Hispanic Christian Organization Promises Unrelenting Pressure on Congress in Response to DACA Decision

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference reacted within minutes to Donald Trump’s decision to end protection of undocumented people brought here as children (DACA).
Although the response to Trump was tepid, the organization promises a full court press on Congress.

REV SAMUEL RODRIGUEZ REACTS TO DACA DECISION:
Hispanic Christians to Launch National 60-Day Campaign in Support of DREAMers, Will Put “Unrelenting Pressure” on Members of Congress Until “Every DREAMer can Dream Again”
“We do not intend on letting a single member of Congress have a good night’s rest until they guarantee our young people can rest easy.” Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today, in light of the White House’s decision on DACA, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and its affiliate churches and organizations, announces a national campaign intent on putting “unrelenting pressure” on “every” member of Congress until a permanent, legislative solution is provided for “DREAMers.”
“Hundreds-of-thousands of Hispanic young people will be overcome with fear and grief today. Simultaneously, a multi-ethnic coalition of tens-of-millions of law abiding, U.S. citizens will begin to put unrelenting pressure on members of Congress to provide a permanent solution for DREAMers, whose fate is in question by no fault of their own,” said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
“For far too long in this country, Hispanic young people have been the political bargaining chips of our powerful politicians. This is an affront to the sanctity of life, it is inhumane, and the Hispanic community will stand for it no longer. Our elected members of Congress have time and again, professed concern for the Hispanic community and yet, have chosen to do nothing. We will not distinguish between Republicans and Democrats but between those who stand for righteousness and justice and those who do not.”
Among other actions, the National Hispanic. Christian Leadership Conference will be temporarily relocating additional staff to Washington, D.C., launching a national media campaign, rallying tens-of-thousands of the nation’s spiritual leaders, coordinating weekly meetings on Capitol Hill and in State Capitols. Additionally, the NHCLC will be organizing a “fly-in” of hundreds of prominent Hispanic leaders from throughout North America for a prayer meeting on the evening of Oct. 30, followed by a series of Congressional visits on Oct. 31.
Of President Donald J. Trump’s decision to phaseout DACA, the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez says the following:
“I am disappointed that these protections are ending and I’ve expressed that disappointment to the White House directly. I also understand why they chose this course of action. If the fate of DACA is any indication, then it was only a matter of time before DACA would face a similar fate in the court sand, in fact, the entire program could be ceased immediately by a court order rather than being phased out. Thankfully, It is the job of Congress to make laws, and now the President has provided Congress a six month window to legislate a more permanent and legally defensible solution for DREAMers. Six months is too long, we will demand action from Congress within 60 days. We do not intend on letting a single member of Congress have a good night’s rest until they guarantee our young people can rest easy. We will not be silent until every DREAMer can dream again.”
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is a non-partisan organization that has long been numbered among the nation’s foremost advocates for comprehensive immigration reform. It is the organization’s official position that it is primarily the responsibility of Congress to address the nation’s longstanding challenges with immigration policy. In that capacity Rev. Samuel Rodriguez has worked with Democrat and Republican majorities in Congress as well as with Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump in advocating for comprehensive immigration reform.
###
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference( NHCLC) is the organization recognized and identified by Time Magazine, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, Fox News, CNN, and a number of additional media outlets, publications, and periodicals as America’s largest Hispanic/Latino Christian organization with 40,118 certified member churches in the United States and in covenant relationship with ministries and churches in LatinAmerica and around the world.
Website | www.nhclc.org Twitter | @nhclc

I commend the group for the promise of action. However, I hoped for a stronger response to President Trump. The president did not need to stop new applications. The deadline for a lawsuit was arbitrary and could have been ignored by Trump. Even if the state AGs decided to sue, that would have taken a long time and would have put just as much pressure on Congress. I agree that Congress is culpable but I also believe evangelicals will shift the blame to Congress when in fact Trump didn’t have to take any action unless he wanted to, which apparently he did.

