Look in any Bible, Old Testament, New Testament, Koran, Hindu holy texts, or any religious writings, and you are likely to find justification for almost any action you may desire to take. Slavery. Capital punishment. Treating women as chattel. All are condoned in various scriptures.
So it was not unusual for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to cite the Apostle Paul in his defense of Trump administration policy to separate children from their parents if the family unit tries to enter the United States illegally.
“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,”said Sessions (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/06/14/jeff-sessions-points-to-the-bible-in-defense-of-separating-immigrant-families/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.8d4f916357a3)
It is futile to duel with Bible verses. Let’s remember religions set many of their guiding tenets during eras with mores far different than those of today’s western civilizations.
Decency, on the other hand, does not require divine validation. So let’s be blunt: Trump and his minions are being indecent and cruel. They are traumatizing children, children!, perhaps for life, to win political points.
Have they no shame?
They are compounding their immorality by lying, by trying to lay the blame for their inexcusable actions on Democrats when they know perfectly well that under Barack Obama children were not separated from their parents (https://nyti.ms/2HS0MsV).
The Big Lie is Trump’s usual defense, but even some of his evangelical supporters are not being duped by it this time. It is comforting to know even his own church, United Methodist, has disavowed Sessions’ use of the Bible to justify an abhorrent practice (http://theweek.com/speedreads/779547/jeff-sessions-church-slams-use-bible-defend-separating-migrant-families).
Here’s a chilling perspective on the practice of separating children from their parents. As Sara Boboltz reported on HuffPost, families of color have been subjected to such cruelty since the 1800s (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/history-separating-families-of-color_us_5b241a78e4b0f9178a9d1866).
There is no denying the United States has a problem with illegal immigration, the severity of which is subject to honest debate (though it is difficult to imagine an honest, truthful debate from Trump’s side). But what should be obvious to anyone with a caring heart is the cruelty of taking children from their parents for no other reason than they sought a better future from the lottery of life that planted them in a country south of the United States border.
Decency should know no boundaries.