Evangelical Christians prepare for ‘largest ever grassroots push on immigration’
January 12th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

Evangelical Christians prepare for ‘largest ever grassroots push on immigration’

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

Washington (CNN) – When the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez talks about immigration, it is as someone who has witnessed the way a religious community is affected when a family is torn apart by deportation.

“It is personal for me,” Rodriguez said, describing deported friends and congregants as "lovely people. These are wonderful, God-fearing, family-loving people.”

Rodriguez, the head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, has a naturally boisterous voice that booms with authority. When he speaks about immigration, passion oozes out of every syllable. But his voice softens as he speaks of those close to him who have been deported: an associate pastor's wife, a friend from Sacramento, California, a well-known congregant - the list seems committed to memory.

Even as he relives the heartache, the pastor seems hopeful, if not optimistic.

Rodriguez, along with a number of other high-profile evangelical leaders, many of whom who have worked on immigration reform for decades, are betting that 2013 represents the best opportunity they've ever had to get meaningful reforms passed. Proof of their confidence: A coalition of evangelical groups is launching what many are calling the “largest ever grass-roots push on immigration.”

“We have a moral imperative to act,” Rodriguez exclaims. “This is the year. This is the evangelical hour to lead in a justice issue.”

In the mind of many evangelical leaders, the reverend is right.

Betting on 2013

The coalition is called the Evangelical Immigration Table and it is brought together a diverse mix of evangelical groups, including the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the National Association of Evangelicals, Sojourners and Focus on the Family.

Though the groups began holding broader discussion two years ago, Monday will serve as the campaign's first concerted push on immigration, with the goal of getting meaningful immigration reform through Congress in 2013.

“I think we have a window of opportunity in these first months of 2013,” Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told CNN. “I think there is a real, new conversation on immigration reform.”

That window, Land acknowledges, is small and could close at any point. Congress has a number of issues to deal with in the coming year; Republican members of Congress hope to focus on government spending and the debt, while the White House is likely to push for gun control early in the president’s second term.

Land, however, says that isn’t an excuse.

“I am hopeful that Congress can walk and chew gum and the same time,” Land said. “I am hopeful they can deal with more than one issue at the same time.”

The group has already released an open letter to Congress and the White House. In it, they the group presses Congress to respect “the God-given dignity of every person” and establish a “path toward legal status and/or citizenship for those who qualify and wish to become permanent residents.”

“As evangelical leaders, we live every day with the reality that our immigration system doesn’t reflect our commitment to the values of human dignity, family unity and respect for the rule of law that define us as Americans,” the letter states. “Initiatives by both parties to advance commonsense fixes to our immigration policies have stalled in years past.”

Since the group's launch last June, organizers have been fundraising and placing people in three states,  Colorado, Florida and Texas, to lay the groundwork with local evangelical leaders and politicians. By making these early investments, coalition leaders hope there will be a highly reactive group of evangelicals ready to push for immigration reform.

In addition to local networking, these evangelical leaders have begun lobbying leaders in both the U.S. House and Senate and plan to do more “grass-roots lobbying,” including bringing people to Capitol Hill in the future.

According to Jim Wallis, CEO of Sojourners and a leader in the coalition, the group has met with “top-level White House officials” as well as Democratic and Republican leaders "from Chuck Schumer to Lindsey Graham."

“Immigration reform, fixing this broken system, has a chance of being the first thing, maybe the one thing, that I think could really be accomplished in a bipartisan way,” Wallis said. “Courageous, bold, bipartisan decisions that do the right thing are not real common (in Washington), but I think this is really possible now.”

Making the focus biblical

For Richard Land and other coalition leaders, this is not just a moral issue, it is also biblical.

“For those of us who are people of faith, these are issues that our faith informs,” Land said. “For us, this is an issue that is rending the social fabric of the nation and causing a great deal of human suffering. As people of faith, we need to address it.”

The campaign will release a video on Monday that features more than a dozen evangelical leaders reading the text of Matthew 25:31-46.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him…” reads Max Lucado, a well-known evangelical pastor and author.

“He will sit on his glorious throne, all the nations gathered before him…” continues John Perkins, an evangelical author and speaker.

The video continues this way for more than two minutes, evangelical leader after evangelical leader reading a biblical text that stresses the importance of helping “a stranger.”

“'For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me,'” Jesus says, describing the Final Judgment. “'Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'”

In addition to the video's release, the coalition organizers have asked local leaders to encourage their congregations to take the “I Was a Stranger Challenge.” Those who take the challenge will receive daily verses of scripture that might apply to the immigration issue – with the hope that they will use them in prayer – and a “Toolkit” to help spread the word on the need for immigration reform.

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them,” reads the first text, citing Genesis 1:27.

“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands,” reads the last text, citing Revelation 7:9.

Pastors are also being urged to use their sermons to speak about the need to help "strangers" and relate immigration reform to Christian values.

In total, the organizers believe the campaign will reach more than 100,000 churches.

“Evangelicals have been converted by the Bible and by Jesus on the issue of welcoming strangers,” Wallis said. “It is very clear if you go around the country, this is a conversion here. It is a biblical conversion. What Jesus says is the way you treat the stranger is the way you treat me.”

‘The right thing for the wrong reasons’

Coalition leaders also see the 2012 election results, particularly the fact that Republican nominee Mitt Romney struggled mightily among Hispanic voters, as a powerful tool they can use against reluctant politicians. Land, who has long counseled Republican presidents on religious issues, says he plans to use the 2012 election to his favor when talking to legislators.

“We plan to point out that if the GOP ... wants to be a viable national party in the future, then it is going to have to get more Hispanic votes then it did in the last election,” Land said. When asked if he is comfortable with getting immigration reform passed by using political and election bargaining, Land laughed.

“Maybe [the Republican Party] should do the right thing for the wrong reasons,” he said.

But Republicans are not the only group faced with changing demographics. Evangelical Christians, too, are seeing the makeup of their churches change drastically.

Nearly one-fifth (19%) of Hispanics in the United States identify as Protestant, a Pew Research study found in 2012. On top of that, Hispanics are nearly twice as likely to say they are “born again” or evangelical as opposed to mainline Protestant.

Though Hispanics are still more likely to identify as Catholic – 62% do so, according to Pew – evangelical leaders say they see signs that the number of Hispanics in their churches will only grow in the future.

“The growth in most of our churches is because of immigration. That is the future of our churches,” Wallis said matter-of-factly.

That change is evidenced in the ethnic makeup of the coalition’s leadership. Luis Cortés, president of the evangelical group Esperanza, Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, and Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, all signed on to the group early. Additionally, many of the local pastors are from primarily Hispanic churches.

Wallis concludes: “This is our growth, these are out brothers and sisters. We are a diverse body of Christ, we are a very diverse community. This is our family and this is our future.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Immigration • Latino issues • Protestant • Race

soundoff (1,205 Responses)
  1. Seyedibar

    There's no good reason los Estados Unidos couldn't become part of our United States. We could plunder it's resources for decades and keep tropical tourism dollars from ever leaving the country.

    January 13, 2013 at 6:30 am |
    • sqeptiq

      Los Estados Unidos IS the United States.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Mexico also refers to themselves as Los Estados Unidos de Mexico.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  2. Science

    Origin of Life

    Origin of Life MEANS seperation of church and state
    Means no need for religion to control our lives. or POLITICS !!!

    Theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg suggests that in fact this is not much of a God at all. Weinberg notes that traditionally the word "God" has meant "an interested personality". But that is not what Hawking and Lederman mean. Their "god", he says, is really just "an abstract principle of order and harmony", a set of mathematical equations. Weinberg questions then why they use the word "god" at all. He makes the rather profound point that "if language is to be of any use to us, then we ought to try and preserve the meaning of words, and 'god' historically has not meant the laws of nature." The question of just what is "God" has taxed theologians for thousands of years; what Weinberg reminds us is to be wary of glib definitions.

