Adventist Faith at the Center of Trump's Immigration Battle

“‘[N]ational defense’ cannot be deemed an end in itself, justifying any exercise of legislative power designed to promote such a goal. . . . It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of those liberties . . . which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.”

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Really so there is a policy of massive deportations, that is funny you would think that would make the news if it was happening. There must be some executive order that one could cite to show this massive deportation…I have not heard of it either. Lets have some facts to back up that massive deportations statement!


It’s hard to imagine an attorney arguing this one with a straight face. Bringing religious beliefs into this case is more laughable than the wedding cake saga.

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IF SDA churches are having an influx of members from South of The Border with immigration problems, ARE these church groups ACTIVELY working with Immigration to help them solve the problem WITHOUT having to return to their former countries? Working to get them “Green Cards”, etc?
ARE these SDA church groups willing to get out of their Isolation Mode and meet with other religious groups who also have members from South of The Border, work together with Immigration to help each other, even though they ARE Babylonian churches – Worship on Sunday, not Sabbath.

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Now, nobody who knows my opinions faint when I say this, but this statement is a bit over the top.

At best, ICE incarcerations of immigrants with no criminal record or minor traffic offenses have risen by 38% -at least (see here and here) And we have cases like the one cited in this article where immigrant families have been shattered as is referenced in this article but mass deportations have not been massive…yet.

Having said that, one of the Biblical models of Church is a City of Refuge, (see Joshua 20). On that basis alone, the SDA church should embrace resistance to the emerging xenophobic public policies coming out of the Trump administration.

If we fail to understand the gravity of our current dismantling of democracy and resist fully, we shall fail to be the relevant messengers for God’s message of liberty to those who are oppressed and broken. (see Luke 4:18-19).


Difficult. I feel for the family, but not sure if I were a judge that I’d come down on their side. My thoughts:

“entered into a voluntary departure program. Juan never left but reported to ICE periodically” Does this mean that the US Gov’t knew he was here illegally and allowed him to stay? That may give some weight to his case.

As noted in the article, his wife was naturalized in 2010, he should have done something before Mar. of 2017.

Legal theory of Adventism and marriage. Mr. Rodriquez is arguing that it ends his marriage for him to be deported. Nothing the state is doing is nullifying the marriage and as noted, the family intends to travel with him if he is deported so in there is a remedy that does not require marriage nullification. As such, it’s hard to see how they make their case.

If I’m the SDA church, while very sympathetic for this family, I would not put church resources behind their support because I would hold our view on separation of church and state to be a higher principle than the Rodriguez’s argument that deportation is the de-facto end to their marriage. Furthermore the church teachings about marriage are regarding a relationship between the couple, not between the couple and the gov’t.

Regarding David Read’s statement that the SDA Church should magnify a patriarchy doctrine and instead promote female headship, with apologies this is so much bunk and should not have been included in the article. Just because the majority of the NAD voted at the GC that individual Divisions or Conferences should have the right to determine if they wish women to be ordained as well as men does not mean that the NAD promotes female headship. And, as noted, nothing in this case has anything to do with patriarchalism. (But if you want to talk politics, if this family had been deeply involved with an Evangelical denomination and had the vocal support of some of those prominent members such as Tony Perkins, Dobson, or Franklin Graham and others, I think the current administration might find a way to provide clemency in this case.)

While I wish for a different solution for those here illegally, and I would especially wish for a different solution for this particular family, if I were a judge who’s sole responsibility was to decide on the point of law if Mr. Rodriquez should be allowed to remain in the US based upon religious reasons only, I would have to sorrowfully say no.

Prayers for this family in their difficult time.

When a pastor utters the words: ”by the power given to me by the state of… I declare you husband and wife”, he/she implicitly accepts the power of the state to establish marriage, both de jure and de facto, when consensus and required conditions are present. When an abused spouse appeals to the law to end a toxic marriage against the will of the of the other, she does the same. Whe one spouse is sentenced to life in prison, secular power is ending marriage de facto, and they cannot claim religious exemption. This is also why we must aknowledge divorce, gay marriage and gender equality, regardless of biblical norms. "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s”

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