There was an article in the paper today about how the new immigration law in Arizona is hurting the LDS Church and our image. The man who sponsored the bill is an LDS state senator and critics of the bill are pointing at the Church as being racist and even some Church members would like the Church to "put a stop to him". I have stayed silent on this issue for too long - it's time that I weigh in. If I offend anyone, so be it.
There is a quote in the article from a man who was investigating the Church but stopped when he heard that the Senator that sponsored it was LDS - saying that he couldn't expose his children to a religion who has members that hate other people because they are different. This is absolutely laughable - 70% of Arizonans support this bill. Not 70% of Mormons - 70% of ALL Arizonans, including I am sure many Hispanics, Catholics, Jews, Atheists, Protestants, Laker fans, etc. You get my drift. To single out the LDS Church is narrow-minded and stupid.
I was in a Church leadership meeting a few weeks ago and this topic came up and it was made very clearly known that the Church will not take a stance on this bill because it is a political issue. Some have asked why they took a stance on the same-sex marriage bill from 2008 - marriage between a man and a woman is fundamental to our faith and is a moral issue, not a political issue.
My personal feelings on illegal immigration are this: I love the Church and I know that it is true and teaches the only true way to be happy in this life and in the eternities to come. That doesn't mean that I have to like every member of the Church - there are some LDS people that I can't stand (i.e. Harry Reid). Not every member of the Church is perfect - some are just not good people, some cheat on and beat their wives, some abuse their children, some speed too much in their cars and text while they are driving, some steal and yes, some LDS members are illegal immigrants. I find it unbelievable that we are so concerned with hurting the feelings of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. Inherent in the term illegal immigration is the fact that the immigrant is breaking the law - hence the word ILLEGAL.
I have a few friends that are illegal immigrants - I know them from where I served my mission. They came here in search of a better life, they came legally but when their visas expired, they just never left. They have lived here illegally for several years. They are LDS and they are wonderful people. Although I love them and I understand why they came and empathize with them, I believe that we need to be obedient to the laws of the land. And those that are here illegally are breaking the laws of the land. People can sugarcoat it as much as they want and say that they are contributing to the society and that they are great people, but when push comes to shove, they are breaking the law. They can villify those that enforce the law and call them racist and unfair, but the bottom line is, they are breaking the law.
I find it unbelievable that the entire country is so up in arms about this bill, I really do. Last time I checked, the federal law requires deportation of those that are here illegally. This bill just allows us to enforce federal law. And also the last time I checked, 60% of Americans support this bill. Why are people making such a big deal about this? It is stupid, it is political correctness gone crazy and I for one am sick of it. It is a call to action to the federal government to do their job and secure the borders of our country. And anybody that wants to villify the LDS Church or its members because an LDS man sponsored the bill, in my opinion, is ignorant. It could just as easily have been a Catholic, Jew or Atheist - it is supported by the vast majority of Arizonans.
Read the article on azcentral.com at http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2010/05/18/20100518arizona-immigration-law-mormon-church.html and let me know if you agree with me.