From: Roy Beck, President, NumbersUSA
Date: Friday 30oct09 Noon EDT

Update on Evangelical leaders & amnesty

No disrespect intended to your churches -- but many leaders still need help understanding facts


First, I want to apologize to any of you who have felt that my blogs and alerts have been disrespectful to your church and denomination.

It is true that I have been very frustrated with the leaders of most of the 42 denominations that are members of the National Association of Evangelicals which recently began a major push for "comprehensive immigration reform." (But no more frustrated than I have been for three or four years with the Catholic, Jewish and liberal Protestant leaders' lobbying for amnesty.)

I hope you understand that I do not want to suggest that your church's clergy are less than sincere spiritual leaders. And I certainly don't want to question the legitimacy of your church because of the plunge by NAE into immigration politics.

For many of you, this is the first time you have known of your church's leaders getting connected with raw politics, and I know that can be unsettling. What I am trying to do is help you to help your leaders get out of the muck they have been dragged into.

At the bottom of this alert, I will list the key ways that many of your church leaders are still stating very misleading things.

I hope those of you who feel articulate will phone the offices of your own denomination and gently try to help them see how they have been given information to say from the NAE that is frankly deceptive and evasive.


From a political point of view, the most dangerous aspect of this whole episode is that Sen. Schumer used the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) in a hearing this month to project the image of evangelical solidarity behind comprehensive immigration reform and amnesty.

Our most urgent need is to have the Senators on the Judiciary Committee (who heard the NAE endorsement of comprehensive immigration reform) to get a flood of faxes from evangelical Christians giving a different point of view.

If you have not already seen it, please go to your customized Action Board and send a fax that has been prepared for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I am asking that you put some time into making this fax your own because I want each of your faxes to look different.

VERY SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY: When you click SEND on this fax, it will go to all 19 Senators on the Judiciary Committee. As usual, this is free to you.

I DO believe that your faxes -- with the information that 31 of 42 NAE denominations have refused to sign the amnesty endorsement -- can undo the damage caused by the NAE testimony.


The rest of what I have to say is meant mainly to help your own church leaders.

I have seen this so often over the last 30 years: A national religious leader gets pulled into a political situation out of only sincere motives but without really understanding it and then embarrasses himself and his church.

Those of you who feel like you have a good handle on this issue should phone your national office and have a conversation to try to correct some major misimpressions that a lot of these leaders have (see below).

The responses that many of you are getting from your denominational leaders suggest that they really aren't paying much attention to the details of the immigration issue -- and that they are missing the key points that you have been making with your hundreds of faxes to them.

Even most of the leaders of the 31 NAE denominations that wisely refused to sign the NAE amnesty endorsement are still putting out gross misrepresentations of the issue. It is clear that they don't really understand the issue. And that they still don't understand the extent to which the NAE dragged them into radical territory.

As long as they defend what the NAE did, your denomination is in danger of being used to promote amnesty in the future.

Those of you who are Southern Baptists, by the way, just missed this embarrassment. Schumer had planned to have a Southern Baptist endorsement at his hearing, but it fell through at the last minute (I have to believe that the faxes that you showered on your national office made a difference). Over the last four years, the annual convention has been passing immigration resolutions that get closer and closer to amnesty.

You need to start working with your own congregation's delegates right now to get the Southern Baptist Convention back on track next spring.

Nashville (615)244-2355
Washington Office (202) 547-8105

Those of you in the 11 denominations that endorsed the NAE document have your work cut out for you. The leaders of the 11 are digging in their heels and becoming more aggressive in their support of legalizing illegal aliens and increasing foreign worker importation.


I am going to give you several quotes that national evangelical denominational leaders have been sending to you, and you have been sending on to me. I am not going to name their names to spare them embarrassment and also because many are using exactly the same language.

The fact that so many of your leaders use the same language and defense suggests to me that the NAE has sent out talking points to all of them. Unfortunately, the talking points are evasive and deceptive.

DENOMINATIONAL LEADER STATEMENT No. 1: I was personally at the meeting when the (NAE) statement was read and at the press conference on Capitol Hill. At no time did I even hear the word "amnesty." As I read the text, I did not find that that concept existed.

