Faith in Reform

May 30, 2013

Immigration reform continues to garner attention as Congress debates the topic. This week some Christian groups jumped into the national discussion in hopes of pushing legislative leaders to work together to pass meaningful, comprehensive reform. Today, a coalition of evangelical leaders launched a $250,000 national radio ad campaign (with a national ad and targeted state ads). Among those spearheading the effort are World Relief President and CEO Stephan Bauman and National Latino Evangelical Coalition President Gabriel Salguero (the photo is one I took of him last year at a panel during the Democratic National Convention). Willow Creek Community Church co-founder Lynne Hybels, another of the leading voices in this campaign, called immigration reform "one of the great moral issues of our country," adding that "the voices of evangelical Christians must reach our politicians." Russell Moore, who is about to start as the new President for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), is also part of the effort. Moore explained:
It's a moral issue and it's been a stain on our country for too long. Now is the time for the country to come together for an immigration system that respects the God-given human dignity of every person.
Moore's presence is particularly important considering that the SBC has not been a strong voice for immigration reform lately, as I reported in an Ethics Daily article a couple of years ago. While evangelical leaders fill the airways, Catholic nuns are hopping on the highways. The "Nuns of the Bus" campaign is back with a new cross-country trek and they are making immigration reform the focus of their trip. The group, which started its latest effort on Tuesday, will travel 6,500 miles through fifteen states in three weeks (going from New Jersey to California via the Southern part of the U.S.). Already gaining fame during the election season last year as they traveled to raise awareness about the problems of Paul Ryan's budget, the group hopes to bring more attention to the issue of immigration reform. With evangelical leaders and Catholic nuns talking about the topic as a moral issue, perhaps more Christians will urge action from Congress.