Dear Mr. President,
I just love it when ‘real Christians’ break the law… and that’s just what several brave ministers in Alabama are doing. Pastor Mitchell Williams of the First United Methodist Church was the first to announce that he was going to break the law.
The law that Republican Governor Robert Bentley signed was an immigration enforcement law that empowers law enforcement to try to determine immigration status after stopping people for a traffic violation. The law also makes it a crime to transport, harbor or rent property to people who are known to be in the country illegally.
United Methodist pastor Matt Lacey said there are all sorts of reasons that Alabama Christians are opposed to the law… one of those reasons is to make amends for the past inaction of religious groups, referring to the civil rights movement of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s when many state churches didn’t join the fight to end the Jim Crow laws or racial segregation. In addition, an Episcopal bishop, a Methodist bishop and a Roman Catholic archbishop are suing on the basis that the statute violates their right to free exercise of religion, making it a crime to be a Good Samaritan.
The politics of this issue are unusual in that those who support the law, coming mostly from the right, say that secular laws and biblical laws do not always run on the same track. I find it interesting that ‘Christians’ can so easily explain away very un-Christian like behavior. I thought that ‘Gods’ laws are indisputable, and should never be superseded by and any man-made law that goes against His teachings.
The Rev Al Garrett said, “Thank God that I’ve been here to see the way people of faith are taking a stand on this” because as he explained, he was old enough to remember some faith communities sitting on the sidelines during the civil rights movement. In addition, after a prayer for wisdom, the City Council of Birmingham passed a resolution calling for the repeal of the law.
So this Sunday on the National Mall for the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, let us not forget that he broke the law too… He broke the law to overturn laws that should have never been made in the first place, and if Dr. King was alive today he would most assuredly have broken this reprehensible law passed by the Governor of Alabama too.
So to all the pastors, ministers, bishops, and city councils that plan on breaking Alabama’s immigration law, I say, “Congratulations.” Congratulations on being on the right side of history and actually doing the ‘Christian’ thing… by showing a little compassion, and a little love for people the Bible calls “the least of these.”
I know you swore to uphold the laws of the land Mr. President, but sometimes laws are meant to be broken, broken because it’s the ‘Christian’ thing to do.
Your Gadfly Granny