Evangelical Leaders Launch S.C. Ad Campaign to Call for Bipartisan Immigration Solutions
The Evangelical Immigration Table announced an advertising campaign in support of immigration reform on 15 Christian radio stations in South Carolina. The advertisement, which will run at saturation levels for two weeks, features Spartanburg County Rev. Jim Goodroe, urging support for immigration reform based on biblical principles.
The Evangelical Immigration Table’s intensifying push to mobilize local and national evangelical support for bipartisan immigration solutions also includes the “I Was a Stranger” immigration prayer challenge, during which hundreds of evangelical congregations in 49 states are reading Scripture for guidance on immigration.
These efforts are building momentum as South Carolina legislators fill key roles in the evolving debate in Congress. Sen. Lindsey Graham is part of a bipartisan group of senators that is drafting legislation, and Rep. Trey Gowdy, whose district includes Greenville and Spartanburg, is the chair of the immigration subcommittee in the House of Representatives.
The following quotes can be attributed to participants in this week’s conference call.
Rev. Jim Goodroe, Director of Missions, Spartanburg County Baptist Network:
“As I’ve gotten to know immigrants, their stories have been varied and shed light on two aspects of immigration. The first is that many of those who are here as undocumented immigrants came legally, but for various reasons it’s been hard for them to go back to their home country. … These are good people who have added so much to our churches, our communities, and our economy …
“[Regarding] the path to citizenship, we’re not talking about amnesty, which has no repercussions. We’re talking about those who are willing to take on the additional responsibilities and obligations of citizenship. … Even the path toward citizenship is tough but needs to be fair.”
Rev. Trey Doyle, First Baptist Church of York, York, S.C.:
“I believe that through even the most basic and essential practices of the local church in gathering around the Bible to seek the truth of Jesus Christ, we can find answers, we can discover guidance and support of even seemingly difficult issues like that of immigration reform. I believe the radio ads will further solidify the growing base of support for immigration reform. Finally, I also believe the new kind of coalition we are witnessing, the new kind of coalition forming around support for substantial immigration reform, is illustrative of God’s kingdom on Earth as it is in heaven. The congregation I serve with, and I suspect Christians everywhere, count opportunities to participate in the continual unfolding of God’s kingdom — a blessing indeed. … This is about faith for us and putting that faith into action.”
Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association:
“The Bible teaching is changing the way evangelical opinion is being expressed on immigration. More and more leaders as well as people in the pews are beginning to speak out and say we want a just, humane immigration reform that will change the gridlock that has currently been dominating the discussion in Washington. … The campaign is rooted in our Christian faith and our belief that every human being is created in the image of God. …
“Once we get to know immigrants and their families and see who they are and the ways that they are contributing to this country and some of the very real challenges that they face, as Christians we are moved to really take action and to get involved.”
Dr. Richard Land, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, SouthernBaptist Convention:
“This is an issue of conviction, it’s an issue of values, it’s an issue of bringing our biblical values to bear … We need to begin the process of stopping the pain and the suffering and the denial of basic human dignity that goes with a broken immigration policy. We believe this is an imperative for our nation. We believe that there is a comprehensive immigration reform package that can be passed, can be signed by the president, can be put into law … this year. Now is the time to do this. Those congressmen and senators who are standing up and going beyond the partisan divide to try to make this happen need to hear from those who support them …
“South Carolina is important both because Senator Graham has been part of the group of senators that have courageously been taking this issue on, working in a bipartisan manner with his Democratic colleagues as well as Republican colleagues in the Senate. … Lindsey Graham and Trey Gowdy and the other representatives from South Carolina need to hear from those who support them.”