they attend college with out scholarships they can not seek gainful employment after graduation. The current immigration policy creates a second class person.

      July 15, 2010 at 10:27 am |
    • Adoration

      Separation of Church and State anyone? Anyone?

      July 15, 2010 at 10:27 am |
    • JJ

      DavidK,
      Ok, like most Americans, you seem to be unaware, or have forgotten that the Statue of Liberty had nothing to to with immigration. It was given to us by France, in honour of our ending of slavery (thus "liberty"). The poem was sttached much later, and only because of the proximity of Ellis Island.

      July 15, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • sarah

      Yea... those evil Canadians are always going where they aren't welcome. Does anyone else think it our problem with immigration would be solved if the problems in Mexico were solved? What are we doing about the drug cartels? Why did we invade Iraq on the claim of national security and blatantly ignore the threat right next door?

      July 15, 2010 at 10:46 am |
    • Jamie

      This is in response to those who believe our country was not based on christian principles.
      Those who say that our country was not founded on Christian principles are probably more closed minded than they believe. If one would look for themselves at the inaugural letters of some of our founding fathers and the journals of those at the first continental congress, one would see that Christian principles are very important. We don’t hear about these religious statements and letters because they are purposefully not put in our textbooks. We do read in our textbooks lots about Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, the two most liberal men in the group. Coincidence? I think not.
      George Washington said in his farewell address “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports”
      John Jay wrote in a letter to John Murray that "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
      At the first continental congress in 1774, Rev. Duche’ was asked to lead the meeting in prayer:
      Duche' read Psalm 35 he then read a prayer:
      "Be Thou present, O God of Wisdom, and direct the counsel of this Honorable Assembly; enable them to settle all things on the best and surest foundation; that the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that Order, Harmony, and Peace may be effectually restored, and that Truth and Justice, Religion and Piety, prevail and flourish among the people."
      Duche' went on to ask God to preserve the delegates' health and vigor of mind, and to grant them "temporal Blessings" and "everlasting Glory in the world to come."
      Rev. Duche' closed his prayer this way: "All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Saviour, Amen."

      July 15, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • Checman

      The Bible comprises wisdom that has served many nations for centuries and I believe it's time we give it the consideration our delima with our southern border. Very glad to hear our nations leaders looking to values and beliefs upon which our forefathers relied to form our nation's government.

      July 15, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • Sparky 49

      The use of religion to defy federal law and the protection and safety of American citizens is tnothing less than true and complete sin and the sign of heretic ideals and phoney faith. Most i"faith based" mmigaration proponents support the breaking of law on the grounds of "human rights" and yet refuse to look at the country of origin of the offending illegal immigrant as THE source of human rights violations in the first place. What do they say in response to the rights of the rancher killed in Arizona by drug carrying illegals? He had rights too. His killers have never, and will most likely will not, ever be caught. Immigration reform must include worker registration processes and cards, denial of anchor babies born on Americna soil by illegal immigrants, and payment of fines for illegal entry. Arizona's law is lawful and right, and the denial or abuse of law is not in accordance with true faith and belief. The religious advocates who favor breaking laws on the grounds of undefined "human rights" issues are neither religious-nor right. they are dangerous and ill informed. Illegal aliens will not be accomodated in the United States by the true and faithful American citizen and as long as true and legal citizens draw a breath, illegal immigrants will not be assimilated, accomodated or treated with anything but the disrespect and disenagement (passive and active) that accompanies the status of a law breaker. You can't make this "right' by tinkering with phoney covenants and laws that result in allowing illegals to become "legal" by virtue of a "humanatarianism". Their lives, and those of thier children, will be forever affected and altered by the status they will forever hold as illegal aliens and lawbreaker.s Americans are not going to role over on this. We are not stupid and we are not giving up on protecting ourselves and the country we have found to protect in countless wars and conflicts both internal and external. THIS we will defend!

      July 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
    • Luke

      I resent my tax dollars, which fund congressional resources, are being used to debate biblical stance on this issue – I would not feel so bad if our tax-funded congressmen and women were discussing Harry Potter's take on this matter and whether Lord Valdemort's magic want is more powerful than Harry's in providing a solution – come on people, let's knock it of with the wishful thinking, get off our band wagons and do something which improves the quality of life for human beings, or is it too much to ask for?

      July 15, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.