When Joan Maruskin took the podium last April at a Family Research Council (FRC) immigration conference in Washington, D.C., it was hard not to think of Daniel in the lion's den: The liberal director of the Church World Service Immigration Program was addressing an audience convened by a major force on the Christian religious right. It was not her crowd.
"The Bible is an immigration handbook," Maruskin told the FRC audience. "'Cursed be the person who oppresses the alien.' Can we forget that Christ himself was a migrant and a refugee, born in a stable? Under our laws, Mary, Joseph and Jesus would be sent to three different prisons."
"Before immigration came along, we were building an alliance," says Rodriguez. "We had agreement on traditional marriage, partial birth abortion -- so many threads were being woven together. Immigration threatens to become the definitive divide."
Other religious right groups may not be officially aligned with the border-vigilante movement, but hold views indicating sympathy or approval.
The issue of immigration, it seems, not only threatens the success of the religious right's larger culture war by alienating conservative Latinos. Immigration is also a growing component of that culture war.
Is our race and culture more important than God and performing His will, to love and care for our neighbors, regardless of their difference to ours? Do we allow our own personal feelings about race and culture to come between us and God's written word? To view specific scripture concerning God's will and His advocacy for the poor and the alien? Click here to see How God Supports the Alien and what Happens to Those Who Don't.
Joe Ortiz is the author of two books that refute the Rapture to Heaven theory, The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation.