Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders both cited the Bible on Thursday to justify the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their families at the southern border.
“Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution,” Sessions said at a speech to law enforcement officers in Indiana. “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. Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”
When asked about Sessions’ quote at the daily White House press conference, Huckabee Sanders echoed the idea.
“It is very biblical to enforce the law, that is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible,” she said.
There is no law mandating or prohibiting separating migrant children from their families.
This angered many on Twitter, who cited their own biblical verses to castigate the policy.
“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees,
to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless” ARE LITERALLY THE SCRIPTURAL WORDS OF A BIBLICAL PROPHET https://t.co/Ht8LWVhh4V— Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) June 14, 2018
When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am your God.
Leviticus 19:33-34 https://t.co/nWvu49BR7u— Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR) June 14, 2018
Isaiah 10:1 has some pretty strong thoughts on unjust laws if we’re having a Bible competition https://t.co/RxSz2VmI0w— Talia Lavin ? (@chick_in_kiev) June 14, 2018
Nearly 1,500 children have been separated from their families and placed at detention centers, where they are confined indoors for up to 22 hours per day. The practice has been criticized by numerous faith organizations, including 26 Jewish groups, who called the policy “unconscionable.”