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Letters: Biblical takes on immigration reform

August 11, 2013

Re "Bible's case for reform," Opinion, Aug. 8

Thanks to Jim Wallis for stating what is obvious about immigration reform to me as a liberal, liturgical and (even so, still) evangelical Christian.

In addition to the stranger being made welcome, Matthew counts the many other ways conservative Christians should live their faith and actively affect policies: I was hungry (food stamps, school lunches), I was naked (clothing, shelter), I was sick (healthcare), and I was in prison (prison reform, justice for all).

Have conservative politicians who happen to be Christian made the antithetical decision that public monies should not be used for the benefit of all? What example should a person of faith follow?

The Christians in the House holding up the Senate's immigration reform bill should read Wallis' article.

James Severtson

Reseda

As a practicing Christian, I take issue with Wallis' use of the Bible to defend his position. The immigration bill that the Senate passed is extremely complex; few people have taken the time to read it and understand its ramifications.

The complexity of the issue aside, the United States has been extremely generous and welcoming, conforming with Biblical exhortations to treat strangers and foreigners humanely. Each year, the U.S. accepts more legal immigrants than any other country.

Illegal immigration is tantamount to lawlessness. It violates the concept of national sovereignty and rule of law. Plus, our resources are not unlimited. Many areas of the nation that are overwhelmed with illegal immigrants have seen their resources strained.

The Bible urges us to treat all people with compassion, but it shouldn't be used to justify an enormously complicated piece of legislation that has many problems.

Geoffrey C. Church

Los Angeles

Wallis writes, "That evangelical Christians would finally act to reform the immigration system should surprise no one, and not just for theological reasons."

What is surprising is that it took evangelicals so long to speak out on behalf of immigrants, even though the care and welfare of all aliens and sojourners is written about endlessly throughout the Bible.

Mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics have been advocating God's care and providence for immigrants for decades. We haven't been bashing abortion-rights supporters and persons of LGBT backgrounds.

The Rev. Mark M. Nakagawa

Los Angeles

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