Evangelicals and the redemptive symmetry of immigration reform

24 May

Evangelicals and evangelicalism are most commonly associated now with the “red” and “right” ends of the U.S. political spectrum.

It has not always been so. It is not even entirely so now.

Historian Randall Balmer reminds us of such things in this post at The Christian Century:

Evangelicals and the redemptive symmetry of immigration reform | The Christian Century.

This portion of the post is the most central, historically speaking:

Evangelicals in the 19th and early 20th centuries crowded toward the left of the spectrum. They worked for the abolition of slavery, equal rights for women and the formation of public schools. Evangelicals opposed dueling as barbaric, marched in the vanguard of peace crusades and advocated for labor rights. Many prominent evangelicals, from Charles Grandison Finney to William Jennings Bryan, excoriated the ravages of unbridled capitalism.

The aberration in evangelical political behavior emerged with the rise of the Religious Right in the late 1970s. In their quest for political influence, leaders like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson cast their lot with Ronald Reagan to defeat Jimmy Carter, a fellow evangelical. Over the ensuing decades, the Religious Right marched in lockstep with the Republicans and became the party’s core constituency. Politically conservative evangelicals supported massive increases in military spending, for example, while opposing equal rights for women—positions utterly at odds with their evangelical precursors. Opposition to abortion and to same-sex marriage became their signature concerns.

Beginning with the 2008 election, however, a younger generation of evangelicals began to discern a much broader spectrum of “moral issues,” including war, poverty and the environment. The evangelical groundswell for immigration reform suggests a maturing of these concerns.

There are local signs of this “evangelical groundswell” amidst this deeply “red” part of the upper prairie-plains. You can infer this from Harold Heie’s Respectful Conversation project, based in Orange City, IA but encompassing evangelicals around the U.S.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enough Light

"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't." - Blaise Pascal

Lenten Lamentations

Preparing to Participate in God's Mosaic Kingdom

john pavlovitz

Stuff That Needs To Be Said

Wirelesshogan: Reflections from the Hogan

"History is the record of our loves in all their magnificent and ignoble forms." Eugene McCarraher

The Way of Improvement Leads Home

"History is the record of our loves in all their magnificent and ignoble forms." Eugene McCarraher

the way of improvement leads home

reflections at the intersection of American history, religion, politics, and academic life

The Pietist Schoolman

The website and blog of historian Chris Gehrz

Native News Online

American Indian News

thepracticalhistorian

Your guide to practically true history.

THE TWELVE

Reformed. Done Daily.

i-history

by Alex Scarfe

BlogWest

Thoughtful Conversation about the American West

Northwest History

"History is the record of our loves in all their magnificent and ignoble forms." Eugene McCarraher

Faith and History

Thinking Christianly about the American Past

%d bloggers like this: