While some have claimed that the Evangelical Immigration Table's recent ads calling for immigration reform based upon six principles were funded by liberal billionaire George Soros, The Christian Post has been informed by the organization that no Soros money was used for the ads.
"No funding from George Soros has been used by the Evangelical Immigration Table," the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, senior editorial advisor for The Christian Post, and a member of the EIT, informed CP.
In a June 2 article for Breitbart.com, Matthew Boyle claimed that the EIT "is actually a front group for players on the institutional left including billionaire George Soros and the Ford Foundation, according to Breitbart News and other outlets."
The claim has been repeated by Kelly Monroe Kullberg, founder of The Veritas Forum, in an op-ed for The Christian Post; Bill Blankschaen on the evangelical channel at Patheos; and Marjorie Jeffrey at the Institute on Religion and Democracy.
However, the only evidence Boyle presents in the article that the EIT is funded by Soros is that two organizations that are part of the EIT had previously received funding from Soros. Boyle claims that the Soros/EIT link was established by "Breitbart News," the organization he's writing for, and "other outlets." None of the "other outlets" which Boyle references in the article, though, claim that Soros provided funding for the EIT.
The money for the ads came from Paul Singer, a Republican hedge fund billionaire, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Walmart, and other leading Christian business owners, Rodriguez explained.
The EIT has a diverse membership with groups from both the left, right and middle of the political spectrum, including Esperanza, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, National Association of Evangelicals, and Sojourners. Unsurprisingly, therefore, some of its member organizations have ties to liberal groups because they are themselves liberal.
While the critics are suggesting that Soros is manipulating the EIT members into supporting immigration reform, its members have long been in favor of immigration reform.
Dr. Richard Land, president emeritus of ERLC and president-elect of Southern Evangelical Seminary, told The Christian Post that even if Soros had contributed to the EIT, he would welcome it because he supports immigration reform. The money would not influence his position on the issue.
"If God can use the jawbone of an ass to achieve His purpose, He can use George Soros, too," Land said in reference to the weapon God provided Samuel to defeat the Philistines in Judges 15.
Another point of confusion is over whether the EIT has endorsed the current immigration reform bill in the U.S. Senate because a May 2 EIT letter to Congress said that an early version of the legislation "largely upholds our principles." The Christian Post has asked EIT leaders many times whether the EIT has endorsed particular legislation. The EIT has not taken a position on the current legislation and does not know if it will, as a group, take a position in the future. Individual members, though, have spoken about the current legislation on behalf of themselves or the organizations they represent.
Rodriguez clarified that his position on immigration is influenced by his faith, not political calculations.
"As a pro-life, evangelical Christian committed to a Christian worldview and a co-signer of the Manhattan Declaration," he explained, "I will never sacrifice truth on the altar of political expediency."
Rodriguez also warned his fellow Christians that some of the groups opposing immigration reform do so in opposition to a Christian worldview.
"Accordingly," he continued, "let me remind my Christian brothers and sisters not to be manipulated by groups that advocate a population control, anti-life agenda such as the very leading groups opposing immigration reform.
"Evangelicals were on the wrong side of history when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched against segregation. This generation will not make the same mistake."