Local DUI attorney and Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips directed his ire at the United Methodist Church Sunday when he saw a sign in front of its Washington, D.C., building that read "Pass the DREAM Act." Phillips simply could not reconcile the measure — which would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children if they have clean records and a college degree or two years in the military — with traditional Christian values. Compassion was not Jesus' thing, right?
Wrong. And the United Methodist Church is having none of it. Bill Medford, director of civil and human rights for the United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society, said:
Our support of the DREAM Act is in alignment with the principles of support for immigration reform found in our resolutions passed by the General Conference. More importantly, many United Methodists throughout the country are immigrants themselves or are in close, intimate relationships with immigrants through outreach and service. And from the positions of these close relationships modeled to us first and foremost by Jesus whose birth we celebrate this week, we advocate for humane and workable solutions to a badly broken immigration system.
Bishop Minerva Carcano of the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church had the following reaction:
I am proud of the fact that our United Methodist Church stands for justice for all of God's children in the name of Jesus Christ, and I consider it a moral calling to stand up for young immigrants who deserve the opportunities that the DREAM Act would provide. Mr. Phillips' visceral attacks in response to this advocacy, by contrast, reflect neither American values nor the Christian faith. But as a committed Christian and United Methodist who follows Jesus, I am committed to praying for Mr. Phillips. Even while he may dream of the demise of the United Methodist Church, I will pray for abundant life for him, for that is the Christian way.
So there you have it in measured, turn-the-other-cheek style, in sharp contrast to Phillips' spittle-flecked "socialist"/"socialism" rant. And the winner is....
By the way, why can't we have more high-profile, compassionate, reasonable Christians here in Tennessee? Instead, we make do with convicted murderers who preach intolerance and hate.