IMMIGRATION REFORM AS A MORAL QUESTION: ELITE AND NON-ELITE EVANGELICAL ATTITUDES OF IMMIGRATION REFORM IN THE U.S.A

  • Joanna Kaftan University of Houston – Downtown, USA

Abstract

The main goal of this paper is to examine how Evangelicals talk about the topic of immigration in the U.S.A. in an online forum. This investigation centers on an analysis of the twenty-nine magazine articles and online blogs from the magazine Christianity Today addressing immigration between January 2007 - September 2012 as well as the four hundred ninety five written online comments in response to these articles. The examination illustrates that while the responses to the articles demonstrated a range of opinion, the percentage of readers’ comments sympathetic towards undocumented immigrants has increased since 2009. Respondents questioned the authority and statements of elites. Nevertheless, the majority of posters showed respect for the other commentators and acknowledged differences of opinion and interpretation within the online context.

Keywords: immigration, Evangelicals, political attitudes, elites, non-elites, United States

References

Aday Sean, Leading the Charge: Media, Elites, and the Use of Emotion in Stimulating Rally Effects in Wartime, Journal of Communication, Vol. 60, No. 3, Hoboken, 2010.
Bayder-Saye Scott, The Emergent Matrix: A New Kind of Church?, The Christian Century, Nov. 30, 2004, Chicago.
Bailey Sarah Pulliam, Rallying for Immigration Reform, Christianity Today, March 22, 2010. http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctpolitics/2010/03/rallying_for_im.html (accessed May 1, 2013).
Bimber Bruce, Information and American Democracy: Technology in the Evolution of Political Power, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003.
Boerl Christopher W., From Monologue to Dialogue How the Internet is Empowering the Evangelical Periphery, Information, Communication & Society, Vol. 16, No. 8, London, 2013.
Boerl Christopher W. and Chris Perkins, The Political Pluralization of American Evangelicals: How Old Media Built a Movement, and Why the Internet
is Poised to Change It, International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church, Vol. 11, No.1, London, 2011.
Bozinovich Miki, Politology of Religion, Politics and Religion, Vol. III, No. 2, Belgrade,2009.
Brint Steven and Seth Abrutyn, Who’s Right About the Right? Comparing Competing Explanations of the Link Between White Evangelicals and
Conservative Politics in the United States, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion Vol. 49, No. 2, Hoboken, 2010.
Cammaerts Bart, Critiques on the Participatory Potentials of Web 2.0, Communication, Culture, and Critique Vol. 1, No. 4, Hoboken, 2008.
Christianity Today, Our Mission, http://www.christianitytoday.org/ministry/mission/ (accessed May 1, 2013.
Cohn Alicia, Christian Activists Push for Immigration Reform, Christianity Today, June 11, 2009, http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctpolitics/2009/06/christian_activ.html (accessed May 1, 2013).
Coleman Stephen and Scott Wright, Political Blogs and Representative Democracy, Information Policy, Vol. 13, No. 1-2, Amsterdam, 2008.
Dawson Lorne L. and Douglas E. Cowan, Introduction, in: Religion Online: Finding Faith on the Internet, Dawson, L and D. Cowan (eds.), Routledge, New York, 2004.
DeYmaz Mark, M. Daniel Carroll R., and Matthew Soerens, Illegal Immigrants in the Church?, Christianity Today. March 1, 2011. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/february/vg-doeverythinglegal.html (accessed May 1, 2013).
Geertz Clifford, Religion as a Cultural System, in: The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays, Clifford Geertz (ed.), Fontana Press, London, 1993.
Greeley Andrew and Michael Hout, The Truth About Conservative Christians: What They Think and What They Believe, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2006.
Hayden Bridget, Impeach the Traitors: Citizenship, Sovereignty and Nation in Immigration Control Activism in the United States, Social Semiotics Vol. 20, No. 2, New York, 2010.
Hillygus D. Sunshine and Todd G. Shields, Moral Issues and Voter Decision Making in the 2004 Presidential Election, Political Science and Politics, Vol. 38, No. 2, Cambridge, 2005.
