GOP Same-Sex Marriage Supporter Calls Securing Southern Border ‘Unchristian’
A Republican congressman who voted twice in favor of a bill foisting same-sex marriage on the whole country has denounced efforts to secure America’s southern border with Mexico as “unchristian.”
“Bring unchristian anti-immigrant bills to the floor and I am a NO on the debt ceiling,” Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) threatened Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Twitter.
Gonzales specifically targeted a bill introduced by fellow Texan Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas). The Border Safety and Security Act of 2023 (H.R. 29) would allow the Department of Homeland Security to gain “operational control” of the border by holding “covered aliens” in detention or returning them to Mexico until courts rule on their asylum claims. The proposal that Gonzales derided as sinful would “help curb the abuse of the asylum system” and “disrupt trafficking networks by preventing illegal aliens from being released into American communities,” said the America First Policy Institute. On Fox News Monday, Gonzales agreed illegal immigrants were coached about what to say to gain asylum.
“Politicians often use faith as a political weapon. This appears to be one of those times,” Joseph Backholm, the senior fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand. “Lots of people use religious language to try to claim moral high ground when what they really mean is ‘I don’t like that.’”
Far from iniquitous, the Bible presents “the ability to control your borders” as “a good thing” and “a sign of civilizational health.”
“Throughout Scripture, we see ancient forms of immigration control in the form of walls cities would build to protect themselves,” Backholm told TWS. “In Nehemiah, we see broken walls as a source of shame and derision. Proverbs 25:28 says, ‘A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.’ The implication, is that the ability to control your borders is, like self-control, a good thing. The ability to build and maintain walls, which control ingress and egress, is a sign of civilizational health.”
“The Bible does not oppose immigration policies that forbid people from entering their borders,” Backholm continued. The Old Testament Law allow “sojourners” to pass through the Promised Land and to enter Israelite cities, “but they had to do so on the terms of those who govern the city.”
Scriptural requirements differed based on whether the individual intended to pass through or remain in the land, resulting in a nuanced approach even when the Torah remained in effect.
“God’s statements about marriage are much clearer. God put men and women together in a marriage in Genesis, and Jesus affirmed the Genesis design for marriage in Matthew 19,” said Backholm.
This bodes poorly for Gonzales, one of only 39 House Republicans to vote for H.R. 8404, the so-called Respect for Marriage Act twice. The bill, which opponents say disrespects the institution of marriage, forces states to accept any legal union between two people recognized by any other state, effectively imposing the nation’s first top-down redefinition of marriage via legislation. The Supreme Court discovered a previously unknown constitutional “right” to same-sex marriage in 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges opinion, but then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rushed the marriage redefinition bill through the House after a newly constituted court struck down Roe v. Wade last summer.
The Republican Party of Texas harshly censured Gonzales last month for his liberal record on same-sex marriage, gun control, and border security. “Congressman Tony Gonzales is discouraged from participating in the 2024 Republican Party Primary,” said the censure resolution, which passed by a 57-5 vote. A separate censure from a county GOP denounced Gonzales as “a poor representative” who frequently deviated from the Republican Party platform. Gonzales responded to the state rebuke with a Spanish slang term for animal fecal matter.
Despite his Scripture-defying vote on marriage, Gonzales now threatens to poke holes in McCarthy’s efforts to wring spending cuts or other Republican priorities out of the White House in return for raising the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling before the June deadline. The speaker’s thin majority can afford precious few defections.
After the Texas GOP’s censure of Gonzales, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) quickly called the incumbent “a valued member of the House majority,” adding, “we look forward to supporting his re-election.”
Gonzales has since toughened his rhetoric on border security, touring the border last Monday with 2024 Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley.
Gonzales took to Twitter to say, “The border crisis is ruining lives” and “tearing apart” his congressional district.” It’s long past time that we label cartels as terrorists, institute much harsher penalties for smugglers, and shoot down drones carrying lethal narcotics over the border.”
Roy, who introduced a bill to brand cartels as terrorists last month, noted the newly elected Republican majority has yet to vote on any border security or immigration reduction bill since taking control in January.
“Christians should think about immigration policy through a biblical framework,” Backholm concluded. “If you think there is very clearly a Christian understanding of immigration policy, then logic suggests you are also obligated to defend the Christian understanding of marriage, which Rep. Gonzalez has consistently declined to do.”
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.