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I’m not sure if you’ve been following the congressional debates on immigration reform, but they’re quite interesting. Both sides have pretty good arguments. For instance, the pro-immigration-reform forces make a powerful case:

Southern Baptists respect and strongly support upholding America’s laws, [Southern Baptist leader Richard Land] said, but they “also recognize a biblical mandate to care for ‘the least of these among us’ (Matthew 25:34-40), to care for the ‘strangers’ who reside in our land (Leviticus 19:34; Hebrews 13:2) and to act justly and mercifully (Micah 6:8),” Land told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law.

If I understand him correctly, he’s saying that while Baptists “support” upholding the law, they’re also eager to change the laws so that they more closely concord with the ideas in Bible books like Matthew and Leviticus and Micah.

(This also helps explain why they won’t ever shut up about the “Linen and Woolen Act of 2008.)

Now, apparently Biblical arguments are not uncommon in the HJSICRBSIL, as those opposed to reform also used them:

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, read a quote from Romans 13:1-7 that crystallized the argument for enhanced border security and strict enforcement of existing federal immigration laws: “Let every person be subject to governing authorities.”

“I suspect we will hear today that it is somehow immoral or unethical to enforce our nation’s laws and that we should ignore our laws,” Smith said. “For those who want to take this approach, there is just one problem: the Bible contains numerous passages that support the rule of law.”

If this is truly Smith’s philosophy, I guess this means that his Bible supports copyright maximalism, the PATRIOT Act, and criminalizing non-violent marijuana users.

In any event, it’s hard not to be proud that a several-thousand-year-old book written by cavepeople plays such a prominent role in our public policy discourse. It appears that Smith’s wife is a faith healer, so perhaps he’ll draw on this additional expertise as the HJSICRBSIL works through the nuts and bolts of health care reform.


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