Trump's DACA Decision is an Attack on Ronald Reagan's Legacy (VIDEO)

reaganEarlier today, Donald Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) would be “rescinded.” The decision which could result in the eventual deportation of nearly 800,000 people is an attack on the legacy of Ronald Reagan. Reagan supported amnesty for those who came into the country illegally but had settled into American communities. The GOP is no longer the party of Reagan on immigration.
In 1980, both Bush and Reagan in a campaign debate responded to a question about the children of illegal immigrants. Both Bush and Reagan provided a humane and responsible answer. Both understood the destabilizing effect of xenophobia and Reagan specifically rejected the idea of a “fence.” Both understood that a friendly and cooperative Mexico is vital to our security interests. Neither Reagan nor Bush would be welcome in today’s party of Trump. Watch:

In a debate with Democrat presidential candidate Walter Mondale in 1984, Reagan said:

I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally.

Reagan also understood that the economic problems of other countries create conditions which make it likely that people will flee to the U.S. Reagan did not condemn hard working people for wanting a better life. He saw America as the hope for that life. His goal was to improve relations with other nations to help lift them up. Now, the party of Reagan has become the party of America First which seems to mean American Only.
Today’s Republicans in Congress should find their backbone and stand in the tradition of Reagan. First, they need to pass veto-proof legislation which would protect the DACA participants and then next they should pass legislation which would allow a path to legalization for the undocumented.

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The 1787 Constitutional Convention – Brearly Committee

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September 4, 1787 (Click to read Madison’s notes on the day)

Summary

The delegates discussed four of the nine proposals submitted by the Brearly Committee. This committee was set up to consider other suggestions for the Constitution beyond those provided by the Committee of Detail.

Influences on the Delegates

Although indirect, South Carolina’s Butler thought the plan for electing the president and vice-president had advantages over a legislative choice.

Mr. BUTLER thought the mode not free from objections; but much more so than an election by the legislature, where, as in elective monarchies, cabal, faction, and violence would be sure to prevail.

David Barton has suggested that the stipulation for the president being a natural born citizen grows out of the Old Testament. I will continue to read with this in mind but there is nothing here which gives any indication that the delegates considered Hebrew principles at all on this point.

1787 Constitutional Convention Series

To read my series examining the proceedings of the Constitution Convention, click here.  In this series, I am writing about any obvious influences on the development of the Constitution which were mentioned by the delegates to the Convention. Specifically, I am testing David Barton’s claim that “every clause” of the Constitution is based on biblical principles. Thus far, I have found nothing supporting the claim. However, stay tuned, the series will run until mid-September.
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Politico: Trump Decides to End DACA after Six Months; At Least One Evangelical Supporter on Board

dacaTonight, Politico is reporting that President Trump will end the program which allows undocumented people who came here as children to remain in the country. Known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the program has been defended by Republican and Democratic leaders and opposed by his base (as indicated in this Breitbart article).
One of Trump court evangelical advisors has already come out in defense of the President’s decision. Rev. Mark Burns tweeted his America first message:


Others of Trump’s court evangelicals, particularly his Hispanic advisors, have called on the President to save the DACA program.


No reaction as yet from Rev. Suarez.

The 1787 Constitutional Conventions – Full Faith and Credit Clause

September 3, 1787 (Click to read Madison’s notes on the day)

Summary

Delegates approved the full faith and credit clause, bankruptcy provisions, and rules concerning ineligibility to hold office while in the legislature.

Influences on the Delegates

In the session, one delegate referred to England and another to a Rome.

The clause in the Report, “To establish uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies,” being taken up, —
Mr. SHERMAN observed, that bankruptcies were in some cases punishable with death, by the laws of England; and he did not choose to grant a power by which that might be done here.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS said, this was an extensive and delicate subject. He would agree to it, because he saw no danger of abuse of the power by the Legislature of the United States.
On the question to agree to the clause, Connecticut alone was in the negative.
Mr. PINCKNEY moved to postpone the Report of the Committee of eleven (see the first of September) in order to take up the following:
“The members of each House shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States for which they, or any other for their benefit, receive any salary, fees, or emoluments of any kind; and the acceptance of such office shall vacate their seats respectively.”
He was strenuously opposed to an ineligibility of members to office, and therefore wished to restrain the proposition to a mere incompatibility. He considered the eligibility of members of the Legislature to the honorable offices of Government, as resembling the policy of the Romans, in making the temple of Virtue the road to the temple of Fame.

