Called to be the "light of the world," Christians need to mind their tone and temper their words in the immigration debate, Muñoz observes.
Rationally discussing immigration policy and reform is difficult because the subject raises many strong emotions and feelings. People who oppose immigration reform or want to limit or halt immigration are called "nativist" or "racist." Those that are in favor of immigration reform are labeled the "open borders" crowd or accused of wanting to "destroy the American culture."
As Christians, we are not compelled to agree on the political resolution of the current immigration situation. We are, however, called to be the "light of the world" and the "salt of the earth." That means we need to mind our tone and temper our words, but not our passions, and do what we feel the Lord is leading us to do in this area.
I'm not sure what the political solution is, but I hope we can lead by example and show our leaders and politicians that we can engage the immigration issue without drifting into name-calling and attacks.
With this in mind, I turn to the bizarre story of Marcus Epstein. He is the executive director for the Team America PAC. Epstein pled guilty to "karate chopping" a black woman in the head while referring to her as the n-word.
According to its founder, Tom Tancredo, "Team America PAC exists for one and only one reason: to support the election to Congress of candidates who share our commitment to supporting full border security, and opposing all amnesty measures for illegal aliens (whether they call it amnesty or not)." The online newspaper Washington Independent has the story here and here.
As we struggle to rationally discuss immigration reform, I will note that racially tinged assault cases involving the executive director of a major immigration-restrictionist organization do not help.
Richard M. Muñoz is director of the Immigration Service and Aid Center (ISAAC) in Dallas. This column appeared previously on his blog.