2010 SBC Annual Meeting
“Yet they have broken the law. They should be punished,” Land said, outlining a rigorous and extended path to citizenship for such individuals, noting it is not realistic to expect the government to deport each undocumented worker and their family.
In remarks to the National Hispanic Fellowship of Southern Baptist Churches June 13, Land said immigration is an issue that has reached a “critical phase,” noting the issue is “rending the social fabric of the country.” Land met with President Obama’s advisers at the White House on the topic earlier in the month.
Land emphasized to the messengers that his plan to address the immigration crisis is not amnesty, pointing out that it was amnesty that President Carter extended to draft dodgers in January 1977. Carter imposed no fine, no penalty and no alternative service on those returning to the U.S. after fleeing the country to avoid the military draft, Land said.
He said he did not want to see a day when the Southern Baptist Convention determines it must apologize to Hispanics for its maltreatment of them, as the SBC did to African Americans in asking for such forgiveness 15 years ago.
“I don’t want our convention to come back 15 years from now and apologize to Hispanic Americans because we drove them away [from the convention] and treated them as less than brothers and sisters,” Land said.
He indicated he has been told that 30 to 40 percent of Hispanic Southern Baptists are in the country illegally. More information on Land’s position on illegal immigration is available at erlc.com/immigration.
Land said the ERLC filed an amicus brief in a California federal district court case on the same-sex “marriage” issue, explaining that those looking to expand the biblical definition of marriage are attempting to use the courts to undo the “clear word of the people of California.”
While the commission does not typically involve itself in a state level matter, Land said the ERLC made an exception in this case because Southern Baptist writings were expected to be a part of the deliberations.
On the case’s opening day, those seeking to overturn the will of California voters that marriage is between only one man and one woman read into evidence text from the Baptist Faith & Message section on marriage. Land said the plaintiffs’ attorneys ascribed the Southern Baptists’ position as the “product of centuries of hatred and prejudice.”
Land said the ERLC sought to correct the record, noting instead that the Baptist perspective on marriage was the “product of people of God being faithful to God’s Word and God’s definition of His institution of holy matrimony.”
Every civilization in world history has severely regulated marriage, Land said, noting that “marriage is the fundamental building block of human society and that it has an enormous impact on the next generation of
citizens, namely children.”
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