WASHINGTON, D.C. (TEXAN) —
"We must rise up!" Rodriguez said, adding that he will not approach the voting both based on the color of his skin. "I am not first and foremost black, white, yellow, brown, Hispanic, charismatic or automatic. I am a Christian. I am a Christian above everything else, and when I approach that voting booth, I must approach that voting booth understanding that my vote has consequences, and I can't differentiate or distinguish. I cannot create a schism between what I vote and what I preach and what I believe. There must be continuity, and that's what we call integrity."
"I am committed not only to seeing the emergence of the staunchest pro-life demographic in America, but I am likewise committed to building a compassionate, Christ-centered, Bible-based pro-life firewall." —Samuel Rodriguez, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
In speaking directly to his Latino brothers and sisters, Rodriguez said voting for someone with an appealing position on immigration reform must not trump voting for someone who will commit to protect life.
"Indeed, immigration has a legitimate space to occupy as it pertains to the conversations, as long as it's not amnesty or illegal immigration—we need to stop that," Rodriguez said. "But whatever we're advocating for, it shouldn't trump life. We must begin with life!"
Silence is not an option, Rodriguez said.
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"Now let me explain what that means, and this may be politically incorrect. I am committed not only to seeing the emergence of the staunchest pro-life demographic in America, but I am likewise committed to building a compassionate, Christ-centered, Bible-based pro-life firewall, understanding the following: That today's complacency is tomorrow's captivity. That we are what we tolerate. That there is no such thing as comfortably Christianity. And that truth and love and life must never be sacrificed on the altar of political, cultural or sexual expedience.
"There has to be continuity and consistency," Rodriguez said. "If we preach pro-life on Sunday, we cannot support a candidate that advocates abortion on Tuesday."
Rodriguez, who made a specific note that he spoke only for himself and not on behalf of conference organizers, received enthusiastic applause and affirmation from the crowd throughout his time on stage.