The Faux Conservative Evangelicals Fighting for Immigration Reform

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This past week, a group of evangelicals met once again with Obama, urging swift action on immigration. This comes on the heels of Jeb Bush's recent interview:

Earlier in April, former Florida governor Jeb Bush suggested that illegal immigrants are not committing a felony, but are breaking the law out of love and commitment to family.

"It's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family," Bush said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday."

Although the article simply refers to them as "faith leaders," they are all part of the same group that has been working with Jim Wallis for some time, allegedly funded with Soros money. Soros is making a habit of using evangelicals, as he did with the funding of Telos, an outreach to convince evangelicals to be pro-Palestinian. Among those on the Telos advisory board, we find  Dr. Joel Hunter, Obama spiritual advisor (more about him below); Lynne Hybels (Willow Creek Church); and Samah Norquist, wife of Grover Norquist.

The immigration group Soros funds is known as the Evangelical Immigration Table and is made up of a wide array of "social justice" evangelicals who have been criticized previously for their approach to the immigration issue.

The main leadership of the group consists of the following:

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals

Stephan Bauman, President and CEO, World Relief

David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World

Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association

Luis Cortés, President, Esperanza

Russell D. Moore, President, Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition

Mathew Staver, Chairman and Founder, Liberty Counsel

Richard Stearns, President, World Vision U.S.

Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners

Of particular interest is the ongoing relationship between Samuel Rodriguez, Noel Castellanos and Jim Wallis. They appear to have worked together for quite awhile. Both were part of the Two Futures Project, a group of Christians working to abolish all nuclear weapons worldwide. Endorsers include Pastor Joel Hunter (seen below), Sam Rodriguez, Jim Wallis, Noel Castellanos and more.  This group was started by progressive Pastor Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, who Brian Auten describes this way:

Not only is he familiar with the policy landscape, but I would argue that Wigg-Stevenson has extraordinary insight into how recent shifts within American evangelicalism have created an environment within which 2FP’s nuclear abolitionist message can ripen and flourish. During the second Bush administration, arguments about the end of Christendom and the captivity of the American evangelicals to the culture war—familiar in evangelical left circles and, since the late 1990s, also oft-cited in so-called third-way, emerging and/or missional church conversations—began to circulate among more “traditional” evangelical audiences, particularly among the late-20- to early-40-somethings which make up the bulk of 2FP’s target audience. This disillusionment with the culture war, coupled with what might be thought of as an attendant “neo-Anabaptist turn,” has provoked in younger evangelicals an exploding interest in more communitarian aspects of church life and the integration of the gospel with what might be labeled “progressive” social justice concerns.

Samuel Rodriguez was part of the Evangelicals for Human Rights group along with progressive Wigg-Stevenson as well. Among their agenda items was to "secure an independent Commission of Inquiry that will investigate and disclose the torture policies and practices of the U.S. government since September 11, 2001."

Jim Wallis has even written a forward for one of Sam Rodriguez's books and they are seen here together at a course taught by Jim Wallis at Georgetown University. "I love Jim Wallis. I am here because of my commitment to a dear friend..." Rodriguez began. They appeared at the Center for American Progress back in 2007, asking "Who Would Jesus Deport?" Jim Wallis, Pastor Joel Hunter and Sam Rodriguez were all part of the "Come Let Us Reason Together" Third Way communitarian "governing agenda" between evangelicals and progressives. Third Way has an interesting group of trustees, including William Daley (former Obama COS), Susan McCue (former Harry Reid COS), Thurgood Marshall Jr., and Peter Lewis, Chairman of Progressive Insurance. Honorary Co-Chairs include James Clyburn, Claire McCaskill, Gabrielle Giffords and Kathleen Sebelius.

It appears that many of the same participants have also been active together as members of the Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, once again including Samuel Rodriguez, Richard Land, Noel Castellanos and Juan Hernandez. They composed an open letter to Mitt Romney at the time.

Social justice Pastor Joel Hunter's site published the 2010 phone event, Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CFCIR), featuring many of the same people (Land, Rodriguez, Castellanos) as well as "conservative" Juan Hernandez, who appeared to be coordinating the event.  A similar phone event was held on a different date that year, again with Hernandez, Rodriguez and Castellanos as well as Jeb Bush. This one was posted online by José Artemio Arreola of the Illinois Coalition For Immigrant And Refugee Rights (ICIRR), with links to CAIR, Amnesty International, SEIU and more. Phone-in sessions such as these, organized by Juan Hernandez, do not ring true as "conservative". Neither does Juan Hernandez:

He considers Canada, the U.S., and Mexico “a bloc, not one nation.” He puts “Mexico first.” He doesn’t believe there are any criminals among the 12-20 million illegal aliens he thinks should be legalized. He’s been saying all of this for a long time.

Despite the feud between Jim Wallis and Glenn Beck, and despite The Blaze story on Soros ties to the Evangelical Immigration Table, and despite Rodriguez's participation in the Third way communitarian "Come Let Us Reason Together",  James Robison included him as a featured speaker at the "Under God: Indivisible" event in conjunction with Beck's Restoring Love weekend. The Blaze even featured part of Rodriguez's speech as a highlight of the weekend. Seems a very odd choice for anyone who knows much about Samuel Rodriguez.

Not only does the Evangelical Immigration Table have extremely questionable ties and funding, but they also sponsor a youth training program called G92.org, their "culture shaping movement", which appears to be more propaganda than Christian compassion. The presentation video on their home page shows a "typical" law-breaking American citizen, giving no thought to their everyday petty acts like failing to scoop up doggy doo. They give the impression that these innocent immigrants are breaking no law any more harmful than what we do every day, yet they are ostracized. (Are you breaking laws every day? Not sure who the audience is supposed to be for this.) This is not teaching compassion. It is pure propaganda. Rightly calling their immigration "illegal" does not mean you have no sympathy for their plight and no desire to see a broken system fixed. It simply means you would like to see the rule of law followed and a solution put in place that works for everyone.

It is rare to find someone who does not want a fair and just solution to the immigration issue, but finding trustworthy representation is an uphill battle. It appears that the current ploy is to "shame" Christians into going along with their game plan to prove your compassion and Biblical direction. The problem is, some of them seem to have left out the part about the many illegal visitors who have come to commit crimes, the already high unemployment rate and the overwhelming cost of social services that is stretching us beyond our ability to pay. Is it being a good steward to give away things that you don't have to give? To put others in harm's way in order to force your agenda? To refuse to enforce laws that are already on the books, while you lobby for reform? Even Cesar Chavez saw the problems associated with this, as he grappled with illegals taking jobs from his unionized workers.

Rather than being resentful and angry at those who are taking advantage of free benefits and porous borders, we need to be angry with Progressives in sheep's clothing who are using us and using these immigrants for their own agenda.