Alabama Republican State Senator: Jesus Would “Probably Not” Vote for Anti-Immigrant Law
This American Life ran a fantastic episode on the Alabama immigration law last week. In it, reporter Jack Hitt interviews a host of people affected by the law, as well as the State Senator Scott Beason who has championed it and Kris Kobach, the national architect of these “self-deportation laws.”
But the most interesting person Hitt talks to in the segment is Republican State Senator and Majority Whip Gerald Dial, who — after initially voting for the law — is now leading a campaign to amend it based on all of the negative feedback and unintended consequences constituents are reporting back to him.
Dial explains that his change of heart came in part because, as a committed Christian, he saw the way the new rules called into question acts of genuine religious charity — causing faith-based service providers to fear that their open-door policies could put them on the wrong side of the law.
When Dial indicates that the criminalization of Christian charity is one of the problems with the legislation he’s proposing to remedy by amending the bill, Hitt asks him a poignant follow-up question:
Hitt: So once you’ve amended the bill, do you think Jesus would vote for the bill?
Dial: Gosh you’ve asked me a tough question, you know. I would hope that he would understand. I would say that, would he vote for the bill? [Pause] Probably not. You know, probably not. If you just laid it all the way down, probably not.
Perhaps that’s a question the other Christian lawmakers in Alabama should be asked as well.
Listen to the whole episode here.