Did Al Mohler imply Christians who don’t vote Republican are ‘unfaithful’?

Reporting on the controversy at C.Post and C.Leaders

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dgszweda's picture

Human Dignity is important, he states, yet it is okay to herd a bunch of immigrants into planes and land them in an island in the ocean.

We are at war, I agree.  But I question whether that war is a culture war between two political parties, or that it is a spiritual war between light and darkness.  If it is the latter, than things like the overturning of Roe v. Wade at the federal level hasn't moved the needle one inch.

Larry's picture

Moderator

he states, yet it is okay to herd a bunch of immigrants into planes and land them in an island in the ocean.

Did he state this? And what are you referring to?

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

dgszweda wrote:

Human Dignity is important, he states, yet it is okay to herd a bunch of immigrants into planes and land them in an island in the ocean.

I quickly read both sources above, and as far as I could tell, neither mentioned that Mohler said anything about immigration.

However, in my opinion, I can't see how sending immigrants to a very rich location that, according to PBS, has called itself a "sanctuary destination that welcomes migrants" is somehow LESS dignified than letting them sleep out on the sidewalk unprotected in >100-degree temperatures in areas that are dealing with thousands of immigrants and don't have the resources to help them.

Sure, you can call that a political stunt, but when migrants have signed releases that they agree to go to those places, and their travel expenses are paid, it's hardly undignified, and certainly not moreso than the thousands that the Biden administration has flown all over the country, in many cases, to destinations that are not welcoming, sanctuary destinations.

However, neither the Biden administration's flights nor the flights by governors, etc., are being done by Christian organizations, so those actions have nothing to do with evangelicals or Mohler.

Dave Barnhart

dgszweda's picture

Larry wrote:

he states, yet it is okay to herd a bunch of immigrants into planes and land them in an island in the ocean.

Did he state this? And what are you referring to?

He stated, Human Dignity was important.  I made the comment about the immigrants.  I struggle with people supporting the need to protect life and human dignity as solely around the protection of a fetus, yet the conservatives can cheer when we load up a bunch of immigrants, get them to sign non-disclosure paperwork, drop them off in an island in the Atlantic and then laugh watching how the residents of Martha's Vineyard deal with the situation.

I say bring in as many immigrants as we can as quickly as we can, screening only for criminals.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

dgszweda wrote:

I say bring in as many immigrants as we can as quickly as we can, screening only for criminals.

And how many is the number that the U.S. can realistically handle?  And why, if they are not candidates for political or religious asylum, should we indiscriminately open our borders to those who simply want to come?  A nation has every right to protect its borders and limit immigration to protect its interests.

As regards how we act as Christians towards illegal immigrants, I would absolutely agree with showing charity where we can (without aiding or encouraging lawlessness), as well as witnessing to them, and maybe seeing them converted.  They are not our enemies, but they are disobeying the laws of our country.  However, for those that are truly converted, I would also recommend to them that they come clean to the authorities about their actions if they entered illegally, as it is our duty as Christians to obey the laws of the land.

Dave Barnhart

WallyMorris's picture

Legal Immigration only. Illegal Immigration is creating massive problems that most in America haven't experienced yet. Controlling the borders is not a Christian issue but a practical security issue.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Bert Perry's picture

They've actually got documentation that the illegals flown to Martha's Vineyard agreed to be sent there.  There was no herding that we can prove at this point.

That noted, I am good with including immigration in the list of key issues, and what's worth noting is that the current system--largely coyotes shepherding illegals across the border--tends to result in a LOT of abuses against illegals.  Friends of mine who work with them note that young, attractive women are generally raped on their way north, for example, and yes, we are talking about teens, too.  You also have the horrendous abuses like the truck left to cause about 50 immigrants to die in the Texas sun at 120F, and quite frankly, there's a fair amount of evidence that many employers like hiring illegals quite frankly because they can be abused more easily--you just tell them "I'll be calling ICE", and problem is largely solved.

