There is no doubt that immigration is complicated, and it requires an intelligent solution. But nothing Dobson proposes here is any kind of solution at all, let alone an intelligent one. It’s just exaggerated paranoia that sacrifices empathy at the altar of protecting a certain type of focus on one very particular, narrow definition of “family” to the exclusion of the millions of migrant families who don’t love their children any less than Dobson’s audience does.
And yet, because of this focus on social justice, progressive Christianity is tempted to reduce to and equate itself with progressive political activism. By and large, progressive Christians don’t have much to say or offer that isn’t already being said by progressive activists. There is very little, if any, daylight between Progressive Christianity and the Democratic Party (in its traditional or most progressive stances) on any political or economic issue.
Immigration is far from the only issue demonstrating this alarming trend. According to a 2016 PRRI/Brookings poll, 72 percent of white evangelical Protestants affirmed that elected officials could be trusted to behave ethically even if they have committed transgressions in their personal lives. When compared with a similar survey in 2011, it shows an unthinkable 42-point jump from the 30 percent who answered similarly just five years earlier.
In short, because we only talk about “sin” (and its avoidance), we have nothing further to offer the world for our betterment. We submit no process for discipleship. And worse, we have no means to critique ignobility or behaviors, patterns, and policies that injure the vulnerable or debase the image of God in others. Instead, all we have is a management plan for—maybe—avoiding sin. This is far from the gospel Jesus proclaims: the good news of transformation and new life.
The prayer is Triune. It addresses the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and goes like this: “Heavenly Father, I pray that this day I may live in your presence and please you more and more. Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you. Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Christians say the Bible is God’s Word, but even among Protestant churchgoers only a third spend time reading it every day.
“If your phone’s ever been in a Catholic church, it’s amazing, they got this data,” Bannon reportedly said. “Literally, they can tell who’s been in a Catholic church and how frequently,” Bannon added. “And they got it triaged.” When asked how he received the data, Bannon told Klayman, “the phone companies.” He continued, “and the data guys sell it.”
The other kind of marathon is one that anyone can run, any day of the year. Put on your sneakers, run out the door and come back 26 miles later. These are rare. It’s worth noting that much of what we do in creating a project, launching a business or developing a career is a lot closer to the second kind of marathon.