Romans 13, Trump's Biblical Justification For Caging Children, Tied To Nazis

Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1990-048-29A / Heinrich Hoffmann / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others have turned to Romans 13 to justify their actions, much as Adolf Hitler did.

America’s faith communities largely disapprove of President Donald Trump’s immigration policy involving the traumatizing practice of removing children from their families as parents are prosecuted for unlawful entry into the United States.

But elements of the evangelical Christian community have turned to the Bible for proof that the policy is both just and scripturally sound.

Last week, the head of Capitol Ministries – which leads prayer and bible studies for Washington, D.C. officials – said Attorney General Jeff Sessions was right to cite Romans 13 in defense of his inhumane policy.

“The passage the Attorney General cited, Romans 13, bespeaks of this: there are and there should be serious, known consequences for breaking the laws of the land — otherwise the law becomes toothless and inconsequential and it is no longer a deterrent to harmful behavior, which is what God designed it to be,” [Ralph] Drollinger wrote.

Drollinger is not alone in his opinion on what can only be called biblical proof-texting – the removal of context to twist Scripture to one’s own agenda – but that does not make him right.

It is unlikely that Drollinger would agree that Romans 13 should be used to justify the atrocities committed under Adolf Hitler during World War II – but that is precisely the company he keeps by employing the passage in defense of family separations.

As The Intellectualist noted previously, the Third Reich fell back upon Scripture in an attempt to make right the horrific treatment of Jews and others as it imprisoned, tortured, and murdered people in concentration camps and established an authoritarian state.

In July 1933, during Hitler’s first summer in power, a young German pastor named Joachim Hossenfelder preached a sermon in the towering Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Berlin’s most important church. He used the words of Romans 13 to remind worshippers of the importance of obedience to those in authority. The church was festooned with Nazi banners and Stormtrooper flags, its pews packed with the Nazi Party faithful – including men in the brown shirts of the Sturmabteilung, the Nazis’ paramilitary movement.

Both Sessions and Drollinger – any any others who agree that Romans 13, pulled from its context to the detriment of the whole of Christian teaching – would do well to reconsider their allegiance to the same interpretation and usage that Hitler himself used to justify his actions.

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carolynr
carolynr

Indeed, Romans 13 does speak of obedience to authority, but there's a key part that evangelicals and others of their ilk leave out when attempting to justify caging little children, who have done nothing but obeyed God's commandment to honor their father and mother. These so-called Christians are right when they say disobedience to a lawful order necessitates consequences for the wrongdoer. Notice I said nothing about their children? That's because of this little section in Romans 13: "...whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on THEMSELVES." It says nothing about it being okay to mistreat and abuse the wrongdoer's children because of the deeds of the parents. Taking the pathway that leads to these children ending up in cages (yes, cages--I've seen better enclosures at the zoo) is the direct route to horror--an example being the Holocaust. I am sick and tired of these religious idiots cherry-picking from the Bible only the parts that suit their agenda. I seriously doubt any one of them has actually read the entire Bible. I have and I see nothing in the teachings of Christ that would allow for this interpretation. They are Pharisees, indeed, with their public prayers (doesn't the Bible tell us to pray in secret, that God hears us?--yes, it does) and selling their souls for power and money. They do not worship God, they worship Mammon.