 

1787 Constitutional Convention Series

To read my series examining the proceedings of the Constitution Convention, click here.  In this series, I am writing about any obvious influences on the development of the Constitution which were mentioned by the delegates to the Convention. Specifically, I am testing David Barton’s claim that “every clause” of the Constitution is based on biblical principles. Thus far, I have found nothing supporting the claim. However, stay tuned, the series will run until mid-September.
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Some Reactions to the Nashville Statement

Nashville logoThis week the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood released a series of affirmations and denials regarding human sexuality and gender. Titled the Nashville Statement, the document was signed by a group of conservative theologians, professors, and pastors. The statement trended on Twitter and has led to numerous blog posts and news articles.  In this post, I will link to three of them and then provide a few reactions to aspects of the statement. If you haven’t read the statement, you should do so before reading the rest of the post.

The Statement Gets Ahead of Science

Mark Yarhouse, my partner in the development of the sexual identity framework, weighed in and asserted that the dogmatic assertions in the statement are far ahead of the data on gender dysphoria. Here is a sample from his post, On the Nashville Statement:

When I wrote Understanding Gender Dysphoria, which was published in 2015, I noted that transgender presentations were a wave that was going to crest on evangelicals and that the church was not prepared for it. I noted that we needed to think deeply and well about gender identity and to engage with some humility what we know and do not know from the best of science, as well as learn from mistakes made in how evangelicals engaged the topic of sexual identity and especially how evangelicals treated the actual people who were navigating sexual identity and faith. I was suggesting we could learn from that experience and make some adjustments as we encounter the topic of gender identity.
I’m afraid the Nashville Statement, perhaps out of a desire to establish the parameters for orthodoxy on gender identity concerns, gets ahead of evangelicals because it doesn’t reflect the careful, nuanced reflection needed to guide Christians toward critical engagement of gender theory, while also aiding in the development of more flexible postures needed in pastoral care.

An Unhelpful Exclusive Statement

Historian Chris Gehrz had a somewhat stronger post at the Pietist Schoolman. He writes for those who feel in the middle on GLBT issues. Here is a sample:

But then the Nashville Statement doesn’t allow for the possibility of Christians disagreeing on such issues. I’m sure anyone paying any attention already knew what these authors and signers thought about sexuality and gender identity. If that’s all it addressed, I’d just try to ignore the statement. But then there’s Article 10…
We affirm that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.
We deny that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.
Wait, so… Is salvation at stake for queer Christians and their supporters? Is there to be any continuing communion or collaboration with those who have departed “from Christian faithfulness”? And are those of us who do think it’s possible to agree to disagree also making such a “departure”?

Gehrz also sees the statement as a Trump-like expression which trolls the gay affirming crowd and affirms those who oppose gay rights.

Nor that the authors have chosen to condemn “transgenderism” just days after Pres. Trump began to implement a ban on transgender persons serving in the military, only feeding the perception that whatever daylight separates Trumpism and evangelicalism is vanishing. (After all, that ban was reportedly discussed with Trump’s much-maligned evangelical advisers before he first tweeted his intentions last month.)
The Nashville Statement strikes me as theology for the Age of Trump because it’s being thrust into social media for little purpose other than to energize allies and troll enemies — distracting our attention from more pressing problems in order to demonize minorities whose existence causes anxiety among the many in the majority.

All Words and No Words-Made-Flesh

Although opposed to the statement, Jonathan Merritt doesn’t think it will have much effect. Writing at Religion News Service, Merritt says:

When it comes to issues of sexuality and gender, a statement like this is unlikely to move the needle with those who aren’t already in agreement. It is all head and no heart. It speaks to your mind but fails to look you in the eyes. It is intellectual, but not pastoral. It dialogues about people, rather than with them. It acknowledges the theology of these issues but never the humanity. It is all words and no word-made-flesh.
So progressives who hope for change should take a deep breath and stay the course. Keep comforting your friends. Keep making space for those whom others refuse to welcome. Keep loving your neighbors, and don’t forget that these signers are your neighbors, too.
Like so many before it, this statement won’t change anything. But if you keep leading with love, you can change everything. Proclamations don’t shape history; people do.