Inform your church leaders that nobody who proposes amnesty ever uses the word.

Open-borders foundations have provided millions of dollars of focus group and polling research that have shown that nothing called "amnesty" could ever pass public approval. They have paid for research to find ways to describe an amnesty to disguise it as much as possible and make it more likely to be accepted.

Of course, the NAE did not use the word "amnesty."

However, the evangelical leader is totally wrong to say that the text did not include the concept. In fact, that denominational leader provides the text of the concept in the same letter to church members in which he denies the concept:

"There must be a sound, equitable process for currently undocumented immigrants who wish to assume the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship to earn legal status." -- NAE recommendations to Sen. Schumer

That recommendation describes legalization and a path to citizenship for illegal aliens. Everybody agrees that the 1986 immigration act of Congress was an amnesty. It screened out certain illegal aliens, but gave legalization and a path to citizenship to most.

If religious leaders really want to be taken seriously, they will not pretend that giving U.S. citizenship to illegal aliens is not an amnesty.

DENOMINATIONAL LEADER STATEMENT No. 2: The NAE statement was not a support for blanket amnesty.

This is a straw man argument. Nobody is claiming that the NAE called for a BLANKET amnesty. That would mean an amnesty with no criteria to screen out anybody, and with no requirements of any kind.

In fact, the NAE has said it doesn't want illegal aliens convicted of violent crimes to get citizenship. And the NAE wants illegal aliens to pay some kind of fine and perhaps take English classes to qualify for the citizenship.

So, it is true the NAE doesn't support BLANKET amnesty.

But making that statement clearly is a deliberate effort to mislead church members into thinking the NAE isn't supporting an amnesty of any kind.

In this way, the evangelical church leaders are playing the same game as the worst of the politicians on Capitol Hill.

DENOMINATIONAL LEADER STATEMENT No. 3: Some people are reporting that (our denomination) is advocating amnesty for those who have entered the United States illegally. This is not the case.

This is from a denomination that signed the NAE endorsement of comprehensive immigration reform!

This denomination wants most illegal aliens to get permanent U.S. citizenship but the leaders deny they are supporting amnesty, and therefore are defended from the complaints about them signing the document.

Please help your denominational leaders (the ones who signed and the ones who didn't) understand that whether or not they want to acknowledge that giving U.S. citizenship to illegal aliens is amnesty, that what their members object to is giving U.S. citizenship to illegal aliens.

The NAE and the denominational leaders continually admit they want to give U.S. citizenship. They need to know that by whatever name it is called, it is highly objectionable to the members of their denomination.

Don't let them play any more games with the amnesty label.

The NAE website from the beginning has described the document as a support for "comprehensive immigration reform." In every single incidence, legislation bearing that name has included a massive amnesty for most people who have broken immigration laws.

DENOMINATIONAL LEADER STATEMENT No. 4: (The NAE immigration document) was prayerfully and carefully developed over time. The final product was the result of countless hours of discussion and many iterations.

The document indeed was carefully crafted to support "comprehensive immigration reform.'

But it was not considered in an intellectually honest way.

NumbersUSA, for one, requested for three years to be allowed to present our concerns about comprehensive immigration reform to the NAE staff and board.

We have no indication that in all the prayerful considerations that the NAE ever sat down with fellow Christians who oppose amnesty.

The NAE could have randomly chosen one lay member from each of its 42 denominations and received more thoughtful ideas about immigration than it got from its contrived, manipulation of propaganda in preparing its final document.

The NAE staff also lied to protect the manipulation. Last winter, we enquired about seeing the working document and were informed that there was no such thing. The indication given to us was that the immigration effort was on the back burner and that there was nothing for us to consider or to offer comments on.

In other words, the NAE leaders set out to create a pro-amnesty position and was not going to allow any facts or analysis to get in the way.

DENOMINATIONAL LEADER STATEMENT No. 5: (The NAE document) is biblically based. The biblical theme of "compassion" is underscored throughout the text.

