by Bil Aulenbach

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Another Black Eye for Jesus

On June 14, 2018, Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States, quoted Romans 13:1, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities,” to justify his inhuman policy of tearing children away from their parents as they flee poverty and violence for a new life here.

The current administration’s policy seems to be this: Don’t come here. If you do, we’ll separate you from your children.

I had an immediate flashback to when I visited the Auschwitz concentration camp and learned the first words the Nazis told Jewish parents when they got off the train: “We’re going to take your children and give them a shower.” They forgot to mention the shower would happen in a deadly gas chamber.

But what really irritated me was the audacity of this professed Christian to use the Bible to justify breaking up families and punishing people who are so destitute that they’ll sacrifice all to escape. (I wonder if he has heard of Ellis Island?) He further darkened the new black eye he gave Jesus by ignoring the preceding words in Romans 12:10–16: “Love one another with mutual affection. . . . Extend hospitality to strangers. . . . Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.” How did he miss that?

Jeff Sessions has certainly shown his true beliefs, which go like this: This country is primarily for white folks like me and we don’t need any more of you dark-skinned, poor folks. If you try to enter this country, I’ll take your children. That’s how “Christian” I am!

To substantiate his sick prejudice, he quotes Romans. Yikes! Quoting Paul, who was executed by the Romans because he didn’t obey the “governing authorities,” is adding insult to injury. Paul is not my Christ. Jesus is and Jesus said, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35). I wonder if the attorney general knows that Jesus said that.

Sessions is a shining example of what I see happening over and over in fundamentalism. People take their deep-seated prejudices and hide behind Jesus’s skirts or the Bible to justify their hatreds and insecurities.

That’s how slavery stayed in business so long. Slave owners (including clergymen) used the Bible to justify their inhumane treatment of their fellow human beings, who happened to be a different color. They quoted Ephesians 6:5: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling.” I don’t care what the Bible or Paul said—slavery is wrong!

The never-ending war against the LGBTQUI community is fueled by fundamentalists, who constantly quote and misquote scripture written two thousand to three thousand years ago to substantiate their and hatred of those who are different from them.

The women’s movement is so threatening to fundamentalist men that they’ll fight with every breath to keep women pregnant and in the kitchen. To back up their fears, they love to quote passages written thousands of years ago when most women were bought and sold as property, such as the one from 1 Peter 3:1 that says, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands.”

I’m hoping that maybe Jeff Sessions will spend some time reading the chapter about love in 1 Corinthians 13. I then fantasize that Jeff will return to work energized by the power of agape. Maybe he will even see how cruel his thinking was.

What was your reaction to this administration’s immigration policy of slamming the door in people’s faces, terrorizing their children, and screaming “Go away”?


Image courtesy of Patrick Feller (CC BY 2.0)


5 Responses to Another Black Eye for Jesus

  • The entire administration is appalling to me. It’s like they never heard of the 25th Chapter of Matthew.

    Matthew 25:31-46, New American Bible translation

    31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,

    32 and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

    33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

    34 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

    35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,

    36 naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

    37 Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?

    38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?

    39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

    40 And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

    41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

    42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,

    43 A stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’

    44 Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’

    45 He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

    46 And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    It’s very plain!

  • Brave, Bil…. Heart breaking behavior and ill-thought religion not spiritual!

  • Thank you, Bil, and Margie, for addressing the deception and misplaced reliance of the Trumputin illegitimacy on Scripture. I join, and add this point about The Law:

    According to Federal, International, and even some State and local laws, any person has the lawful right to flee oppression, and even floods and famine. The US has long been, and legally still is, a refuge nation for such refugees.

    In addition, kidnapping and confining people without a hearing has been unconstitutional since 1789.

    So now the entire world is witness to a US Attorney General and policing authority which violates its own laws.

  • Thanks, Bil, for your insights. I too wonder how Christians can twist a gospel of love into something so unrecognizable, so vindictive, so un-Christlike. I have to remind myself that German Lutherans in 1933 sunk to the same blind ideologies that many fundamentalists today seem to be embracing. Perhaps someday Mr. Sessions may realize how pernicious his view of the Gospel really was.

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