SBC's Contentious Debate over "Amnesty" for Undocumented Immigrants

June 16, 2011

Ethics Daily ran my latest article today, which is entitled "SBC's Contentious Debate over 'Amnesty' for Undocumented Immigrants." It covers yesterday's debate at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix, where messengers only narrowly approved a clause in a non-binding resolution that supports creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The rest of the resolution, which called for stronger border controls and renewed efforts to evangelize immigrants, easily won support of the messengers.

One individual criticizing the citizenship option language was controversial pastor Wiley Drake, who is one of the leaders of the "birther" movement that refused to accept that President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Drake also ran as the vice presidential candidate on a minor party ticket with Alan Keyes in 2008. At the SBC meeting, Drake, who was once the SBC's second vice president, nominated himself for SBC president and captured only four percent of the vote in a two-way race (which is an even worse beat down than his friend Alan Keyes received when he ran against Obama for the U.S. Senate in 2004). Two years ago, Drake announced he was praying for the death of Obama (as Drake has done with other public officials). Interestingly, the SBC messengers yesterday approved a resolution that denounced, among other things, Christians who have been "calling for prayer for the deaths of public officials." It is good to see them take a stand against such inappropriate rhetoric, which is similar to examples I critiqued in my first book (For God's Sake Shut Up!).