    January 13, 2013 at 6:25 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Much of the mystery of God can be solved through etymology. For instance, the hebrews used the same names for their god to describe the kings and pharaohs who ruled over them. The term "god" was never meant to invoke supernaturalism, only ancestor and ruler worship.
      The origin of the word "god"is tied to the ancient vedic words for sacrifical drink, and it's quite obvious to modern historians that ritual sacrifices were imbibed and eaten by their lords. In the original version of the flood myth, the parliament of rulers release the flood waters to punish the citizens for not sacrificing animals (they are literally starving) . Who is the one person they save? The guy in town with the biggest farm.
      For modern man to continue to believe in supernatural alien gods, they must show a complete disregard for both history, anthropology, and common sense.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:39 am |
    • Origin of Life

      something new you might want to review

      Don't need religion to tell us where Origin of Life began OR how LIFE WORKS

      Origin of Life: Just add WATER !!!
      Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics

      Dec. 20, 2012 — A coherent pathway – which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells – has been traced for the first time in a major hypothesis paper in Cell this week.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:50 am |
    • Seyedibar

      @ origin of life, I'm familiar!
      And if you've ever visited a natural geyser on land or sea, you can literally see simple bacteria from the vent developing into cyanobacteria as soon as they reach the bubble of heat dissipation. Even if god created man out of mud (chuckle), ocean life would have evolved on its own each and every day and not even as a rare occurrence.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:57 am |
    • Science


      For modern man to continue to believe in supernatural alien gods, they must show a complete disregard for both history, anthropology, and common sense.

      Agree sort of like this person I know(one of my brothers top of his class) but has his head where the sun DOESN"T
      shine, But after years of getting beat up by common sense and our family's DNA tree by National Geographic Genome Project 2.0 he had all the proof and facts needed.
      Posted on new tread by misake

      January 13, 2013 at 7:16 am |
    • sqeptiq

      Actually, the word "god" in an Anglo-Saxon description for a whole host of supernatural beings.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  3. Zobit

    The only immigration reform we need is more deportations. If you want to stay STOP COMING HERE ILLEGALLY! For countless generations immigrants have come to the United States but they done so through PROPER CHANNELS LEGALLY.

    I don't know why Mexicans believe they deserve exemption from the process and should get a free ticket to citizenship for sneaking over the border.

    January 13, 2013 at 6:17 am |
    • raceresq

      I have to work with "questionable" illegals ( I have been told they were working here before under several names) They mostly think citizenship is their "right" because they live and work here – but do not follow our laws toward the legal path to citizenship. of course they are getting free health care at the clinics....

      January 13, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • sqeptiq

      I'm sure the native people of the Americas were not too happy with most of the first immigrants from Europe, who were not invited here by the inhabitants.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  4. Brad

    How about the churches and the pastor's stop trying to change laws from the pulpit. If you you don't them maybe you can start paying taxes and we can get out of debt.?

    January 13, 2013 at 6:15 am |
    • sqeptiq

      Maybe you could try proofreading your incoherent ramblings before you hit "post."

      January 13, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
  5. Michael kileliet keriako

    B 4 GOD NO BULL............TANZ B 2 DE LORD..

    January 13, 2013 at 6:15 am |
  6. Patricia

    Anyone who trusts the "evangelicals" on any subject is a fool. Richard Land, particularly, is a political hack who holds extreme views and is known to hate women and gays particularly. Don't trust his honey words here. He's into anything that will help the Republicans win because he thinks it will help the dominionists set up a theocracy here in place of our democratic republic.

    January 13, 2013 at 6:12 am |
    • Hiram

      AMEN, Sister !!

      January 13, 2013 at 7:20 am |
  7. Colin

    Usually, the easiest way to know the correct side of an issue is to ask oneself, “what do evangelicals think on the matter?” and then adopt the opposite view. This works with

    (i) a woman’s right to choose;
    (iii) medical immunization of teen girls (and boys) against HPV;
    (iv) assisted suicide;
    (v) accepting the reality of global warming and reacting to mitigate its effects;
    (vi) same $ex marriage;
    (vii) a person’s right to view movies, theatre and art deemed “offensive,” “blasphemous” or “obscene” by believers;
    (viii) teaching evolution in school and NOT the garbage of intelligent design;
    (ix) basic $ex education for older school children;
    (x) treating drug abuse as principally a medical issue;
    (xi) population control;
    (xii) buying alcohol on a Sunday in many places;
    (xiii) use of condoms and other contraceptives;
    (xiv) embryonic stem cell research;
    (xv) little 10 year-old boys joining organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, regardless of the religious views of their parents; and
    (xvi) gays being allowed to serve openly in the military

    Thankfully, their power in society is shrinking as young people refuse to blindly accept the Dark Ages religious myths of their parents. If it wasn’t for the poorly educated Hispanic immigration to keep their numbers flat, they would be in open freefall.

