During a Thursday, June 14th, press briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave a startling answer to a question about why the Trump administration is separating immigrant children from their parents. About 1,500 children are currently being held in a Texas detention center, and Sanders defended the act by stating that “it is biblical to enforce the law.”
In the hours before the briefing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions had addressed and defended separating and detaining immigrant children. He did so during a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Sessions stated:
“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. 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.”
It should go without saying (yet sadly, it must be said) that government officials should not be using the Bible — the book of one, specific faith — to justify laws for every citizen. And many are rightfully arguing that both Sessions and Sanders are distorting a religious text for political purposes. Stephen Colbert (a devout Catholic and former Sunday school teacher) even noted on his June 14th show that if Sessions had read a little further, he’d know that the Bible also says,
The administration’s current rhetoric is not only unconstitutional, it’s dangerous, and implies that questioning our government is tantamount to sacrilege. Officials should never deflect to the Bible — or any religious doctrine — to make our laws and policies seem untouchable. It is, without question, un-American.
There is no moral nor political defense for taking children away from their mothers and fathers. If you feel strongly about this issue, call your representatives today and make your voice heard.