PRESS RELEASE: Franciscans Counter Jeff Sessions’ Bible Quote

Immediate Release
June 15, 2018
Media Contact:
Janine Walsh
(203) 685-1856

Franciscans Counter Jeff Sessions’ Bible Quote

Washington, DC - In an attempt to reduce the flow of immigration from Central America, last month Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his commitment to separate children from their parents at the border instead of jailing them together in detention centers. This week Mr. Sessions defended this decision by quoting Romans 13:1, where Paul commands obedience to the laws of the government, a verse once used to defend slavery in the United States and a favorite biblical verse used by Hitler.

We would argue to Mr. Sessions to read just a few verses further. In the book of Romans 13:8 Paul states, "Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law" and in verse 10, "Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law." We ask you, Mr. Sessions, where is the love in your current policy? Where is love of neighbor? Where is love of human beings, ALL made in God’s image and likeness?

While it is true that current law does not prohibit separating children from their parents, do you not see the cruelty in the act? As Pope Francis has stated, “The family is the fundamental locus of the covenant between the Church and God's creation.” Families belong together and separating children from their parents is not acting with the biblical message of love. It is hate masquerading as justice and it is immoral.

FAN's Executive Director, Patrick Carolan states: “Franciscans, in fact all Christians, are called to love our neighbor as our self and welcome the stranger. This policy is counter to both of those directives and needs to be changed immediately."

Consider how much worse the lives of these people must be in their home countries if they are aware of the current policy and are still willing to cross the border. We strongly urge the administration to stop removing children from their parents and allow families to remain together.