When Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoted the Bible to justify closing the country’s borders to refugees, members of his church responded by saying he misinterpreted the scripture. Keep reading to learn why members of Sessions’ church think he got the Bible wrong.
What Sessions said
“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 them for the purpose of order,” Sessions said, according to The Guardian. Learn which U.S. cities would be doomed without immigrants, here.
The White House announced the policy to separate children from their families on April 19, 2018, according to Buzzfeed. Since then, border authorities have separated approximately 1,995 children from adults, according to statistics the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released to Buzzfeed. The department released the figure in May 2018, which has most likely, if not surely, gone up since then.
In addition to being separated from their children, adults face federal prosecution for crossing the border illegally. As part of the White House’s new “zero tolerance” policy, every person caught crossing the border without authorization will be prosecuted, according to The New York Times.
Trump blamed Democrats and ‘their law’
“I hate the children being taken away,” President Donald Trump said during an impromptu question-and-answer session at the White House, according to The New York Times. “The Democrats have to change their law — that’s their law.” In fact, there’s no law requiring families be separated at the border. The “law” is actually a policy set up by the Trump administration.
Clergy members think Sessions broke church law
Since Sessions made the comment, more than 600 clergy and lay leaders from the United Methodist Church have lodged a formal complaint in the form of a letter, in which they accused him of violating church law, according to Buzzfeed.
In the letter, church members claimed Sessions “violated the denomination’s Book of Discipline by advocating for and implementing practices that separate young immigrant children from their parents.”
They accused Sessions of other crimes
They have also accused Sessions of child abuse, immorality, and racial discrimination based on a number of Sessions’ actions. First, his support to detain immigrant children. Second, the refusal to grant immigrants asylum who have fled due to gang or domestic violence. And lastly, his decision to no longer investigate potential racial discrimination in police departments, according to Buzzfeed.
Sessions allegedly used ‘biblical heresy’ playbook
Sessions argument is the same one “used to support the genocide of Native Americans, lock black people in chattel slavery, and segregate people under Jim Crow,” Reverends Dr. William Barber II and Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, wrote in The Guardian. “He’s using old tricks that go all the way back to slave master religion.”
Reverends think Sessions misinterpreted the scripture
According to Barber and Theoharis, Sessions misinterpreted the scripture. “Paul was arrested by the government because Christians challenged the government,” Barber and Theoharis wrote. “That’s one of the reasons Paul ends up getting killed. The rest of the text talks about how government should be used for good.” They made it clear that “nowhere do Jesus or the prophets say we should be taking children from their families.”
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