So what about a system of punishing employers who knowingly hire illegals, creating a decent border barrier, and harshly punishing the coyotes?  It would be far more beneficial to all involved, from the illegal immigrants to unskilled workers here, and finally of course the taxpayer.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

First, we don't know what they signed.  Only a few days later lawsuits are starting around the fact that they were lied to and misled.  Let's see where this goes in the court system.  I don't buy that this was some innocent act, and that they all agreed to come to Martha's Vineyard all on their own with no cohersion.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/marthas-vineyard-migrants-lawsuit-florida-g...

Also, not sure who we think are the coyotes?

https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/19/us/bexar-county-texas-migrant-investigati...

This country was founded on immigration.  My great grandparents were immigrants.  How many can we take?  A ton!  The birthrate in the US is declining.  That is bad for the economy on so many levels.  Will they take jobs from people in the US?  Never been proven.  What we do know is that each of them will need housing, clothes, transportation, gasoline, food, there kids will need to be educated, which means more schools.  All of their needs, creates lots of jobs for everyone.  And not just for blue collar workers.  If a school needs to be built, who needs to install all of the IT equipment? Sell software to the schools?....   Immigrants create more jobs than they take.  So bring them in!  

 

WallyMorris's picture

David: We should distinguish legal immigration from illegally crossing borders. You give the impression that the over 2 million illegal immigrants so far this year are acceptable. Also: I imagine the immigrants themselves are not filing lawsuits but political liberals on their behalf who see this as an opportunity to score political points.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/southwest-land-border-encounters

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

dgszweda's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

David: We should distinguish legal immigration from illegally crossing borders. You give the impression that the over 2 million illegal immigrants so far this year are acceptable. Also: I imagine the immigrants themselves are not filing lawsuits but political liberals on their behalf who see this as an opportunity to score political points.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/southwest-land-border-encounters

Yes.  2.3 Million immigrants were arrested crossing the border between Mexico and the US.  They should initially be sent back.  But in general, I think we should have a better path for people to enter into our country legally and become part of the population, just like many of our ancestors.

It is unclear who is spurring the lawsuits, but it may be a good guess that some if not most are triggered by lawyers meeting with the displaced people.  But if the initial reports that are coming out are partially true, it is a pretty sad.  Why did my Florida tax dollars pay to have asylum seekers in San Antonio flown to Martha's Vineyard.  This is a really good fiscally conservative Republican thing to do.  Shown below are the brochures that they had on them.  All of these services are for refugee's.  None of these individuals were refugees, they are asylum seekers.  It will be interesting to see who this "Perla" is, who gave them all money and gift cards to sign the paperwork and board the plane for their brand new jobs in Boston.

Larry's picture

Moderator

I struggle with people supporting the need to protect life and human dignity as solely around the protection of a fetus, yet the conservatives can cheer when we load up a bunch of immigrants, get them to sign non-disclosure paperwork, drop them off in an island in the Atlantic and then laugh watching how the residents of Martha's Vineyard deal with the situation.

First, is there anyone who actually believes that protecting life and human dignity is "solely" about the protection of a fetus? I have never run across this person. My guess is you haven't either. So why say it? To say that pro-life is about the unborn is in the same vein as saying BLM is about police brutality. BLM doesn't mean that other lives don't matter. It was used to focus on a particular societal issue (whether right or wrong). Most pro-life people I am aware of care deeply about euthanasia, which is about as far from fetus as you can get. They care about providing for families and children and they do it through their own resources quite often. They simply disagree about the best mechanism for helping them.

Second, calling Martha's Vineyard an "island in the Atlantic" seems to paint a picture that while, perhaps technically true is not entirely accurate. It is an "island in the Atlantic" about the same way that Long Island is an island in the Atlantic. It is one of the most desirable places in the country to live. It is a place that declared itself to be open to immigrants. 

Third, what is the problem with sending someone to Martha's Vineyard? Or Chicago (an island in Illinois??)? Is that somehow worse than Florida or Texas?