Here is the faulty logic of most of our church leaders in a nutshell:
(a) The Bible calls for compassion for strangers/aliens/sojourners/immigrants/foreigners.
(b) Illegal aliens in the U.S. ask for compassion in the form of being allowed to keep the U.S. jobs that are illegal for them to have
(c) Therefore, if (a) and (b) are true, the church must show compassion by lobbying Congress to give permanent access to U.S. jobs and U.S. citizenship to the illegal aliens.

That's the logic!

Even the leaders of most of the denominations that did NOT sign the NAE document are still defending it. It is very important that you help them understand that they did the right thing by not signing because the document is deeply flawed due to its call for mass legalization and increased labor importation.

You can read a much more thoughtful theological and scriptural analysis from the Institute on Religion and Democracy which acknowledges that its members are divided about what to do on immigration.

Nonetheless, the IRD finds the NAE document to be an incredibly flawed exercise in theological and biblical analysis.

Here is the IRD's webpage on immigration issues.

DENOMINATIONAL LEADER STATEMENT No. 6: Email campaigns have falsely stated that the NAE document supports open borders. We do not support open borders.

In fact, the email campaigns have been waged by us, and we have never accused the NAE or its denominations of supporting open borders.

However, when you call your leaders, you may want to ask how support for legalization and citizenship for illegal aliens can be kept from creating an open-borders situation.

Please ask your leaders:

How many poor people in the world do you suppose would like us to show compassion to them by letting them move to the U.S.?

Why are the illegal aliens now in our country more deserving of our compassion that the billions who would like to come but haven't broken our immigration laws yet?

If you think the Bible requires the U.S. to give citizenship to the illegal aliens already here, does that mean it requires us to give citizenship to most illegal aliens who ever break the law to get here in the future?

Unless the church is willing to say that it is moral to have immigration laws that restrict the number of immigrants, and to have enforcement of those laws to require that people who break them leave the country, isn't the church supporting a type of open borders?

DENOMINATIONAL LEADER STATEMENT No. 7: Our immigration system is broken. It doesn't meet the economy's demand for workers.

This is the elephant in the room that nearly all the evangelical denominational leaders are refusing to address.

Whenever you phone them, ask them if they think it is moral for a government to bring in more immigrant workers while nearly 20% of its own citizens who want a full-time job cannot find one, even though they are actively looking or only recently gave up in discouragement?

The NAE document calls for more foreign workers. And the NAE has endorsed "comprehensive immigration reform" which always includes giant increases in working-age foreign citizens entering our labor markets.

What kind of compassion is that?


You may wonder why I am suggesting that you call leaders of the 31 NAE denominations that did NOT sign the NAE document.

The reason is that most are continuing to send out signals defending the NAE's actions. And they are using the arguments above that show that they still don't understand the issues. They didn't sign your church up for the NAE document because they thought it was too controversial, but they seem to think that the document was quite defensible.

That's a bad sign.

And for you whose denominations aren't in the NAE, don't think for a moment that the pro-amnesty religion lobbyists aren't right now plotting to get your denomination signed up for comprehensive immigration reform.

If you don't let your church leaders know ahead of time how you feel about this, they are just as likely as the NAE to slip into the amnesty camp.

Thus far, these are the only denominations whose leaders have given the kind of assurance that gives me confidence that they haven't bought into the "comprehensive immigration reform" mindset:
Salvation Army

General Association of General Baptists

General Assocation of Regular Baptists

Churches of Christ in Christian Union


Assemblies of God -- Phone: 417-862-2781 -- Toll Free: 1-877-840-4800 -- Fax: 417-862-8558 -- Email:, General Superintendent, or from this page:

Church of the Nazarene -- Phone: 913-577-0500 -- Fax: 913-577-0848 -- E-mail from this page:

Christian Reformed Church in North America -- Phone: 616-241-1691 or toll free 1-877-279-9994 ---- Fax: 616-224-0803 --- E-mail:

Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) -- Phone: 423-472-3361-- Fax: 423-478.7066 -- Email from this page:

