Administration officials on border separations: The bible tells them so

1SessionsBoth the White House and the attorney general are shockingly invoking the bible to justify their cruel and inhuman policy to break apart families crossing the border.

“I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claims. “That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the bible. It’s a moral policy to follow and enforce the law.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is also citing the bible to defend his border policy of yanking away hundreds of children from their parents. Sessions invoked the Book of Romans. Arguing that illegal entry into the United States is a crime, 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 the government for his purposes.”

The quoting of this verse by an attorney general bound to uphold our godless and secular Constitution is particularly offensive. The gist of Romans 13:1 is blind obedience to theocratic law. It says that the biblical deity is the only authority, and government authority is established by God: “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God and those which exist are established by God.” This is completely wrong advice for a secular democratic setup such as ours.

But in any case, both Sanders and Sessions are engaging in specious reasoning. The law they say they must uphold against illegal entry in the United States does not demand or require the separation of children from parents. The administration seems to regard such cruelty as a justifiable form of punishment without due process.

Even the congressional Republican leadership is distancing itself from the policy. House Speaker Paul Ryan and others have spoken out against separating children from parents and have proposed compromise legislation to bar it. And as the White House cites the bible, a chorus of condemnations comes from conservative religious leaders, including the Rev. Franklin Graham (a major President Trump supporter), a coalition of evangelical groups, Roman Catholic officials and even the Southern Baptists this week in the form of a resolution.

The plight of children and their bereaved parents is heartbreaking. It’s the kind of act one doesn’t expect from a compassionate democracy. And this policy of throwing families into chaos and possibly permanent separation comes from the party of “family values”? Of course, it must be remembered, as feminists know, that “family values” is Religious Right code that actually means: “We oppose women’s equality, and reproductive and LGBTQ rights.”

The Trump administration’s heartless immigration policy is disgraceful, and it is also disgraceful to see the White House and our attorney general citing the bible to establish policy in our nation. It should come as no surprise, though, that they’re invoking the bible — that grab bag of primitive and contradictory morality — to justify the unjustifiable.

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