Dr. Russell D. Moore, a notable pastor, teacher, and theologian associated with the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has recently written a blog post on immigration and the gospel in light of the recent pro-illegal immigration resolution by the SBC, in which he exhorts Christians to be much more accepting of illegal aliens, chanting “Whosoever will may come.” Because Jesus was Himself an illegal immigrant, and because Christ’s atoning sacrifice has bridged the gap between Jew and Gentile, it is therefore incumbent upon American Christians to express solidarity with Hispanics by welcoming them into their land, just as an amiable neighbor would welcome friends into his household.
Or so he says. There are a number of fallacious and downright wrong lines of argumentation which Moore employs. I will go through his brief blog post in the order in which he presents his points.
First, Moore is to be praised for not viewing immigration policy as disconnected from religion. He states that our views “must be informed by more than politics, but instead by gospel and mission.” This principle is both accurate and helpful: either explicitly or implicitly, God’s Word addresses everything and Moore’s desire to articulate a biblical outlook on this issue is duly noted. That being said, even the most liberal of social-gospel peddlers cite Scripture, so it is difficult to be genuinely happy unless the conclusions are biblical as well. So while he is correct in principle to look to Scripture as authoritative in our immigration policy, the conclusions he attempts to draw are severely wrongheaded.
For instance, he derides Christians for referring to illegal immigrants as “those people” or as “draining our health care and welfare resources.” These two phrases are peculiar to note, for one can see that they contain no racial slurs, but seem innocuously descriptive. Granted, Moore’s point is to disapprove of the manner in which these things are said—he specifically rebukes “mean-spirited disdain”—but he still chose those phrases specifically to make his point. Alarmingly, his selection of “those people” reveals, by implication, both that whites are not permitted to speak of themselves as a people separate from other peoples (except when groveling), and that they are forbidden from speaking of other ethnic or racial groups in a negative manner even when it is warranted. What else could be inferred? There is nothing at all wrong with the phrase “those people,” save the anti-white pseudo-guilt we might be harboring within ourselves. The second phrase is a mere factual statement: illegal immigrants are draining our resources. That could be objectionable if it were a blatant falsity, but it just is not. It is rather a blatant truth that illegals use services paid for by civilized taxpayers—that they commit outright theft. The statistics bear this out fully, especially in California.1
Maybe it is true that some Christians are being sinful in their attitudes when they say these phrases. Nonetheless, I hope that a pastor would more quickly condemn theft and nation-destruction than slight and debatable meanness of spirit. To do the opposite would be a flagrant breaking of Matthew 7:3. The Southern Presbyterian theologian R.L. Dabney echoed the same sentiment:
Were you traveling in Mexico, assailed by bandits, wounded, dragged from your carriage, bound to a tree, and looking with a bleeding pate upon the rifling of your baggage, if you were called on to state, then and there, how exceedingly you desired the spiritual good of the yellow-skinned barbarians who were persecuting you, it is to be presumed that you would beg to be excused, under the circumstances. So I, for one, make no professions of special love for those who are, even now, attempting against me and mine the most loathsome outrages. If I can only practice the duty of forbearance successfully, and say, “Father, forgive them; they know not what they do,” I shall thank God for his assistance in the hour of cruel provocation.2
One of Moore’s central arguments is that “our Lord Jesus himself was a so-called ‘illegal immigrant.’” In the first place, his dislike of the terminology of “illegal immigrant” is overt. Just as the race-deniers opt to eternally place “race” in quotation marks, and just as the feminists opt to place “she” (or “they,” repugnantly) in the place of “he” to represent an unspecified human, so Moore has a special choice of language for this issue. And just as with the race-deniers and feminists, this is a big deal. I cannot claim to read Moore’s mind, but his repudiation of the adjective “illegal” strongly indicates that he does not believe there should even be a distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. There might be undocumented immigrants, aliens who did not fill out the official paperwork, but this neglect of an arbitrary bureaucratic requirement should not constitute immorality or illegality in Moore’s eyes. At the very least, he thinks calling them “illegal” is unhelpful and rude, which still implies that the label is false. He believes, simply, that “whosoever will may come.” This idea is just absurd; would he really have no problem with Mexican families moving into his house without permission? Would he still be chanting “whosoever will may come”? I doubt it. Further, it also contradicts the Christian doctrine of nations, which I will address soon. For now, suffice it to say that people who immigrate illegally can accurately be called illegal immigrants; no quotation marks needed.