Elim Fellowship -- Phone: 585-582-2790 -- Fax: 585-624-1229 -- E-mail from this page: ... page_id=46

Foursquare Church -- Phone: 1-888-635-4234 -- Fax: 213-989-4590 -- Email from this page:

Grace Communion International -- Phone: 1-800-423-4444 -- Email:

International Pentecostal Holiness Church -- Phone: 405-787-7110 -- Fax: 405-789-3957 -- Email:

Missionary Church -- Phone: 260-747-2027 -- Fax: 260-747-5331 -- Email:

Vineyard USA -- Phone: 281-313-8463 -- Fax: 281-313-8464 -- Email:

Wesleyan Church -- Phone: 317-774-7900 -- Email:

In addition, there is the Brethren in Christ Church which didn't sign but vehemently defends the NAE document: Phone: 717-697-2634 -- Fax: 717-697-7714 -- Email:


Anglican Mission in America -- Phone: 843-237-0318 -- Fax: 843-237-4008 --Email: or Chairman Charles H. Murphy III's Chief of Staff:

The Brethren Church -- Phone: 419.289.1708

The Christian & Missionary Alliance -- Phone: 719-599-5999 -- Fax: 719-599-8234 -- Email:

Conservative Lutheran Association

Evangelical Assembly of Presbyterian Churches -- Email from this page

The Evangelical Church -- Phone: 763-424-2589 -- Email:

Evangelical Presbyterian Church -- Phone: 734-742-2020 - Fax: 734-742-2033 -- Email:

Evangelical Free Church of America -- Phone: 952-854-1300 -- Toll Free: 1-800-745-2202 -- Email:

Fellowship of Evangelical Churches -- Phone: 260-423-3649 -- Fax: 260-420-1905 -- Email:

Free Methodist Church of North America -- Phone: 317-244-3660 -- Toll Free: 1-800-342-5531 -- Fax: 317-244-1247 -- Email:

International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies -- Phone: 724-962-3501-- Fax: 724-962-1766

International Pentecostal Church of Christ -- Phone: 740-852-4722 -- Fax: 740-852-0348 -- Email: General Overseer

International Pentecostal Holiness Church -- Phone: 405-787-7110 -- Fax: 405-789-3957 -- Email:

Presbyterian Church in America -- Phone: 678-825-1000 -- Fax: 678-825-1001-- Email:

Primitive Methodist Church USA -- Phone: 215-675-2639 -- Email: Rev. Kerry R. Ritts, President

Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America -- Phone: 412-731-1177-- Fax: 412-731-8861-- Email from this page: ... &Itemid=71

Transformation Ministries -- Phone: 626-915-7641 -- Toll Free: 1-800-299-3448 -- Fax: 626-915-7649 -- Email:

United Brethren in Christ -- Phone: 260-356-2312 -- Email from this page:

US Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Churches -- Phone: Midwest Office 316-558-8688 or Toll Free 1-800-257-0515, West Coast 661-412-4939 -- Fax: Midwest Office 316-744-7472 West Coast 661-412-4938 -- Email: Executive Director, Ed Boschman

Also Consider These


U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops -- Phone: 202-541-3000-- Email:


Episcopal -- Phone: 212-716-6000 -- Toll Free: 1-800-334-7626 -- Fax: 212-557-5827 -- Email: or Presiding Bishop and Primate The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori

Evangelical Lutheran Church of America -- Phone: 773-380-2700 -- Toll Free: 1-800-638-3522 -- Fax: 773-380-1465 -- Email:

Presbyterian Church (USA) -- Phone: 502-569-5000 -- Toll Free: 1-888-728-7228 -- Fax: 502-569-8005 -- Email Director, Department of Constitutional Services Reverend Marc Tammen from this page: ... Contact+Us

United Church of Christ -- Phone: 216-736-2100 -- Email:

United Methodist -- Phone: 615-742-5400 -- Fax: 615-742-5423 -- Email:


P.S. If you have not already seen it, please go to your customized Action Board and send a fax that has been prepared for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

received by e-mail from
Roy Beck NumbersUSA
Fri, Oct 30, 2009 8:12 pm