    January 13, 2013 at 6:11 am |
    • Blake

      Regardless of what you want to believe, Jesus dies for your sins also. I can only hope that you open your eyes and realize this before it is too late. You will probably never admit it but you know what is morally right and wrong but choose to live your life as if there is no God.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:26 am |
    • Colin

      Blake, Paul of Tarsus made up the whole "Jesus died for our sins" nonsense to explain why the Jewish messiah was executed like a common criminal. Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet who only got idealized and deified about two generations after his death.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:30 am |
    • Origin of Life

      @Blake something new you might want to review

      Don't need religion to tell us where Origin of Life began OR how LIFE WORKS

      Origin of Life: Just add WATER !!!
      Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics

      Dec. 20, 2012 — A coherent pathway – which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells – has been traced for the first time in a major hypothesis paper in Cell this week.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:42 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Blake, considering roughly half the New Testament is stolen from earlier neighboring religions and cults, it is highly unlikely that there existed a historical Jesus. If he had existed: 1) his life would not resemble the fictious fables that people are most familiar with, 2) he would have been mistakenly worshiping the god Yahweh, completely unaware that Moses and the Jehovah line were only Egyptian kings, not beings from the sky.
      This does not exactly leave anything to put any faith in, except for a handful of good ideas on the politics of nonviolence. You can believe what you like, but never discount the fact that Mediterranean messiahs were "being born of virgins", "healing the sick", "cleansing the temple" and "dying for peoples' sins" long before anyone had ever heard of a Jesus.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • Bernard Webb

      Yes! I have noticed this same thing among today's conservatives in general. They have an amazing, uncanny ability to find and then hysterically defend the EXACT WRONG SIDE of every single issue, including all the ones you mention. It is truly amazing. They are never just somewhat wrong, or off by just a bit, either. They invariably go for whatever extreme position is the least human, the least empathetic, the least Christian and the least American. They do this over and over and over. EVERY time. Amazing.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:49 am |
    • sqeptiq

      Bernard, you just defined "conservatism," and it is always, always, always against social progress. The difference between evangelicals (conservatives) and progressives is that the former look backwards and the latter look forward.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  8. dotheflippin'math

    As to those (fools) who misunderstand the financial impact of illegal aliens, let me try to explain: illegal aliens are generally young, healthy, hard-working individuals, who will work long hours for less than minimum wage, and don't even know what benefits are. They have a lower illness rats, and seldom visit hospitals where they could be exposed as illegal. Most spend almost ever dollar they earn on living expenses. Many, who have illegally obtained SSN's pay income taxes. None are eligible for SS when/if they retire. Without enough migrant farm workers and busboys, prices for fresh produce and dining would skyrocket. They are actually subsidizing our GNP to a significant extent by lowering the costs of important goods and services. They're like our own little China of the food industry. At least we make money of them.

