Evangelical Leaders Mistaken: Latino Immigrants Not Hard-Wired Conservatives


About the author: Bryan Fischer is the Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association, where he provides expertise on a range of public policy topics. Described by the New York Times as a "talk-radio natural," he hosts the "Focal Point" radio program on AFR Talk, which ... [read 's FULL BIO]

The New York Times recently featured a piece on evangelical leaders and their support for the Rubio amnesty bill.

This bill violates any number of evangelical principles such as equality under the law, accountability for unlawful choices, respect for sovereign borders, and self-reliance. That’s why it is so surprising to see so many evangelical leaders abandon these principles en masse to jump on board the amnesty train.

Many of the evangelical leaders who make up the Evangelical Immigration Table are men I respect and admire. On the immigration issue, however, they are just plain wrong. So consider this an intramural discussion among members of the same team.

In the Times piece, one evangelical leader was quoted to the effect that evangelicals must support amnesty because it “respects the God-given dignity of every person.” In essence, what this leader is saying is that respecting another person requires you to reward them for breaking the law. This, of course, is absurd.

In fact, respecting the God-given dignity of every person means quite the opposite: it means believing that every human being is a free moral agent who has the capacity, with God’s help, to obey the law and provide for themselves, and can and should be held accountable for their choices. To think otherwise actually shows a lack of respect for their God-given capacities.

Speaking of illegal immigrants, this leader also says, “They’re social conservatives, hard-wired to be pro-family, religious and entrepreneurial.” Yet the illegitimacy rate in the Hispanic community is well north of 50%, and the Heritage Foundation has indicated that the average illegal alien has just a 10th grade education and is therefore a low-skilled worker who will consume far more in welfare benefits than he pays in taxes. I don’t have a trained eye, but the facts simply don’t support the “socially conservative entrepreneur” meme.

Another evangelical leader says that “the Latino community coming in, both legally and illegally generally possess a value system that is compatible with America’s value system.” Again, this statement seems ludicrous on its face. Since when is illegality a part of America’s value system? This point of view seems in fact to be dangerously un-American.

In terms of even religious compatibility, a national organization of Latino Protestants deliberately avoided use of the term “evangelical” “so the media won’t identify us with our white brethren.” So much for assimilation, and so much for America as a color-blind melting pot.

The Times writer inadvertently reveals how out of phase Latino Protestants are with classic American values such as self-reliance, private charity, and free enterprise. She claims that Latinos believe that being “pro-life” does not mean saving the life of unborn babies, which is what evangelicals understand the term to mean. Rather, on the lips of Latinos it means “combating social injustice and reining in capitalism.” In other words, when Latinos use the term “pro-life,” they are not talking about unborn babies at all but rather about Marxist ideology.

Researchers at the polling organization Latino Decisions wrote in 2011, “Minority citizens prefer a more energetic government, by large and statistically significant margins.” In other words, Hispanic immigrants love bigger and bigger government and more and more government programs. They are decidedly not, as evangelicals largely are, supporters of smaller, less intrusive and less expensive government. In other words, if Latinos are hard-wired to be anything, they’re hard-wired to be liberal Democrats. That’s why 71% of Latinos voted for President Obama, and are likely to vote left for decades to come.

If evangelicals think that amnesty will magically transform Hispanics into conservative voters, they need only learn from history. Ronald Reagan granted outright amnesty, no conditions, in 1986 after receiving 37% of the Latino vote. His successor, George H.W. Bush, received just 30% of the Latino vote in 1988. There was simply no loyalty or electoral gratitude there.

Peter Cha of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School confesses that “most international students…when it comes to socioeconomic issues and globalization…are quite progressive.” In other words, they are not hard-wired to be conservatives at all.

The conclusion is inescapable: if evangelicals slide toward a worldview that embraces amnesty for illegal immigrants, they will have to drift away from America’s founding principles to do it and drift into the orbit of Marxism.

And the evangelical base knows it. One of the striking things about this wholesale lurch to the left on immigration by evangelical leaders is how out of touch they are with the people in the pew. One evangelical leader quoted in the Times piece admits as much. He says, “Leaders are usually ahead of the laity – that’s called leadership.”

Well, as the saying goes, if you think you’re leading but nobody’s following, you’re just taking a walk. And I’m afraid that my evangelical colleagues are out for a lonely stroll on this one.

(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio, or JanMorganMedia.com.)

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  • The very reason I don’t call myself a evangelical but, a Born Again Believer. Evangelicals come in all shapes and sizes but, very few have a personal relationship with God, most don’t know anything about what the Bible says only what they are told by their leaders. This Born Again Believer says give each illegal a $100,000 each and send them home, build the wall and shoot to kill if they try to come back. Would save America Billions of dollars every year. Want to wait in line and follow the law, more then welcome. Some would say that isn’t Christian but, I follow the Bible and what it says and not what liberal evangelical leaders say. I wish the illegals well, in Mexico or where ever they are from, if you can’t make it with a $100,000 then you aren’t going to make it here either.

    • DogOfWar

      Amen brother!
      The native hispanic population of the USA is primarily conservative.
      But the immigrant population, especially the illegal hispanic population, is hard left leaning and socialist minded!

  • Evermyrtle

    A Christian, first of all, should be careful that whatever decision they make, is not a decision that GOD would not be pleased with. He should come first, before anything else. If we are to continue as a Christian country, we must do that . We, as a free country are already on very shaky ground, without HIS very own failing to live for HIM. HE is our only chance, of survival, we cannot afford to turn away from HIM. I do not claim evangelical, I am a “CHILD OF GOD!”

  • bayman61

    We are a nation of laws. We cannot stray away from that. It would be the ruin of the country.

  • marineh2ominer

    Those so called evangelical leaders are wrong for one very good reason , they really don’t give a damn because in reality they are no longer Christians , but shills for the secular Washington government .

  • I am sorry. I am a old Lutheran we do not believe in the crap that has been handed out by Obama nor do we tolerate law breakers. We do however still have a marital history that is not afraid of tyrants including Hitler.

    • granny

      And of course we know that Hitler exists inside of BO’s body. When he was reborn, they did not want anyone to know that Hitler was alive & still up to his same old tricks.

      • Could be. Only thing I know is that it is a spirit of satan.

  • billygeturgun

    “Since when is illegality a part of America’s value system?” in regards to the illegals possessing a similar value system to America’s value system. In answer to the question, I’d say since oh, 1998 or there abouts. Have you looked at America’s value system recently? Or better yet, LACK OF A VALUE SYSTEM? And the sheep keep believing!

  • Jed54

    No, their just hard wired moochers…

  • The devil does his best work and has some of his best people, IN THE CHURCHES.
    Want to know if a man is godly. Ask him if he lives in John 14:11-14. Don’t let him answer with anything except YES OR NO. Anything else is deceit and wickedness.

  • Robert S Moulds

    Most of these Latin Americans are looking for a better life and are afraid of the right due to their own fascist governments. If they are illegal sending them home seems easy to do but still can you blame them for leaving. I hope they can come up with some thing to handle the mess. It is important to note they do jobs most don’t want and when the good jobs are gone then we want them gone so they don’t compete for what little is left.

    • granny

      Hispanics come over illegal, don’t work and have raised the welfare debit sky high. They came for the easy life. Their kids receive free college, free housing. If hispanics want to live here, then they can wait for their turn to enter the USA. The hispanics that have waited for their turn are still waiting thanks to the illegals. They rape, murder, and rob. They go to jail and then released by BOZO. If they are shipped back to Mexico, they return as soon as they can get the chance. It starts all over again. So if they want a better life…..obey the laws of the USA, find a job, and stop raping, robbing, & murdering. This is our land, obey our laws or get the hell out.

  • junkmailbin

    the evanjellyfish assisted in electing Obama . How is this working out guys???
    Is Barry, the gay Arab Kenyan, really better that Romney???

  • granny

    Since what year have churches become involved w/ political manure? They used to just preach about God & church was enjoyable, not about who is conservative & who is liberal. If anything would cause anyone to not attend church, they have found it.

  • junkmailbin

    yes, a truly intelligent group of self righteous bigots They are sure that Obama is better at president the Romney would have been.