By Fidel “Butch” Montoya
The battle lines on the political horizon are being drawn as our nation’s voters begin to determine the most important issues facing our country in the mid-term election in November 2010. From the extremist right-wing factions, to the ultra-liberals, voters are siding up with their preferred political and social ideology and political candidates who they believe best represent their views and supporting beliefs.
Unfortunately, our nation finds itself becoming increasingly divided by biased beliefs of self preservation and ideologies of racism and bigotry. In many cases, it is our own fellow American citizens who are leading the anti undocumented immigrant crusade. By spewing venom of hate and fear of undocumented immigrants, the bigoted demigods of this hate movement are instigating the spread this racist cancer whose sole purpose is to generate an atmosphere of panic, trepidation, confusion, and racism.
Everyday we see more and more people openly express their disdain and hate for the undocumented immigrants and Latinos. Like other historically distressing times in this country, it has become fashionable once again for people to be undisturbed by critics as they peddle in public their bigotry and unparalleled hate and racism in town meetings, street demonstrations, posters, bumper stickers, and on hate radio.
The messengers of hate, divisiveness, and open racism are undaunted by standing in public and allowing others to see first hand their hate and distain for undocumented immigrants and Latinos and forcing others to endure the rancor of their bigotry. The facial expressions of these hate messengers should frighten and challenge us to stand up for our own values.
If there ever was such a time for the Latino Evangelical voter to stand up and denounce this revival of hate and racism, it is now! It is a critical time in our nation’s history and a time when Christian’s must understand the importance of getting involved not in the dirty politics and mud slinging, but in representing our values and demanding that candidates for office embody our core values and Christian beliefs.
It is time to retire those politicians who have refused to listen to our pleas for common sense in government and for the politics of divisiveness and obstruction to come to an end. We can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines and allow the opposition to destroy the Judeo-Christian ethic that this nation was founded on.
For too long we have turned the other cheek when confronted by the enemies of the cross on issues affecting our nation. As Christians, we are often lectured to be tolerant and open to new ways of thinking and solving issues and concerns facing our country. If others profess their political or religious beliefs, we are expected to acquiesce to those beliefs.
Yet, when we speak up and stand up for our values and beliefs, we are accused of not being tolerant and considerate of opposing view points. Our values and beliefs are then condemned as being narrow-minded and offensive.
We are told we cannot pray in schools, public and civic functions, and if we do pray, we must be respectful and tolerant of other religious and spiritual philosophies and beliefs, by not invoking the name of Jesus Christ.
Nevertheless, we are mandated to sit back and allow others to proclaim their spiritual ideologies and beliefs even if those beliefs proclaim the ultimate destruction of our personal spiritual values and beliefs...and our country!
The time for Evangelicals to stand up for their core values is now. We must be empowered to vote for those candidates and politicians who mirror our beliefs and core spiritual values.
For too long, Latino Christian voters have voted for candidates and political parties based on our family political heritage. It is time to forget who “Dad would vote for”…and remember we are living in a time when it is critically important to vote for candidates or issues that are best for our families and country. The political parties and their promises of the past to remedy our concerns no longer characterize the urgency for change and a new beginning.
Of course in order to do that, Latinos must register to vote. There are millions of potential voters who have not taken the most important step in changing the direction of this nation by putting themselves in the voter booth on Election Day.
One way we can make a difference is to join the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference Fuerza 2010 voter registration drive and encourage our families, friends, and neighbors to register to vote. And then most importantly, actually turn out on Election Day to express our political and spiritual beliefs in the election booth.
Apathy and by not participating in voting for the issues that reflect our core values has allowed other political ideologies to destroy our liberties and freedoms. We must encourage Latino Evangelicals to register to vote….and to VOTE on Election Day.
It is so important for Latino Evangelical Christians to play a fundamental role in determining the future direction of our cities, states, and our country. We must be outspoken in our opposition to those who would destroy and deny the Christian heritage of our nation.
The best way to express your opposition to the candidates and politicians who have disregarded your values is to vote them out of office. The key and most significant achievement we can have is VOTING them out of office. In order to exercise your God given liberty to stand up for your values is to be able to participate in the national narrative by VOTING in any local, state, or national election.
I encourage you to join this NHCLC FUERZA 2010 Voter Registration Drive and ask those who have not yet registered to vote, to join the national effort to change the wrong direction this nation is headed.
To register to vote, simply text “NHCLC Vote” on your cell phone and become a voice for justice, righteousness, and truth by taking the first step by registering to vote in the upcoming mid-term November 2010 elections.
To get involved in this national NHCLC voter registration drive locally in your city or state, contact National FUERZA 2010 Coordinator, Pastor Johnny Murillo at 916-343-6074 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Register to Vote…and then vote like your values depended on it this time!
Fidel "Butch" Montoya is Director of H.S. Power and Light Ministries - Latino Faith Initiative. He was the Vice President/News Director of KUSA - TV Channel 9 News from 1985-1990, and worked at the news station for 24 years. Montoya also served as Deputy Mayor of City and County of Denver from 1995-1999; as the Manager of Public Safety for the City and County of Denver from 1994-2000. Montoya was Licensed to preach in 1972. He serves on the Executive Council for the Hispanic Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.