The (Unfortunate) Theology Of Jeff Sessions
PEDESTRIANS AND POLITICIANS
To begin, in the event that anyone reading this thinks I'm trying to tilt the church/state dynamic in my favor, I assure you that I am not.
When it comes to politics, I'm just a pedestrian. As such, I am free to form my political opinions based on the things that I believe about God.
In contrast, there are those for whom politics is a profession. And as such, their freedoms to make decisions based on the subjective truths of belief, in my opinion, ought to be more limited.
If you really dig down to the rudiments, the chief role of any politician (whether appointed or elected) is to carry out the will of the people. The will of the people is known by how (and for whom) they cast their votes. Therefore, for a politician to cite a religious text as a reason for doing anything (even if they claim that it is in the service of the people) is to govern from a vacuum of private superstition.
You might be thinking, "But politicians quote scripture all the time to support their views and to justify their decision making."
Of course, they do, but that doesn't mean that it is correct to do so.
What a politician ought to be saying is, "The voters have expressed their intent about such and such a thing by putting myself, or so and so in office who appointed me to this role, by which I am tasked to carry out the will of the electorate."
It would even be okay to tack on, "X amount of those voters also sent letters, emails, and made calls to my office this week citing a passage from (cite a passage from any religious text) and have made it clear that they, by a majority, desire that the decision to (name any issue) be based on their interpretation of said religious text."
But when The Attorney General of The United States is questioned about his views on laws concerning immigration and he begins answering the question by saying,
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13..." this is not good.
Laws are laws (and laws can change, by the way) but our leaders ought not to be using their own interpretation of a Bible passage to justify the laws of a secular government.
The voter is free to base their political leanings on such things, but not the politician. For to do so is to be religiously partisan.
THE BIBLE ON FOREIGNERS
Here is what The Bible that sits on the desk in my study says, which informs my views on immigrants, foreigners, and aliens.
"You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt."
"You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt."
"You shall not detest an Edomite, for he is your brother; you shall not detest an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land."
"You shall not pervert the justice due an alien or an orphan, nor take a widow's garment in pledge."
"'Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'"
"Thus says the LORD, "Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place."
"If you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin."
"They have treated father and mother lightly within you The alien they have oppressed in your midst; the fatherless and the widow they have wronged in you."
"The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice."
"I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'"
"Do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.'"
"Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me," says the Lord of hosts."
I vote according to these values.
And you can bet that I will again.