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.
He added, "separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral".
Sessions' biblical defense of the draconian immigration policy comes after multiple faith groups and leaders have spoken out against the separation of families.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions referred to Romans 13 in a speech Thursday to law enforcement officials in Fort Wayne, Ind., quoting the Apostle Paul's instruction to "obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the objective of order".
Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest and the editor-at-large of the Jesuit magazine America, said Sessions' actions are in fact the opposite of the Bible's teachings about caring for the poor and being compassionate.
The conservative Southern Baptist Convention passed a motion calling on the government to maintain "the priority of family unity" in immigratioon policy at its national gathering last week.
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Ian Henderson, an associate professor of New Testament studies at McGill University in Montreal, said that no matter how people want to read into Romans 13, it does not mean that Christian citizens should not protest against bad laws or bad government.
"The Bible does not justify discrimination masked as racism, sexism, economic inequality, oppression or the abuse of children", said the council, leaders of the denomination.
A round table of evangelical leaders also expressed their concern.
Jackson says that in the past "the government tolerated lynching just like they tolerated slavery". And yes, I am aware that the AG is a member of The United Methodist Church.
- CNN (@CNN) June 14, 2018Sessions' comments come as the administration faces backlash for implementing a "zero tolerance" policy at the border by criminally prosecuting migrants entering the country illegally. "We believe it should be addressed in immigration legislation. They are the ones who endangered their children with this trek". One distraught father took his own life after he and his children were separated and jailed.
Schlimm noted that people often misuse the Bible. He told law enforcement officers: "Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution".