Interfaith religious leaders spoke out on immigration this week. The National Council of Churches reports:
Washington, March 2, 2006 -- As Congress prepares to debate changing immigration laws, prominent religious leaders, including National Council of Churches' General Secretary Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar, gathered Wednesday in Simmons Chapel at the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill to call for comprehensive immigration reform.
The religious leaders, representing the Catholic, Evangelical Christian, Protestant and Jewish communities, expressed their concern for the current system as well as pending legislation that would bring undue harm to legal immigrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees in this country.
The leaders said they would support legislation to legalize illegal workers, institute a program for temporary workers and reunite families separated by immigration laws. The religious leaders said they were opposing a bill, H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism and Illegal Immigration Act of 2005, that would stiffen enforcement and restrict immigration.
According to Edgar, the U.S. must develop immigration policies that uphold the dignity of all people and demonstrate justice to those who seek a home and a better way of life in our country.
"Throughout history, politicians have tried to convince themselves and others that the biblical call to love, the ministry of hospitality and the Sermon on the Mount are naive, impractical and irrelevant to our complex world," said Edgar. "But one cannot -- dare not -- suspend biblical principles simply to advance a political agenda. It comes from an authority higher than Congress, higher than Immigration and Naturalization Services, higher than the President of the United States, and it cannot be ignored," he said.
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the Archbishop of Washington, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Rabbi Scott Sperling, Director of the Union for Reform Judaism's Mid-Atlantic Council, also participated in the interfaith press event.
You can bet that immigration will be one of the top topics in the 2006 mid-term elections. It is good to see Protestant and Roman Catholic leaders - along with our interfaith partners - on the same page.
Related Post: "The Gospel vs. H.R. 4437"