Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

How to Change Politics

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

How to Change Politics

Article excerpt

THIS SUMMER, in a historic development, nearly 150 evangeli cal leaders signed an "Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform." Signers came from across the spectrum of evan-gelicalism, from leading Latino evangelical organizations to pas tors Max Lucado, Bill Hybels, Joel Hunter, and Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family.

No, that isn't a typo. Sojourners stood side by side with Focus on the Family to draw attention to the plight of millions who have been caught up in a broken system. It was exciting to see a unity across the traditional political spectrum that rarely happens in Washington.

Make no mistake: There are still big gaps in theology and politics among those in the group. But rather than politics, we focused on the things we agreed were funda-mental moral issues and biblical imperatives. Instead of ideology, we came together because of morality and common sense.

Big things don't change in Washington first; they change in the nation's capital last. You'd think that with all the lobbyists on K Street and the billions of dollars being spent, Washington must be the country's most important place. But this is the place where things don't change, where politics maintains the sta tus quo and the special interests maintain their own interests. Both Republicans and Democrats are more concerned with their politi cal bases and getting re-elected than with the people and families whose lives are being crushed.

'Things change when hearts and minds across the country change. Things change when people's under standings change, when families rethink their values, when congre gations examine their faith, when communities get mobilized, and when nations are moved by moral imperatives. Things change when people believe that more than pol itics is at stake, that human lives, human dignity, and even faith are at stake. And when moral values change, culture changes-and then change comes to Washington.

The Bible says that immigrants fall into the category of "the stranger," and Jesus says how we treat them is how we treat him. Many of them are our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. We have come to know them and to love them; we've come to see how their families are being torn apart, and their lives are in danger. And we believe that breaks the heart of God and calls us to action.

Together, we will tell our political representatives that it is time to shed their partisan behavior and implement a moral and biblical imperative. We believe Washington will change and enact comprehensive immigra tion reform because the people of God have come together to begin that change in our lives and our churches. …

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