Though Moore’s hatred of the terminology of illegality is obnoxiously leftist, equally obnoxious is Moore’s contradiction in both casting Jesus as an illegal immigrant and still favoring Romans 13-style legal recourse against illegals. If Jesus immigrated illegally, then it cannot be a sin, but if it is not a sin, then we cannot punish it. Moore cannot have it both ways. Admittedly, he might qualify this by saying that Jesus was not really an illegal immigrant in Egypt, since He very probably broke no law in such immigration, but at that point there would be no point in citing Jesus’s example except to falsely emotionally cloud the issue.
There are additional reasons to ridicule the idea that Jesus was such an illegal immigrant—or, more accurately, the idea that Jesus’s being a man-on-the-run entails that we ought to grant amnesty to Mexican immigrants. The argument just does not follow. First of all, Jesus and His family simply moved from one Roman province to another, which is about as illegal as moving from one U.S. state to another. Secondly, unlike modern Mexicans, He was forced to leave His home to survive,3 and of course He never committed thievery through welfare. Nor did the presence of His small family pose a threat to the cultural milieu or racial composition of the host culture. There is simply no parallel to be drawn between modern illegal immigrants and the example of our Lord. If Moore thought there was, then he should have taken a bit more space fleshing it out.
Moore goes on to state, correctly, that Jesus is the fulfillment of Israel, who was likewise oppressed when inhabiting a foreign land, and that such oppression is part of the reason why Israelites were repeatedly commanded not to oppress strangers themselves. No doubt white Christians would hate to break such obvious commandments, but it is a huge logical fallacy to suppose that it is oppression to demand a land for one’s own people! It is not sinful for families to place borders around their own place of residence, and neither is it sinful for nations and races to do the same. Westerners intuitively recognize this right for all peoples but their own: Americans and Europeans are the only peoples on earth for whom the ideas of nationalism and racial pride are seen as wrong and racist. It is true that we in the West often break the Lord’s commandment in Leviticus 19:34 and similar passages—but that is because we are so backwards as to exalt the alien and debase the native!
This really is a perverse line of thought. Conservative Christians harp quite often on the importance of upholding the traditional family, but just as important is the need to heed the traditional nation. The biblical conception of a nation is not the American polyglot paradise, but based on a singular ethnicity or race–specifically, Europeans. This definition was conclusively trampled with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, and it continues to be trampled today with the hordes of third-world immigrants and their rapid birth rates. Yet, we are now so far-gone as to morally condemn those who would oppose not only third-world immigration, but illegal third-world immigration. This is insanity! It should be clear that Moore is promoting the social “gospel” on this issue, not the gospel of Christ—otherwise his racist (and truly Christian) ancestors would have talked and acted as he does now, instead of doing the exact opposite throughout all of Christian history pre-1950.
Notwithstanding all these factors, Moore tries to press the point by casting the preponderance of illegal immigrants as both (1) desperately trying to provide for their families and (2) being sorely needed in the American labor force. (He even goes so far as to say that there is a metaphorical “Help wanted” sign on the border.) The latter idea is just silly—the 1965 act was not passed to supplement American labor! There is truth in the idea that companies seek Mexican labor, but that is because it is dirt cheap and they, shielded by popular cliches, sinfully shirk their duty to aid their own people. As Kevin DeAnna says, the profits are privatized while the costs are socialized. Darrell Dow says the same thing, and outlines other grievous economic costs of immigration, in addition to its hellish political implications. The former idea is also a sham given the great display of immorality by many illegals residing here. The welfare-theft should be a red flag, but there are also plenty of stories of murder and drug gang wars along the border, in addition to countless acts of theft, rape, and murder once they arrive in America’s heartland. No doubt Mexicans are economically better off up here, for they would probably not immigrate otherwise; but the idea that they, on the whole, are upstanding but downtrodden folks is a lie. The ninth commandment makes it just as dangerous and sinful to falsely speak too highly of others.
Following suit with other pastors influenced by cultural Marxism, Moore takes the doctrine of international unity in Christ on a spiritual level, and attempts to ramrod it into physical unity. He says, “Our commitment to a multinational kingdom of God’s reconciliation in Christ must be evident in the verbal witness of our gospel and in the visible makeup of our congregations.” Just because the body of Christ is multiracial, it does not follow that our lands ought to be multiracial too. It is ridiculous to claim that no particular people is allowed to claim a land for themselves, that it is sinful to maintain borders and racial distinctions, and to do otherwise is to deny the multi-nationality of the church. As above, this is insanity. It is the perfect way to bring about anti-Christian, neo-Babel, one-world government.
Unfortunately these sentiments are to be expected, given Moore’s commentary on other racial issues. He contends that transracial adoption will help us to “break down barriers of racial division,”4 meaning racial distinction. He clearly thinks that race is nothing more than skin color, and he views any racial categorizations of ourselves as being “according to the flesh.” He constantly uses the word “race” in quotes, denying its divinely-sanctioned reality and relevance, and he explicitly calls a preference for one’s own race in adoption “the spirit of antichrist.”5 He believes that the Civil Rights communists were “on the side of Jesus,” and sees it as odd but undeniable that all those conservatives were wrong and the liberals right.6 (You’d think he would take the hint!)7 Of course, the number of caricatures, fallacies, and hateful slanders on his part is legion, but it is not my interest to correct everything here. I just wish to pinpoint two particularly heretical quotations of his.
Moore is on record as saying, “If God personally regenerates repentant sinners, both white and black, how can we see people in terms of ‘race’ rather than in terms of the person?” That is, because God saves sinners from different peoples, we cannot consider ourselves part of any people (yes, families included). Salvation abstracts us from our race to be viewed only as atomistic individuals: redemption is genocide. Moore also has said a monstrously satanic quote which requires no additional commentary: “It is to our shame that we ignored our own doctrines to advance something as clearly demonic as racial pride.”8
What are we to make of all this? What do we do when significant Christian leaders despise the obvious doctrine that God created and separated the races, preferring to embrace neo-Gnosticism and neo-Manichaeism? White Americans deserve better leaders than those who are purposely leading them off the cliff of territorial dispossession, cultural destruction, and ethnic suicide. It is far past time we started judging those who claim to be the leaders of the Church and began shunning those who would slit their own kinsmen’s throats in exchange for praise from the New York Times and money in their coffers.
- This data isn’t even that recent, which implies that the effects will be understated when compared to today. Further, see also http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecentersffec. ↩
- R.L. Dabney, “Ecclesiastical Equality of Negroes,” p. 2 from the PDF accessed at http://www.dabneyarchive.com/Discussions%20V2/Ecclesiastical%20Equality%20of%20Negroes.pdf. ↩
- It is because of this reason, as well as my ignorance of ancient Roman immigration policy, that I said Jesus “probably broke no law” in fleeing to Egypt. Even if Jesus did break a law, it would have not been sin due to the overriding reason of survival. But in point of fact, Mexican immigrants are not crossing the Rio Grande to save themselves from Herodian persecution, and if some were, then their guilt would be mitigated. ↩
- http://www.russellmoore.com/2009/10/31/racism-and-the-great-commission-resurgence/ ↩
- See http://www.russellmoore.com/2008/05/29/transracial-adoption-the-gospel-and-you/. It also is laughable that his hypothetical examples most often include black parents and a white child, as if that is common. ↩
- http://www.russellmoore.com/2010/01/18/why-kings-dream-overcame-christian-white-supremacy/ ↩
- For consistency’s sake, he actually believes that modern gay rights advocates are the ideological heirs of the segregationists! ↩
- http://www.russellmoore.com/2010/01/18/why-kings-dream-overcame-christian-white-supremacy/ ↩