    January 13, 2013 at 6:05 am |
    • NMEast

      You claim these people spend every dollar they earn, supposedly, here in the U.S. If that's the case, WHY does the money that is wired to Mexico, for instance, exceed $6-8 BILLION a year? It is the third largest source of revenue for the country of Mexico. Less than 2% of the illegal aliens actually work in "those jobs Americans won't do". That statement is a crock. Most of the illegal aliens work at jobs that Americans would do, if they weren't competing with people who will work for slave wages, such as construction, food services (teens), auto repair, retail sales, call centers, and higher level jobs, such as computer entry, office work, etc. I would not object to them, IF THEY CAME HERE LEGALLY! As for social programs, they gain entry to those by pushing out an American born child. The child is eligible for welfare, aid to dependent children, WIC, low income housing, etc. If the parents aren't working, the child makes them eligible for WELFARE because the parents have to be supported in order to take care of the child. Last time I went to the store, the cost of food isn't coming down any at all, "due to these people working in the fields". If that was the case, with the approximated number of illegal aliens here from Mexico, to name one, set at 20 million, our vegetable prices should be cheap. They aren't. As for those "tax payers", they steal someones social security and the headaches will never end for the LEGAL citizen. I KNOW, I am one of those who has had my SS number stolen, by a LONG list of illegal aliens with Hispanic names. It costs me an additional $600 each year for my tax lawyer to deal with the IRS. They have their anchor babies and because they work those "low paying jobs", they actually end up getting money back through credits such as child care without paying in the amount it costs to educate those anchor babies they have, or property taxes, or any number of other fees/taxes that LEGAL citizens get stuck with. You claim they don't go to emergency rooms for health care; it's obvious to me you haven't spent time in a city hospital emergency room, where you seldom hear English spoken by the people waiting to get care. Those same people give bogus addresses and when the hospital tries to collect, they find the address isn't legit, or if it was, those people have moved, with no way to find them. Again, I know this because I DO work at a hospital. You need to open your eyes a bit more, because right now, you are blind.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:31 am |
    • Reality Check

      Hmmmm....dont know where you got the numbers for your flippinmath, but my husband is a physician and I am a public mental health therapist. What we see first hand is that illegals are trying to get every free service they can. They have people who actually advise them on how to leach free services from the American system.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • Zedd

      My friend, it is painfully obvious that you do not work in the heath care field... otherwise you would see the ABUSE of our resources on a regular, daily basis by illegals AND immigrants who from the naturalization office directly to the welfare office. Its disgusting.

      January 13, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • sqeptiq

      Hey "flippin," who do you think is paying those below minimum wage jobs and hiring all those illegals? Police the hiring and the illegals go away. period.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Bill Hannegan

      I realize most illegal immigrants are hard working. But if you're selling crack to put yourself through college, that's still wrong. I'm OK with immigration reform – but I want all the people in Mexico who did the paperwork and are patiently waiting to be first in line.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
  9. Christian7

    My interpretation of this article: Mean white men need to do what Hispanics say so to get votes. So just let them break the immigration laws.

    January 13, 2013 at 5:45 am |
  10. Consequence

    The pro-illegal immigration people want America to bear the guilt of their sin. Obeying the law is a simple matter – our laws are clear. We are the most generous people on earth when it comes to legal immigration, but it is the responsibility of those who do not belong here not to be here. It is the same all over the world and it is just. Of course, they do not wish to leave and, of course, some Hispanic minister wants them to stay to suit his own purposes, but if we allow our laws, our rights and responsibilities as Americans, our pocket books, our safety and our national sovereignty to be trammeled upon by self seeking and self promoting communities, we have little left. The only solution to illegal immigration is to do away with all enabling policies which attract them here in the first place – our lack of will to enforce our own laws, our seemingly unlimited hospitality and our weak hearted politicians – or worse, our scheming politicians who sell America for votes. Let those people who made the choice to hire coyotes or ignore our visa laws to suit themselves be held responsible for their choices...and their young should not profit from their parents' violations.

    January 13, 2013 at 5:45 am |
    • Chris smith

      it is the responsibility of government to strengthen borders. Once people get in, we cant treat them like dogs either. w r to Immigration prevention is the only cure.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:09 am |
  11. Jon

    We probably do have to do something about the illegal immigrants that continue to come into this country. But we can't have immigration reform without securing the borders first. Otherwise, it's pointless.

    We also need to do something regarding amnesty provisions for the people who are here already, who have children, who have been working, etc.

    And of course, we have to be concerned about ANYTHING that the Evangelicals touch. Everything they touch turns to s–t, so I expect that they will find a way to make the idea of immigration reform completely repugnant.

    January 13, 2013 at 5:43 am |
    • Consequence

      The ugly wall of separation between the U.S. and Mexico is a blaring symbol of Mexico's abuse of our freedoms and our continued failure to enforce our own laws. This nation will never have "secure borders" without a strong will to enforce our immigration laws and to renounce every piece of enabling policy and legislation which lures them here. If the U.S. exercised strength in its laws, we probably would never have needed the wall in the first place.