Jansen Harold J. and Royce Koop, Pundits, Ideologues and Ranters: The British Columbia Election Online, Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol. 30, No. 4, Vancouver, 2005.
Jevtic, Miroljub, Politology of Religion, Center for Study of Religion and Religious Tolerance, Belgrade, 2009.
Jevtic, Miroljub, Political Science and Religion, Politics and Religion, Vol. 1, No 1, Belgrade, 2007.
Kaftan Joanna, National Identity During Periods of Controversy: Celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Phoenix Arizona, Nations and Nationalism, Vol. 19, No. 1, London, 2013.
Kettell, Steven, Has Political Science Ignored Religion?, PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol.45, No. 1, Washington, D.C., 2012.
Keren Michael, Blogging and Mass Politics., Biography, Vol. 33, No. 1, Hawaii, 2010.
Knoll Benjamin R., And Who is My Neighbor? Religion and Immigration Policy Attitudes, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 48, No. 2, Hoboken, 2009.
Koop Royce and Harold J. Jansen, Political Blogs and Blogrolls in Canada: Forums For Democratic Deliberation?, Social Science Computer Review, Vol. 27, No. 2, Thousand Oaks, 2009.
Langer Gary and Joel Cohen, Voters and Values in the 2004 Election, Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 5, Oxford, 2005.
Leege David C. et al., The Politics of Cultural Differences: Social Change and Voter Mobilization Strategies in the Post New Deal Period, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2002.
Manza Jeff and Clem Brooks, The Religious Factor in the U.S. Presidential Elections, 1960-1992, American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 103, No. 1, Chicago, 1997.
McDaniel Eric Leon et al., Divine Boundaries: How Religion Shapes Citizens’ Attitudes Toward Immigrants, American Politics Research, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2011.
Miriam Jordan and James Oberman, Evangelicals Push Immigration Path, Wall Street Journal-Eastern Edition, Vol. 261, April 8, 2013, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324883604578399023366575766 (accessed March 27, 2014).
MTI-Magazine Training International, Christianity Today Subscriber Profile: Personal Profile Section, http://www.magazinetraining.com/PublisherResources/samples/Advertising/SubProfiles/SubProfileCTI/#anchor3. (accessed February 4, 2013).
Pew Research Center, Few Say Religion Shapes Immigration, Environment Views Results from the 2010 Annual Religion and Public Life Survey, September
17, 2010. http://www.pewforum.org/2010/09/17/few-say-religion-shapes-immigration-environment-views/ (accessed March 27, 2014).
Pew Research Center, Majority of White Evangelicals Back Way for Unauthorized Immigrants to Stay in U.S., April 24, 2013, pp. 1-2, http://www.pewresearch.org/dailynumber/majority-of-white-evangelicals-back-way-for-unauthorized-immigrants-to-stay-in-u-s/ (accessed March 27, 2014).
Preston Julia, As Evangelical Leaders Change View on Immigration, Congregations Follow, New York Times, April 14, 2014, pp. 14-17, New York.
Robinson Carin, Cross-Cutting Messages and Political Tolerance: An Experiment Using Evangelical Protestants, Political Behavior, Vol. 32, No. 4, New York, 2010.
Salguero Gabriella A., Immigration, Integration, And National Identity: Making The Case For A Hispanic Evangelical Contribution, Review of Faith & International Affairs, Vol. 9, No. 1, London, 2011.
Stepan Alfred, Religion, Democracy and the Twin Tolerations, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 11. No. 4, Washington, D.C., 2000.
Straughn Jeremy Brooke and Scott L. Feld, America as a “Christian Nation”? Understanding Religious Boundaries of National Identity in the United States, Sociology of Religion, Vol. 71, No,3, Oxford, 2010.
Wisdom Alan F. H., Immigration Reform: Another Christian View, Christianity Today, July 13, 2010. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/julyweb-only/58-21.0.html (accessed May 1, 2013).
Wuthnow Robert, The Restructuring of American Religion, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1988.
Published
2016-12-27
Section
TOPIC OF THIS ISSUE