Ahead of Texas Primary, Faith Leaders Call for End to Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric
DALLAS, MARCH 1, 2016— Texas evangelical leaders gathered at a press conference Monday to discuss immigration reform and call on the presidential candidates to end the negative conversation surrounding immigrants.
At the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) conference, speakers highlighted the biblical mandate to welcome the stranger and stressed the ineffectuality of anti-immigrant rhetoric.
“Donald Trump’s campaign is built upon sacrificing the best things about America upon the altar of fear,” said Bart Barber, Pastor at First Baptist Church of Farmersville. “From his willingness to abandon two centuries of religious liberty in America by banning Muslim travel into the United States to his proposal to make Christian missionaries to West Africa ‘suffer the consequences’ of their vocations by refusing them re-entry into the United States, Trump has demonstrated a repeated willingness to panic and turn his back upon fellow human beings at the slightest provocation.”
“The SBTC is supporting the Evangelical Immigration Table based on the six biblical principles that encourage a less divisive conversation on immigration reform,” said Gary Ledbetter, Communications Director for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
“It seems to me our new brand of conservatism doesn’t know what to conserve. Conservatism now seems to mean nativism, protectionism, us against them,” said Tim Moore, South Central Mobilizer for the Evangelical Immigration Table. “It has a hostile tone. It divides, and I believe it does the nation no favors in building our collective future. America’s greatest strength is our heritage and ethic of pluralism.”
“Super Tuesday Republicans have a chance today to demonstrate appreciation for immigrant families and their contribution to a brighter and more prosperous America or follow the lead of earlier states drawing a bright white line in the sand that may well deny America ever having another conservative president,” said Pastor Ademir Simoes, Past President, North American Brazilian Baptist Association.