Dr. Richard Land at G92 South: “We need these people. Every economy in the world that’s growing has a growing population. Those who are concerned about population explosion are wrong. Human beings are not a drag on society, they are resources. Every human being is a resource, not a detriment to society. We need to look upon these workers as resources that want to come here and in many cases invest their lives here permanently and in other cases come here for a period of time, invest their lives, and then go back home with greatly expanded economic opportunities because of what they’ve been able to achieve while they’ve been working in the United States.”
Dr. Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, speaking at G92 South:
It was from the Birmingham jail that Dr. King wrote his letter. And look at Birmingham today: you have a black mayor, you have a completely integrated city, you have a civil rights museum that I hope all of you will visit before you leave, that gives the plain unvarnished truth about segregation with a memorial to the little girls who were blown up in church. Look what Birmingham and Alabama and Samford have overcome. Don’t say it can’t be done. As Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Don’t look at things the way they are and say ‘why,’ but dream dreams that never were and say ‘why not?’”
Dr. Richard Land at G92 South: “I can’t answer any direct questions about the Alabama law. I will say this: that when the Congressman Sensenbrenner was trying to get an amendment to the immigration reform that ultimately failed in the Bush Administration, his amendment was that if you aided and abetted someone who was here in an undocumented status, you could be fined and you could be penalized and we opposed that amendment much to Mr. Sensenbrenner’s unhappiness. We opposed that amendment because we felt it was more like the fugitive slave laws of the 1850s, where people were penalized if they assisted fugitive slaves who were trying to reach their freedom. It’s not our business to ask people their immigration status before we extend aid and assistance to them. “
My personal faith is filled with narratives of a God who calls His people to be a community of love, justice and mercy. And in regards to the immigrant, also known as the sojourner, I believe we are given explicit direction not only to provide hospitality, but also to treat him as our own, because we recognize our love extends beyond the borders of our nation.
Last October, hundreds gathered in Ohio at Cedarville University for the G92 Immigration Conference to equip a new generation of leaders to respond to immigration issues in a biblical way. Instead of listening to partisan sound bites, conference speakers and attendees looked to the Word of God – and specifically the 92 references to immigration or “the stranger” in the Old Testament alone.
Throughout the Southeast, state-based immigration bills have been signed into law over the past two years, and there are more planned for the future. As in Cedarville, students, pastors and national evangelical leaders will gather to look to the Word of God for guidance on immigration issues as they play out across the region.
On February 23, 2012, Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama will follow Cedarville’s lead and host the G92 South Immigration Conference. The gathering will look to promote a national and local level conversation about immigration in a way that honors the example of Jesus Christ and the written Word of God.