We all know this was a political move to expose the hypocrisy of the left. And it worked. But it's hard to see the tie to Christianity here (aside from political goals). Is there a biblical reason why moving immigrants to Chicago or Martha's Vineyard is sinful while moving them to Miami or El Paso or Houston is righteous? 

Does the Bible require open borders? What about the biblical requirement for rulers to rule justly and to uphold the laws? Does the Bible's command to care for others have no practical limitations? Does it require the possibility that the US become home to 8 billion people? I think immigration is a a feel-good issue for some. It allows them to virtue signal at no cost to themselves.

It seems like this an attempt to virtue signal by tying a political issue to the Bible and using it as a club over those who disagree. Or to put it differently, it sounds a lot of Jeffries or some other evangelical Trump supporters. 

And none of this actually addresses what Mohler said. What did he say that was wrong? Should Christians vote unwisely? Should they vote for those who hold to evil principles? What is the alternative? 

dgszweda's picture

Larry wrote:

First, is there anyone who actually believes that protecting life and human dignity is "solely" about the protection of a fetus? I have never run across this person.

You can say what you want, but it is clear that this was just a pure political stunt.  And it was done preying on the dignity of human immigrants.  Martha's Vineyard is not like Long Island.  It is a 7 miles off the coast, only accessible through the payment of ferries or airplanes.  It was specifically chosen to put a burden on those in Martha's Vineyard and the immigrants, making it hard to leave with no services or prospects.

If you think how those immigrants were treated was reflective of how we should treat those in need, than I am sorry.  These are people who have suffered much.  More than you and I will ever suffer in our lifetime.  And if we as Christians are going to preach about sanctity of life and doing everything we humanely can do to save an innocent child from death, yet turn to those who are suffering and play games with them to prove a point, or to stick it to the liberals, is really, really sad.  And that is the inconsistency with the party.  If they truly believed in dignity, there would be a root of compassion in this type of behavior or stunt.  We will speak out about abortion, but we will defend the behaviors that contribute to what they did to these Venzualans.  Who are not pawns, but people made in the image of God.

So before people like Mohler preach about the dignity of life and how it is important to vote for Republicans, because they uphold the dignity of life, we should really examine what the party does.  Which is not about dignity of life in as much as it is about votes.

WallyMorris's picture

David's comments equally apply to both major USA political parties. Both political parties are inconsistent. I expect inconsistency. They are political. Votes are always a major concern. Otherwise the political party will cease to exist. The question is which candidate or political party aligns best with Biblical principles and my personal beliefs. Mohler believes the Republican party does that better, although imperfectly. If we allow inconsistency to discourage us from voting for a political party or candidate, then we will not vote for anyone.

The problems of immigration go back decades, as each political party applied band-aid solutions. Even Reagan was unable/unwilling to confront the problem completely. Gospel opportunities are certainly present with the massive numbers of illegal immigrants. But we cannot let those opportunities obscure the necessity of controlling the borders.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

KD Merrill's picture

The fact that transporting illegal aliens from Point A to Point B is now all of a sudden a grave moral issue deserving of scorn and condemnation reflects the absolute hypocrisy and lack of principle in the Democrat party, the mainstream media and some on this thread.

So, illegal aliens are suddenly "pawns" when transported to a vacation destination with abundant infrastructure (housing, food and resources), yet all we heard were crickets from our moral betters when they were shipped cross country under the cloak of darkness to rural towns and counties.

Where have you been over the past 18 months?  Spare us the moral outrage.  Please.

dgszweda's picture

KD Merrill wrote:

Where have you been over the past 18 months?  Spare us the moral outrage.  Please.

Same place as always.  There wasn't an article in the past 18 months on Sharper Iron to comment on.  The issue isn't new.  And the problem is on both parties.  It just seems over the last 4 years the Republican party has become more hostile to the immigration situation.  Do I think that someone should not vote for the Republican party?  No.  I would like to see the idea of Human Dignity promoted by conservative evangelicals as the rallying cry for banning abortion to be brought into other areas, like Human Dignity of those who have suffered, travelled great distances to try to come to a place of opportunity to make a better life for their family. 

What is surprising is why we can't agree as Christians, that the flight of immigrants to Martha's Vineyard was not consistent with holding a high view of dignity for those who are in need and suffering.  We all know it was a political stunt at the expense of asylum seekers who have fled an oppressive evil government.

This isn't about saying the Democrats are great.  This is about the fact that we should be holding our party accountable.  The Republican party is better than this.  If we truly want to hold the banner of the party that cares about Human Dignity, than we shouldn't be identified as the party that does this crazy stuff.  Instead of cheering DeSantis because we think he is better than Biden, we need to scold these people.  In my opinion it is less about who we should vote for, and more about how we as conservative evangelicals can influence the party with the right values.  Not try to find ways to argue or explain this away, like Martha's Vineyard is no different than shipping them to Long Island.  Come on!  Aren't we better than this?

Larry's picture

Moderator

You can say what you want, but it is clear that this was just a pure political stunt.

I wanted to say that and I did (as you can see above). You agree with me on that.

Martha's Vineyard is like Long Island in that it is an island in the Atlantic Ocean. I thought I was clear about that.  Saying they were being sent to an island in the Atlantic makes it sound like they are being exiled to Patmos or something. They weren't. They were sent to the one of the richest enclaves in America that is inhabited by people who apparently say we should welcome immigrants. Apparently by "we" they mean "you."

I don't think Martha's Vineyard was chosen to put a burden on them. It was chosen to make a point ... that the liberals who typically inhabit a place like Martha's Vineyard are big on welcoming immigrants until they actually are expected to welcome immigrants. Then they don't care. It would have been no real burden on those people to care for these immigrants. They have more than enough money and resources to do it. 

It's strange that more immigrants were sent to Chicago and they received less attention. I don't think it was mentioned at all here at SI. Why? 

You say these people have suffered much, but how do you know that? Do you know any of these people? Do you know anything about them prior to the story showing up in the news? This is why I call it virtue signaling. We don't know these people or anything about them. Yet we have declared it bad and demeaning to send them to another place. Yes, it was a political stunt, as I said in my first post. But it is hard to see the harm here, at least from what I know. They are well taken care of.

What about the dignity and humanity of the cities where these people came from? The places that are struggling to keep up with the influx? Do they deserve no compassion? 

I think part of the problem is treating complex problems like immigration with simplistic solutions like "Let them all come" or "Don't let any of them come." Or "Send them to Martha's Vineyard and own the libs" or something else. It is more complex than that.

I am not defending sending these people anywhere. And to my knowledge, neither did Mohler.

Which brings us back to this: What did Mohler say that was wrong? Should Christians vote unwisely? Should they vote for those who hold to evil principles? What is the alternative?

 

Ken S's picture

dgszweda wrote:

 

You can say what you want, but it is clear that this was just a pure political stunt.  And it was done preying on the dignity of human immigrants.  Martha's Vineyard is not like Long Island.  It is a 7 miles off the coast, only accessible through the payment of ferries or airplanes.  It was specifically chosen to put a burden on those in Martha's Vineyard and the immigrants, making it hard to leave with no services or prospects.

If you think how those immigrants were treated was reflective of how we should treat those in need, than I am sorry.  These are people who have suffered much.  More than you and I will ever suffer in our lifetime.  And if we as Christians are going to preach about sanctity of life and doing everything we humanely can do to save an innocent child from death, yet turn to those who are suffering and play games with them to prove a point, or to stick it to the liberals, is really, really sad.  And that is the inconsistency with the party.  If they truly believed in dignity, there would be a root of compassion in this type of behavior or stunt.  We will speak out about abortion, but we will defend the behaviors that contribute to what they did to these Venzualans.  Who are not pawns, but people made in the image of God.

So before people like Mohler preach about the dignity of life and how it is important to vote for Republicans, because they uphold the dignity of life, we should really examine what the party does.  Which is not about dignity of life in as much as it is about votes.

I appreciate what you've said here and couldn't agree more. I wish more Christians shared this viewpoint and find it sad that they do not.

On "obeying and respecting our laws", I've often wondered how I would respond if I were in the same circumstances as many illegal immigrants. Many of them are in situations where they are unable to feed their families, some face constant danger from gangs/criminals in their own countries, and have a level of suffering that I will never face as dgszweda said. They know the immigration process is long and likely impossible for them to complete, but if they can just get across the border they and their families will be safe. If I was in their shoes, I think trying to survive by escaping to the US would be a lot higher on my priority list than making sure I obey the US immigration laws.

I am for obeying laws and try to do so in my own life. But it's telling that many evangelicals are more concerned with immigration laws than they are with suffering immigrants. I'm all for keeping criminals and dangerous people out by securing our borders, but by all means let's provide easy access to our country and our wealth to those who desperately need it. We can do both.

Also, Al Mohler's statement is a prime example of Christian nationalism (maybe speaking at the Pray, Vote, Stand Summit is also a clue). He is conflating his political viewpoints with kingdom of God.

Bert Perry's picture

dgszweda wrote:

First, we don't know what they signed.  Only a few days later lawsuits are starting around the fact that they were lied to and misled.  Let's see where this goes in the court system.  I don't buy that this was some innocent act, and that they all agreed to come to Martha's Vineyard all on their own with no cohersion.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/marthas-vineyard-migrants-lawsuit-florida-g...

Also, not sure who we think are the coyotes?

https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/19/us/bexar-county-texas-migrant-investigati...

This country was founded on immigration.  My great grandparents were immigrants.  How many can we take?  A ton!  The birthrate in the US is declining.  That is bad for the economy on so many levels.  Will they take jobs from people in the US?  Never been proven.  What we do know is that each of them will need housing, clothes, transportation, gasoline, food, there kids will need to be educated, which means more schools.  All of their needs, creates lots of jobs for everyone.  And not just for blue collar workers.  If a school needs to be built, who needs to install all of the IT equipment? Sell software to the schools?....   Immigrants create more jobs than they take.  So bring them in!  

 

David, if it's unfair to say we don't know enough to exonerate Florida, at the same time we concede that we do not know enough to seriously accuse Florida.  And count me very suspicious that a Democratic official suddenly "has all this information" to make the accusation.  The Democrats have been flying thousands of illegals under cover of night all around the country for years, ignoring when they can immigration law for decades.  The strong suspicion is that the well-known loosening of election law and code is really intended to harvest illegal votes.

Regarding the coyotes, yes, it can be hard to identify them, but we'd (ahem) at least have a chance if people were told "yes, you paid $3000 to get here, but we're sending you right back to Mexico City".   Let's not confuse, by the way, what the actual coyotes are doing vs. what Biden and DeSantis are doing.  At least I hope that nobody in ICE or Florida government is systematically raping young ladies and running drugs!

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

dgszweda wrote:

You can say what you want, but it is clear that this was just a pure political stunt.  And it was done preying on the dignity of human immigrants. 

It was hardly "just a pure political stunt," although it was partially that, for sure.  What it was, was a political calculation, and a pretty shrewd one at that.  The point of it was always to bring this issue to the forefront, instead of letting the Biden administration continue to lie about the border being "closed", and deflect and hide all the problems.  If it had the secondary effect of taking people from a hot, dusty place with hardly any services and giving them a chance to go (voluntarily) to a very nice and wealthy place that described itself as being "welcoming to migrants," then that's just a win-win scenario from a political viewpoint.

What ended up happening was exactly what the Texas and Florida governments suspected would happen -- it exposed the places that claim to be sanctuaries to be the hollowed-out, deceptive, virtue-signaling, and uncaring places that they are.  They were only "welcoming" as long as it cost them nothing to say so.  Personally, from a secular standpoint, I think the costs for the buses and flights spent by those governments have been very small for the effect that they have had, and if it brings more attention to the fact that the Biden administration is ignoring and breaking the law to allow this (and flying many more thousands themselves than Texas and Florida, and to places that don't necessarily advertise that they are welcoming to migrants), then it's very worth the tax dollars (politically speaking) to do so.

From a Christian point of view, what those people I know are cheering has nothing to do with what is happening to the illegal immigrants.  They chose to come here illegally, and actually, I still see being sent to places that claim to want them as superior to leaving them on the street in places that can't help them.  That's hardly "preying" on them.  What we are cheering is the fact that finally something is being done to point out in a way that's very obvious the breaking and ignoring of the immigration laws, and the consequences that arise from that, and that the statement that "the border is closed" is shown to be the lie we already knew it was, but was being ignored by the government and media.

You can't just claim that because "destitute people are involved" that the laws can just be ignored or broken in the name of "Human Dignity" or even "Christian Charity."  Christianity has nothing to do with breaking laws in order to show that we care for the poor and needy.

Dave Barnhart

JohnS's picture

dgszweda wrote:

. . .  So bring them in!  

You lost me at bring.  That's clearly not what is happening here.  Unless you count coyotes, cash payments, and raping of women and young girls.  In fairness, I doubt you mean that.

KD Merrill's picture

There wasn't an article in the past 18 months on Sharper Iron to comment on.  

Are you sure?  You commented on an article that never mentioned immigration.  Are you sure that you couldn't find another unrelated article to criticize the dozens, if not hundreds, of flights transporting illegal aliens all around the country to rural America?   You just somehow stumbled upon an appropriate opportunity to criticize a conservative governor for exposing liberal hypocrisy.

It just seems over the last 4 years the Republican party has become more hostile to the immigration situation.  

Conservatives, not Republicans, have been concerned about illegal immigration for well beyond the past four years.  There's an established process for immigration and an established process for changing immigration law.  I find it just slightly ironic that the same sticklers for churches following authoritarian executive orders regarding religious freedom during COVID don't find violations of immigration law all that problematic.

...those who have suffered, travelled great distances to try to come to a place of opportunity to make a better life for their family. 

We all know it was a political stunt at the expense of asylum seekers who have fled an oppressive evil government.

I'm sure these Venezuelans fled their country looking for a better life.  How many countries did they traverse to get here?  How many other countries were closer that could have provided them asylum?  They came here because they know the current administration isn't interested in enforcing its own laws.  

You're obviously concerned about treating those in the country illegally with a higher standard than those who live on/near the border whose lives are completely disrupted because of the mess brought upon them by the Biden administration neglecting its duty to protect the border.

Why is that?

 

 

 

dgszweda's picture

KD Merrill wrote:

I find it just slightly ironic that the same sticklers for churches following authoritarian executive orders regarding religious freedom during COVID don't find violations of immigration law all that problematic.

 

You're obviously concerned about treating those in the country illegally with a higher standard than those who live on/near the border whose lives are completely disrupted because of the mess brought upon them by the Biden administration neglecting its duty to protect the border.

Why is that?

Which immigration law did these Venezualans violate?  I agree that immigration law should be followed.  Just wondering where these asylum seekers who entered through a legal point of entry and filed the necessary asylum paperwork violated the law?  Or did the Customs office violate the law?  Where laws are being violated people should be held accountable.  I am not saying anything contrary to that.

I also never said that I don't have any concerns about those who live at the border.  I think they have legitimate concerns.  The problem with immigration is that we have no cohesive set of legal policies but just a patchwork of memo's, executive orders and laws both local and national that are trying to be a policy.  Half of which are thrown out and rewritten with each new administration.  Both sides just talk past each other and year after year, decade after decade nothing gets done.  Until that gets fixed the whole thing will continue to be a mess, with everyone saying each side is illegal.  The Democrats said that everything Trump was doing was illegal, and tried to do everything to stop him or sidestep his orders, and the Republicans are saying that everything Biden is doing is illegal and they are trying to do everything to stop him and sidestep his orders.  In the end it is a stupid mess that doesn't really need to be a mess.  We can make the borders safe and allow a lot more immigrants in, in a controlled manner.