      January 13, 2013 at 5:51 am |
  12. Zaxxon

    Is there now any question that evangelicals are pawns of the republican party? I cannot imagine a more blatant attempt at pandering to a group they vilified less than one year ago. Too little, too late republicans. If it weren't for gerrymandering the GOP would be in serious danger of disappearing from the political landscape.

    January 13, 2013 at 5:39 am |
    • Consequence

      That's a nutty comment – do you have any idea how many Hispanics are evangelical Christians? Tons. This is a community which is torn between its religious conservatism and its ethnic solidarity in the face of the law. This minister, himself Hispanic, no doubt seeks to make a bigger name for himself among Hispanics by destroying the line between religious conservatism and the irresponsibility of refusing to respect and obey the laws of this nation.

      January 13, 2013 at 5:58 am |
  13. Brynja

    yep, christians=evil...as usual

    January 13, 2013 at 5:30 am |
  14. Ricardo Gonzalez

    You can either be a Nationalist, or you can be a Christian. You can't be both, White man.

    Just FYI CNN, I don't really appreciate your broad use of the word "Hispanic". Mexicali Indio squatters aren't Hispanic just because they speak pigeon Spanish.

    January 13, 2013 at 1:09 am |
    • Ricardo sounds angry

      Say what? Here is the Webster definition of hispanic: "of, relating to, or being a person of Latin American descent living in the United States."

      January 13, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • Ricardo Gonzalez

      They can define it however they want to achieve their end.

      If you don't descend from the peoples located in the original territories of Hispania Terraconensis [i.e. Celto-Iberian, Visigothic/Vandal Germanic, Roman], then I don't consider you "Hispanic".

      January 13, 2013 at 1:17 am |
    • Ricardo souds like a major whack

      Germanic people are hispanic? Romans are hispanic? Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay . . .

      Are you trying to say that the only real hispanics have a whole lot of European white in them?

      Isn't that special . . .

      January 13, 2013 at 1:24 am |
    • The Rev. Marcus Goodswell

      Now whose fault is it that they speak "pigeon spanish"?

      And Hispanic refers to Spanish influence.... much like Hellenism is used to discribe Greek influence thoughout the Mediterranean region.

      January 13, 2013 at 1:36 am |
    • Fred

      I'd always heard there was a lot of bigotry in Latin America by lighter skinned Mestizos against those with darker skin. I guess it is true.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:02 am |
    • caesarbc

      Mexicans are Spanish transplants. Spain looks down upon Mexicans as a case for degeneration.

      January 13, 2013 at 5:33 am |
  15. Bootyfunk

    this article made me lol. always funny to see a small part of a group fight against the majority of the group. evangelicals are generally republican. republicans hate immigration/foreigners - just check the policies they've pushed. listen to the quotes from republican politicians talk about building electric fences with machine gun turrets to gun down the mexicans trying to cross the border. really evil sh.it. of course Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is a latino evangelical - so he doesn't see it that way. good luck convincing the prejudice christians in the south. basically, it's a christian vs christian fight. lol.

    January 13, 2013 at 12:45 am |
    • Hobbling Dan

      It's going to be "my imaginary inviso-Jesus is better than your imaginary inviso-Jesus."

      January 13, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • Brian Carpenter

      Then why does my church (like many evangelical churches) support indigenous Christian missionaries in places like Peru and India and Africa? If you hate people, you don't spend a lot of money trying to do both their bodies and their souls some good.

      Man, the hate here is just astonishing. All of you tolerant, open-minded people should step back and listen to yourselves!

      January 13, 2013 at 6:32 am |
  16. Socialism-Communisim-a-Love-Affair

    Immigration is NOT a religious issue.

    January 13, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • The Rev. Marcus Goodswell

      It is if you make your living running a church....If your membership is dropping, you ll have to get inventive to fill those seats.

      If the existing population are using birth control (against your orders no less) and are barely at replacement levels , you have to turn to outside sources......preferably ones that dont use condoms. It used to be easy street selling God to the gullible.....wont be long that it ll be easier to find actual work than it will to maintain this charade.

      January 13, 2013 at 1:17 am |
  17. Bob

    Jesus Christ chose to die on the cross because he was a homeless schizophrenic that was out of his mind. After that one act of stupi dity, a religion is born. Congrats on following it.

    January 13, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      nail on the head.
      jesus, if he lived at all, was a nutjob cult leader, running around telling everyone he was the son of god, blah blah blah. sounds like david koresh or any other crazy cult leader. they always mix messages of love with messages of "worship me". he certainly didn't do any of the 'magic' feats attributed to him - no walking on water, healing lepers, turning water into wine...

      pick one:
      A) Jesus really believed he was the son of God - he was nuts and had delusions of grandeur.
      B) Jesus knew he wasn't the son of God - he was a charlatan selling snake oil.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • Hobbling Dan

      I wonder why he ordered his followers to buy weapons at the last supper? Sounds like he was preparing to go Koresh.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:45 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      gotta agree with you there. and listen to some of his other nutty cult talk:

      Matthew 10
      Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.

      I have come to cast fire upon the Earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism* to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52 for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father* against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.

      yikes, this guy sounds super schizo!

      January 13, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  18. Colin

    From what I know about evangelicals, they are the dumbest people in America. About 80% of them believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake.

    The other 20% believe that an immortal, all knowing being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies about 13, 720,000,000 years ago and now monitors simultaneously the actions and thoughts of the 7 billion human beings on this one planet.

    Either way, wow, just ....wow. What a mob of simpletons.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Colin...you are so smart. OMG! Thank you.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      bullseye, Colin. not the brightest bananas in the bunch. but what do you expect? their rule book never praises intelligence a single time. mostly it's just a lot of obey obey obey.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • Zingo

      I view those fish decals on cars as handicap plates for the congenitally stupid.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      ^ lol
      that was a zinger, Zingo. 🙂

      January 13, 2013 at 12:56 am |
    • lionlylamb


      What the hell do you Really know about the Cosmos? Your imbecilic stance on their being but "One Universe" is really stupid. The plausible ideology of their being myriads of universes being side by side making up a gigantic ameba living within a vast sea upon a ginormous earth dare I say is more real to me than one stupid universe! Science has broadened this view as being Fractal Cosmology. Google it and be enlightened!

      January 13, 2013 at 1:21 am |
    • LionyLamb = bad prose over worse thinking

      LaLa, you are one brain-bent nincompoop.

      January 13, 2013 at 1:27 am |
    • lionlylamb


      January 13, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • Fred

      Lionly, when you post an article to support a statement, you should pick one that doesn't say that the theory is discredited.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:05 am |
    • The Rev. Marcus Goodswell


      January 13, 2013 at 2:09 am |
    • christy

      I happen to know some of them. They believe in young earth creationism, but at the same time they have advanced degrees and professional careers and are actually pretty smart in every other intellectual way. Their young earth creationism didn't keep them from becoming teachers or engineers or business owners or loving parents or spouses. So, to chalk them up to 'simpletons' because of one perceived flaw is really quite ridiculous and reflects your anger at them more than anything.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:17 am |
    • christy

      Basically Colin, you think everybody who believes in a personal God is stupid. We get it. And yet, in their simplicity, many of them are probably way smarter than you.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:18 am |
    • Colin

      Christie – you said "Basically Colin, you think everybody who believes in a personal God is stupid"

      Close. I think that belief is stupid and reta.rded for obvious reason, but I accept that people who believe this garbage can otherwise be smart people- as your other post indicates..

      January 13, 2013 at 6:24 am |
  19. Reality

    If we would cut our own grass, do our own landscaping, pick our own vegetables/fruit, cook our own food, clean our own laundary, care for own kids and clean our homes and churches/temples, there would be no need for Mexican, Haitian, Irish, Italian and/or Asian "slaves" and therefore there would be no illegal immigration.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
  20. wigglwagon

    "When the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez talks about immigration, it is as someone who has witnessed the way a religious community is affected when a family is torn apart by deportation."

    Families are not torn apart by deportation. Families are torn apart by criminals refusing to abide by the law.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Gordon

      If we made our laws the way most every other country did, families wouldn't have to be torn apart because the kids born here to illegals would not be US citizens either.

      January 13, 2013 at 5:39 am |
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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.