*In response to US Attorney General Jeff Session citing Romans 13 to defend the Trump administration’s immigration policies and the separation of children from their families, the Revs. Dr. William Barber II and Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival released the following statement:
“Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions used scripture to justify policies like closing our borders to those in need of refuge and tearing children away from their families. Twisting the word of God in defense of immoral practices was a tactic used to justify keeping Black people in chattel slavery, committing genocide against Native Americans and segregating people under Jim Crow. His comments are anathema to any person of faith. And any politician who supports his position is an accessory to these crimes against children and humanity.”
*Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday cited a Bible passage to defend his department’s policy of prosecuting everyone who crosses the border from Mexico, insisting that God has ordained the government’s separation of immigrant parents from their children.
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” Sessions said during a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Ind. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent and fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak and protects the lawful.”
As noted in a report from the Washington Post, government officials have been known to use the Bible to defend their policies against the disenfranchised — take, for instance, the Republicans who have quoted 2 Thessalonians (“if a man will not work, he shall not eat”) to justify more stringent food stamps requirements.
But the verse that Sessions cited, Romans 13, is an unusual choice, according to an expert contacted by the Post.
It most certainly is.