Bad Timing

Generally, I think the timing of the statement was poor. In the midst of an epic natural disaster and the national conversation on racism, a document which singles out a minority doesn’t seem wise. I suppose the reaction would have been negative at any time, but I think some of the intense negative reaction relates to increased awareness of the document this week.

Some Additional Reactions

While I don’t have reactions to all 14 articles, I will provide a few additional thoughts.
I was intrigued by the inclusion of Article VI:

WE AFFIRM that those born with a physical disorder of sex development are created in the image of God and have dignity and worth equal to all other image-bearers. They are acknowledged by our Lord Jesus in his words about “eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb.” With all others they are welcome as faithful followers of Jesus Christ and should embrace their biological sex insofar as it may be known.
WE DENY that ambiguities related to a person’s biological sex render one incapable of living a fruitful life in joyful obedience to Christ.

I see it as a plus that the statement recognizes disorders of sex development (once commonly referred to as “intersex” conditions). However, I think the statement could have gone further to wrestle with the implications of what Jesus said as recorded in Matthew 19: 11-12.

11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

I realize I am a layman but this sounds like a recognition that the rules are different for some people. Not everybody is going to get married and not everyone has the requisite interests for heterosexual marriage. Jesus said so without condemning them. Some scholars have amassed linguistic evidence which suggests a eunuch could include persons who do not have inclination for opposite sex relations, such as gays and lesbians.
Practically, the Nashville signers don’t give us a clue how people Jesus referred to here can “embrace their biological sex.” Referring to GLBT people, I don’t know what that means. The Nashville statement certainly goes beyond Jesus’ words in Matthew 19. Given that the teaching from Jesus is pretty slim on this point and the Nashville Statement is vague in guiding “eunuchs,” I strongly disagree with the Nashville Statement’s Article 10 which states:

WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.
WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.

As Mark Yarhouse said in his post, this statement is way out in front of what we know for sure. I will add that for “eunuchs” however defined, the statement is vague and severely limits sincere differences of interpretation and opinion among people who are orthodox. On that basis alone, I think the CBMW should go back to the drawing board.
Along similar lines, I think Articles 4, 12, and 13 may be at odds with existing research on gender differences and sexual orientation. For instance, Articles 12 and 13 sound like a theological statement of religiously-based reparative therapy which does not work to eradicate (“put to death”) attraction to the same sex.
Article 4 speaks of “divinely ordained differences between men and women.” What are those differences? While there are real differences which show up in research studies, the list of them would differ significantly from church to church and denomination to denomination. The lack of clarity invites abuse and misunderstanding.
Finally, I think Jonathan Merritt is probably correct that the conflict will die down and the statement will become a short hand for those who signed it but accomplish little else.
 
 

The 1787 Constitutional Convention – Committee Reports

September 1, 1787 (Click here to read Madison’s notes)
Today’s session was so brief, I am reproducing Madison’s entire entry:

In Convention, — Mr. BREARLY, from the Committee of eleven to which were referred yesterday the postponed part of the Constitution, and parts of Reports not acted upon, made the following partial report:

“That in lieu of Article 6, Sect. 9, the words following be inserted, viz: ‘The members of each House shall be ineligible to any civil office under the authority of the United States, during the time for which they shall respectively be elected; and no person holding an office under the United States shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office.’”

Mr. RUTLEDGE, from the Committee to whom were referred sundry propositions, (see twenty-ninth of August) together with Article 16, reported that the following additions be made to the Report, viz:

“After the word ‘States,’ in the last line on the margin of the third page, (see the printed Report,) add ‘to establish uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies.’

“And insert the following as Article 16, viz: ‘Full faith and credit ought to be given in each State to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State; and the Legislature shall, by general laws, prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect which judgments obtained in one State, shall have in another.’”

After receiving these Reports, the House

 Adjourned.

1787 Constitutional Convention Series

To read my series examining the proceedings of the Constitution Convention, click here.  In this series, I am writing about any obvious influences on the development of the Constitution which were mentioned by the delegates to the Convention. Specifically, I am testing David Barton’s claim that “every clause” of the Constitution is based on biblical principles. Thus far, I have found nothing supporting the claim. However, stay tuned, the series will run until mid-September.
Constitutional Convention Series (click the link)
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