… for you were aliens, (Deut. 10:19) and besides, we’re gonna need their votes.
That’s the deeply Biblical reason some non-Hispanic right-wing evangelical leaders are pushing hard for comprehensive immigration reform, according to Laurie Goodstein in Monday’s NYT.
The evangelical pulpit has been a reliable ally for the looniest part of the GOP, but the preachers don’t have to win Republican primaries, and some of them, such as Richard Land, can do the demographic arithmetic: if the Republicans, who have forfeited any claim on the African-American vote and are increasingly despised by the well-educated, lose the Latinos as well, then, in a country becoming less white and better educated, their political goose is cooked.
Moreover, those storefront iglisias pentacostales are largely run by hard-core gay-bashers, right-to-lifers, and “God wants you to be rich so taxes on the rich are sinful, and anyway the poor deserve their poverty” hustlers, who have been happy to team up with their English-speaking brethren. Now they’re presenting the bill for their services, and some of the evangelicals have enough morals to pay what they owe.
Naturally, there will be an attempt to use gay-bashing to split the pro-immigrant coalition, since the Latino evangelicals aren’t at all interested in allowing same-sex couples to benefit from immigration reform.
Ordinarily, I’d figure what’s good for the Christian Right is bad for the country. In this case, though, as conservative as the Protestant Latinos may be, they’re going to be a lot more use to the preachers than they are to Republican politicians. Even if the white evangelicals manage to peel off a few lame-duck Republican votes for immigration reform, Gov. Brewer and Tom Tancredo will make it impossible for any self-respecting Latino to vote Republican for another generation to come.