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White Evangelicals Are the Only Christian Group to Express Extreme Hostility Towards Immigration

Updated on October 6, 2019
Evangelicals Jerry Falwell and Franklin Graham
Evangelicals Jerry Falwell and Franklin Graham | Source

White evanglicals Support Trump's stance on immigration

According to Vox, White Evangelicals are the only Christian group to show intolerance towards immigrants. In January, a poll done by ABC and the Washington Post indicated that 75% of White Evangelicals were in agreement with the crackdown on immigration laws, while only 46% of Americans overall felt the same way. In May, Pew Research conducted a poll that revealed that 68% of White Evangelicals said that America was not responsible for housing immigrants. Tara Isabella Burton, the author of the Vox article said that Evangelical beliefs, the Republican party, and White American identity have become inextricable. In other words, White Republican Evangelicals express less tolerance for those who do not look like them, than other Christians.

Burton says that the 45th president's rhetoric has caused a rise in nativism, which is the practice of protecting the rights of native-born or established inhabitants over those of immigrants. She adds that Evangelicals are disobeying the many commands in the Bible to take care of the poor and strangers. She points out Matthew 25 where Jesus said that what we do for the least of these we have done for him. She also mentions Leviticus 19:33–34, Jeremiah 7:5–7, Ezekiel 47:22, Zechariah 7:9–10 which expresses the same sentiment. The article says that when asked a question regarding scripture, Paula White, and other Evangelicals dismiss these verses. Jeff Sessions and former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders both insist that Donald Trump should be obeyed and not questioned based on Romans 13 where Apostle Paul admonished believers in Christ not to rise up against the Romans who were in authority at the time.

Donald Trump and Paula White
Donald Trump and Paula White | Source

Paula White's members and their money defected when she aligned herself with Trump

In May of this year, Huff Post reported that Donald Trump's spiritual adviser, Paula White has lost between 200-300 members from New Destiny Church in Florida because of her support of the president. Some African American church leaders confronted and accused White of betraying them. The prosperity teacher took over the mostly black congregation after former pastor Zachery Timms died in 2012. Huff Post says that donations to the church have dropped about $10,000 a week because of the connection White has with Trump.

Paula White says she is a spiritual daughter of T.D. Jakes and has always pastored churches where the congregations were predominantly African American. She has caused controversy because she teaches that God rewards those who give large financial donations to hr ministry with more money. T.D, Jakes does not share his spiritual daughter's views on Donald Trump. When interviewed by CNN, Jakes said that those who decry ripping immigrant children from their parents arms and said this had never been done before are wrong. He emphasized that the same thing that was done to slave children.

In a March interview with The Guardian, Paula White says that President Trump does not speak "Christianese", but he has a sincere and deep faith. White recently changed the name of the church she pastored to Destiny City and installed her son Brad Knight and his wife, Rachel Joy Knight as pastors. She claims the Lord has told her to move on to other projects, but she will be glad to return for preaching engagements.

Not all evangelicals support Donald Trump

Not all White Evangelicals support the policies of Donalda Trump. Last year 100 Evangelical leaders from 50 states wrote an open letter to the president, asking that he revoke his executive order regarding the Muslim ban. In June, the members of The Southern Baptist Convention voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that upholds the dignity of immigrants. Russel Moore, the president of the Southern Baptists has spoken out many times against Donald Trump's rhetoric and his policies on immigration.

In her Vox article, Tara Isabella Burton quotes Diana Burton Bass, a scholar who specializes in American church history. Bass says that Evangelicals will say that Jesus was born of a literal virgin, but when it comes to caring for the least of these they do not take scripture literally. Bass says this shift in thinking has taken place over a period of time. She states that White Evangelicals' views on immigration, race, and the LBGTQ community show how polarized they are. She says they are changing the interpretation of certain scriptures to support what Donald Trump believes. Burton emphasizes Galatians 3:28 which reads: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” And says she wonders how the White Evangelical community will attempt to spin this to exclude those who do not look like them.


Racial harmony
Racial harmony | Source

Evangelicals should be more Christian than White.

An article in the Washington Post, by Jim Wallis, also expounds upon Galatians 3:28. He gives statistics from The Public Research Institute American Values Survey which indicated something quite interesting. 82 percent of black Protestants and 80 percent of black Americans surveyed said that the killing of African American males by police represented a broader picture regarding race relations. In contrast, 72 percent of White Protestant Evangelicals, 71 percent of White Catholics and 73 percent of White mainstream Protestants saw the killings of black men by police as isolated incidents. Wallis said the results show the disparity between the groups and emphasized that White Evangelical Christians should start being more Christian than White.

There are two scriptures that the intolerant Evangelicals should consider because there is no way to spin them and make them support DonaldTrump's agenda regarding Immigration. The first is John 3:16. "For God so loved the world, (not just White Evangelicals) that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him(Not just White Evangelicals) shall have everlasting life. The second is Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you: do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. ... shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets. This has been translated into what is known as the Golden Rule, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. All Christians should tale heed.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Cheryl E Preston

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