The Trump regime’s latest defense of its worst atrocity — forcibly separating immigrant kids from their parents — is that the Bible has blessed it. Which is weird, because I’ve searched the Constitution in vain for any reference to the Bible or theocratic law.
But hey, they’ve got to come up with something. Since there’s no earthly law to justify their actions, they might as well play the God card — as Jeff Sessions and Sarah Sanders tried to do yesterday. The Trump cultists will love them for that, especially the evangelicals, and that’s the only slice of the citizenry they’re governing for anyway.
What a way to cap another week of American degradation! It was enough to spin one’s head 360 degrees. We had Sessions and Sanders thumping the Bible, which distracted from the New York attorney general’s exposure of alleged Trump family crimes, which distracted from the Justice Department Inspector General’s report detailing how James Comey damaged Hillary’s candidacy, which distracted from the Nevada GOP’s nomination of a Las Vegas pimp for the state Senate, which distracted from the Virginia GOP’s nomination of a neo-Confederate for the U.S. Senate, which distracted from North Korea playing Trump for a sap by showing him saluting a bemedaled North Korean thug, which distracted from new reports that Michael Cohen is closer than ever to flipping, which distracts from even newer reports that Paul Manafort is being thrown in jail …
But nothing demands our attention more than the regime’s decision to break up families at the border — and its mendacious defense.
Yesterday, top cop Sessions came up with this beaut: “Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command on Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”
He was referring to this biblical passage: “The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” Gee. That doesn’t quite comport with the language of the Founding Fathers, who in no way envisioned America as a theocracy. And it just so happens that Romans 13 was frequently invoked by slave owners prior to the Civil War, as justification for their ownership of human beings. I guess Jeff Sessions the Alabaman doesn’t see the irony.
But let’s go to the White House, where propaganda minister Sanders was subsequently quizzed about Sessions’ remark.
At first, she insisted that earthly law requires border agents to separate kids from their parents (“It’s the law, and that’s what the law states”). She was duly echoing something that Trump said on May 16 (“We have to break up families … The Democrats gave us that law”). Trump and Sanders blatantly lied. There is no such law. “The Democrats” didn’t concoct a law that doesn’t exist.
No matter. Sanders kept lying: “The laws are the ones that have been on the books for over a decade.” There are no such laws on the books, then or now, that require the breakup of undocumented families. The Trump regime chose that policy in April, when Sessions decreed that undocumented adults seeking entry would be criminally prosecuted. Which meant that the adults would be jailed pending prosecution. Which meant that their kids would have to be held elsewhere.
But Sanders had a Plan B. She declared that the law (which doesn’t exist) is clearly ordained by God. In her words, “I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible.”
Well. If Trump’s apparatchiks truly want to ignore the Founding Fathers’ separation of church and state, if they’re truly intent on invoking the Bible to justify family breakups, then by all means, let’s play that game. Because the Bible can be cherry-picked to support every life perspective — most notably, the importance of justice and charity.
For every Romans verse that was popular with slave owners, there are verses like this, from Leviticus: “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself.” And verses like this, from Isaiah: “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.” And verses like this, from the same Romans chapter invoked by Sessions: “Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor.”
And since the Trump regime in this earthly realm is so addicted to serial lying, perhaps its biblically-inspired servants would like to make amends by heeding some wise advice from Ephesians 4:25. They’d be doing us all a favor. Here it is:
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”