Yesterday, Sarah Sanders stood at the White House podium in her most realistic 'person-suit' and defended the Trump administration’s family separation policy, saying, “It is very biblical to enforce the law, that is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible.”
Given that she was being asked to comment on Jeff Sessions’s words (of which Sanders said she was “not aware of the Attorney General’s comments or what he would be referencing”) the day before, let’s just give a quick look at that theological tire fire here:
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 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.
Let’s briefly begin with Sessions’s comments:
- What the #%@?!
- That usage of “cite,” though accurate, is weird – and antiquated enough to sound wrong. Just say “I would cite” without the “you to.” Constructive criticism.
- The administration’s concern about context does not seem to extend to the biblical text. Any theologian worth his or her salt would point out that, according to the New Testament, Christ is the "Lord of all creation" (Barth, Church Dogmatics II/1, IV/4) and as such while Christians are subject to the law of the land, the law of the land is itself subject to the law of Christ, which is love, and therefore when the law of the land violates the principles of Christ, Paul’s exhortation to obey the law cannot apply.
- Paul goes on to talk about paying taxes. Where are those tax returns again? Tsk, tsk.
- Separating families is not the law. If biblical scholar Jeff Sessions is doing this because Constitutional scholar Donald Trump says it’s the law, and if Trump says it’s the law because the democrats made it so (false, by the way) then both Sessions and Trump are behaving in an uncharacteristically submissive way to the minority democrats. (Could this be insincere posturing?) Note: Trump undid DACA, instated by a democratic president, but he and his Jeff are utterly helpless in the face of this made-up law that recent Trump crony Jesus Christ is supposedly now commanding them to enforce? Mmm, I’m skeptical.
Moving on to Sanders:
- It is “very biblical to enforce the law” – this statement is very vague. Which law is she referring to? Does she mean the law of the Deuteronomist? If so, it is incumbent upon me to point out that Jesus said that thing about rescuing sheep from wells that one time – in violation of Sabbath laws, noting that laws must be violated when someone is in need, including…“animals.”
- I realize you’re busy, but isn’t “being aware” of Sessions’s comments sort of part of your job?
- Insulting the intelligence of the reporters in the room in order to deflect attention from your own moral embarrassment – well, that sounds pretty… feckless … don’t you think?
Ugh. This week has been a sh...feces tornado for immigration policy – so much so that we’ve been unable to keep up with it on our blog. However, we will provide further updates and analysis next week … so watch this space.