Several years ago, I worked for a small non-profit in DC called FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform). I thought it was a typical conservative group wanting secure borders, enforcement of immigration laws, etc. – and, for the most part, that’s what it was. I was brought in to manage the Web team (my first management job). I thought I did a good job of leading the team, launching the Immigration Reform blog, and reducing costs of my department by 30% (by moving over to free, open-source platforms, eliminating waste, etc.).
The actual work was fine. I enjoyed it, and I enjoyed the people in the office. However, there were two things that I hated: the 2-hour commute each way and the business attire. If you’ve ever worked with me, you’ll know that those are now the two biggest factors in any job offer I accept (short commutes and casual dress).
After several months, the long commutes were killing me. I was also finding that I didn’t necessarily share the same ideology as the FAIR organization. I was all for immigration law enforcement – heck, why do we have laws if we don’t enforce them? Rule of law was important to me. But, as a Christian, so was grace. And I didn’t see any grace coming from FAIR. To me, the son of an immigrant father, I would like to see laws obeyed, but also grace (a simple path to citizenship) for immigrants who are persecuted and are looking to achieve and earn a better life in America. FAIR’s hard line against illegal immigrants didn’t always sit well in my gut.
After about six months working there (and the toll of the 4-hour daily commute), I was offered another job close to my house at AOL. It was a no-brainer. I accepted.
I haven’t thought much about FAIR since leaving, though I knew they would be pleased with the election of President Trump and all that he’s done since taking office. When I heard that former FAIR executive director Julie Kirchner was joining Trump’s administration, I was very pleased for her. Julie is a nice, mild-mannered person, who I enjoyed interacting with. Of all the people I regretted leaving, Julie was at the top of the list. I wish her all the best.
This morning, I read an incredibly in-depth feature article on FAIR (prompted by Julie’s recent appointment). While the article is obviously slanted against FAIR (and cites the similarly slanted Southern Poverty Law Center and its bogus “hate group” label), the article reveals the origins of FAIR and its founder John Tanton.
“Tanton was a radical environmentalist, though he worked with mainstream environmental groups like the Sierra Club. His environmentalism coincided with a keen interest in population control; he founded local chapters of Planned Parenthood and served as the president of Zero Population Growth, a group that pushes to make contraceptives and abortion services more accessible.”
Had I known the background of FAIR’s founder, I would not have worked at FAIR. I am completely against abortion (except when the mother’s life is physically in danger) and all forms of eugenics. I think population issues from unwanted pregnancies are a symptom of a society that normalizes extra-marital sex and doesn’t promote abstinence. You fix society’s view on sex, and you don’t have an abortion problem.
So, the eugenics background of FAIR’s founder (surprisingly driven by environmentalism) would have been a deal-breaker for me, while FAIR’s views on immigration, for the most part, were not. Let’s hope, as the group gains more exposure and influence in this country, they’ve left much of its founder’s ideology in the past.
According to this commentary at Crosswalk.com, enforcement of our existing immigration laws is not “God honoring” and immigration reform should include some sort of amnesty. The author doesn’t propose a solution — he just says that neither total amnesty, nor total enforcement are good. (Really, shouldn’t you offer some sort of solution, if you’re going to criticize other proposed solutions?)
Despite the lack of “meat” in the author’s argument, I posted a reply with my ideas on how God views illegal immigration. I’ve only begun to think about this issue from a Christian perspective, so I’m totally willing to be convinced otherwise. But for now, this is why I believe God would NOT support illegal immigration.
We welcome aliens into the United States — those who follow the rules and come here legally. Those who break the U.S. immigration laws should be punished or prevented from doing so — that’s why we have laws. Paul instructs us in Romans 13 to obey the governing authorities. Arizona’s SB1070 law simply forces local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws. That’s a good thing. You cannot make a biblical case that God wants people to break a nation’s laws in order to migrate into that nation.
Illegal immigration costs the country $13 billion a year. That hurts the legal residents of the country. The government has a responsibility to protect its citizens. Illegal immigration economically hurts Americans (schools, job market), and in the case of Arizona, endangers the safety of citizens living near the border. God told Israel to build a wall around Jerusalem. Why is it not “God honoring” to build a physical & legal “wall” around our border?
This was a comment I left on the story Jimmy Carter Leaves Church Over Treatment of Women article that ran on Politics Daily today…
This is great news! Jimmy Carter should not be claiming to be a Christian, if he doesn’t agree with the teachings in the Word of God (Bible). Nowhere does the Bible condone “slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime.” This is a foolish argument.
The Bible does set up a structure for the family unit, where the man is the head of the household (and he is to love his wife like Christ loves the Church). You might find this family structure offensive in today’s terms — in which case, you should take it up with the Bible’s author — God, because I’m simply restating what the Creator of the universe has said — neither I, nor the Southern Baptist Church came up with this.
As Christians, we believe the Bible is the Word of God, and that all instructions within it are beneficial to our lives — even if current cultural fads don’t agree. If Carter doesn’t want to submit his life to the lordship of Christ and God’s commands, he should definitely not associate himself with any Christian church.
I applaud Carter for showing his true colors, so that no Christian is confused by his erroneous political/religious beliefs.
I haven’t been paying attention to the coming election, because I haven’t liked any of the front-runner Republican candidates. But I have heard Huckabee’s name surfacing in recent days regarding his Christian faith. I’ve been meaning to check him out to see where he stands on the issues. And the fact that this video was drawn to my attention today only solidifies my interest in Mike Huckabee.
[Here’s the last half of Bill O’Reilly’s current column “Beyond Belief.” For the full version, click here.]
… Believing in God is not very stylish in mainstream media circles these days.
The question then becomes, is there anything wrong with that? After all, we have freedom from religion in America; the Constitution makes it clear that no power in this country has the right to impose religion on anyone.
So the atheists have clear sailing, and I say: Thank God.
That’s because people of faith should be challenged and think about their beliefs. Critical thinking in all areas makes the mind sharper, your philosophy stronger.
Thus, I was looking forward to debating the most successful of the atheist authors, Richard Dawkins, who wrote the bestseller The God Delusion. Dawkins basically says that science can explain everything on earth and no one has any direct evidence there is a God.
But I stopped him in the fourth round with this right hook: “[The earth] had to come from somewhere, and that is the leap of faith you guys (atheists) make—that it just somehow happened.”
Dawkins replied: “You’re the one who needs a leap of faith. The onus is on you to say why you believe in something … you believe in, presumably, the Christian God Jesus.”
“Jesus is a real guy,” I said. “I know what he did. I’m not positive that Jesus is God, but I’m throwing in with him rather than throwing in with you guys, because you guys can’t tell me how it all got here.”
“We’re working on it,” Dawkins said.
“When you get it,” I shot back, “maybe I’ll listen.”
But the atheists will never get it. The universe and the earth is so complex, so incredibly detailed, that to believe an accidental evolutionary occurrence could have exclusively led to the nature/mankind situation we have now, is some stretch of the imagination. I mean, call me crazy, but the sun always comes up, while man oversleeps all the time.
So bless you, Richard Dawkins, and all the other non-believers. As long as they don’t attack people of faith, I have no problem with them. As my eighth grade teacher Sister Martin once said, “Faith is a gift.”
But not everybody gets to open the box.