Arizona Immigration Law Dividing Christians

By Peter Elliott | Everyday Christian Editor

Posted 1:36 pm on April 30, 2010

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This weekend will usher in a new chapter in the growing national date under Arizona’s strict new immigration law.

In the unlikely event you haven’t heard of the controversy, Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill last week which gave police the right to ask for proof of citizenship from anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. This has divided camps of the general public into camps hailing the law as a needed crackdown to others saying it is opens the door to egregious racial profiling.

These divides are also appearing among Christians.

Churches, faith groups and ministries across the country are planning rallies this weekend to protest the law, including a mach to the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix. Progressive Christian groups such as Sojourners – whose founder Jim Wallis has been engaged in a verbal tug-of-war with Fox News host Glenn Beck over social activism in faith communities – are calling for national immigration reform to blunt the impact of the Arizona law.

On the flip side, groups such as the Institute on Religious and Democracy said opponents of the law are taking too narrow of a view. "Instead of thoughtfully critiquing the law, these religious elites instead disparage the law's supporters,” wrote IRD President Mark Tooley. "If they bothered to survey members of their own churches, religious officials would discover a wide spectrum of belief about immigration policy with many thoughtful and legitimate concerns. Instead, some church elites would rather condescendingly lecture down to those they caricature as advocating 'fear and hatred'.”

A Gallup poll released Tuesday showed Americans on the whole favor the law by a healthy 51-39 percent margin.

Where do you stand?

Tags: Arizona immigration law, immigration, Institute on Religious and Democracy, politics, Sojourners

about the author:
Peter Elliott

Peter Elliott is a veteran news and sports journalist. He enjoys interviewing others about how God works in their lives and sharing that with readers. He is also a lifelong, long-suffering Chicago Cubs fan. He resides in Indianapolis with his wife and three sons.

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