Because South Carolina must jealously guard its reputation as the Ground Zero of the war on intelligent political discourse, we can be thankful that, at last, Greenville’s Eric Bedingfield has (along with a crew of the usual wing-nut suspects) provided us with H4919, that is, in Bedingfield’s words, “virtually the same” as Arizona’s anti-immigration measure.Too bad we weren’t first. Now we’ll have to wait for another day to Race to the Top of the fascist-paranoid pole.
In a sense, however, Bedingfield is doing us all a favor, by forcing the libertarian Left and Right to work with people of faith and the pragmatic Middle to achieve comprehensive immigration reform this year.
As Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform points out, there some important Biblical principles that surround immigration:
- All people, regardless of national origin or citizenship status, are made in the “image of God” and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect (Genesis 1:26-27, 9:6).
- There is an undeniable responsibility to love and show compassion for the stranger among us (Deuteronomy 10:18-19, Leviticus 19:33-34, Matthew 25:31-46).
- Immigrants are our neighbors, both literally and figuratively, and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves and show mercy to neighbors in need (Leviticus 19:18, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:25-37).
- While the rule of law is necessary to protect a society, there is a Biblical mandate to oppose unjust laws and systems that harm and oppress people made in God’s image, especially the vulnerable (Isaiah 10:1-4, Jeremiah 7:1-7, Acts 5:29, Romans 13:1-7).
Immigration reform is an issue of faith. So, let’s be thankful that the wingnuts have forced us into action. Let’s get this done.