Your reaction Churches speaking out against Alabama immigration law?
BIRMINGHAM - Some churches are objecting to Alabama's tough new law that aims to clamp down on illegal immigration, saying it violates Christian principles in the heart of the Bible Belt.
Leaders of the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church, the Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic Church all have criticized the law as running counter to biblical teachings about caring for neighbors, helping visitors and showing hospitality to strangers. Episcopal Bishop Henry N. Parsley of Birmingham said the law "will make it impossible to love and be hospitable to our neighbors as we ought to be.""It is a profoundly disappointing decision and a sad moment for our state," he said in a statement late Wednesday.
The state's largest denomination, the Alabama Baptist Convention, hasn't taken a position publicly and likely won't because it doesn't speak for autonomous, individual churches. But the Thursday edition of its widely read state newspaper, The Alabama Baptist, included a front-page story that featured a Hispanic pastor's worries and criticism about the law.
New Census figures show Alabama's population of 4.8 million is about 4 percent Hispanic. The number of Hispanics living in the state grew about 145 percent in the last decade to about 185,600, statistics show.
Republican Gov. Robert Bentley, a deacon and Sunday school teacher at the First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, signed a law last week that makes it a crime to knowingly hire an illegal immigrant; rent them a place to live or transport them in a vehicle. Schools are required to determine the immigration status of their students and report it to the state, although children in the country illegally would not be refused an education.
Backers of the law have described it as being designed to both reduce the number of illegal immigrants in the state and to free up jobs for U.S. citizens that are now held by people living Alabama without proper documents. Bentley said he fulfilled a campaign promised by signing a law that both supporters and many opponents say surpassed Arizona's to become the toughest such law in the nation.
But some church leaders are criticizing the law as overly harsh and a direct contradiction to Christian teachings. The United Methodist bishop for north Alabama, William H. Willimon, called it "an embarrassment to our state" that "does not represent the spirit of hospitality of our churches."
"While I'm confident that the bill will be overturned, I am proud that a number of our Methodists - those committed to evangelism and mission - are speaking up in the name of Christ to oppose this ill-conceived bill that does nothing to help our state and does great harm to our sisters and brothers," Willimon wrote in a message that was endorsed by his fellow bishop for south Alabama, Paul L. Leeland.
- 9 years agoFavorite Answer
Seperation of Church and State. The churches should stop protecting pedifiles and paying huge settlements for claims and use the money instead to help people.
They don't care what these illegals steal jobs and government benefits that hurt the rest of us.
- Anonymous9 years ago
Oh so you are saying that Christians really ARE good people? just wanting to clarify this. I am thinking of rpinting it out and framing it. Might sell it on Ebay
- Anonymous9 years ago
Jesus instructed us to obey the laws of the land. Did they not read that part, or are they being a little hypocritical by picking and choosing?