Rev. William Barber: Jeff Sessions Using Religion to Justify Family Separations Is “Biblical Heresy” | Democracy Now!
REV. WILLIAM BARBER II: That’s why we—another reason why we’ve got to get in the streets, why we’ve got to have this massive, nonviolent, moral civil disobedience. Clergy and others have to come out of our sanctuaries. People have to come into the street, because this administration seems to be the administration of meanness. It decided to be the administration of lies. And now it’s being the administration of theological heresy. And I don’t just blame Sessions. I blame the congresspeople that are not challenging him, the extreme so-called Christian nationalists that will be quiet on this kind of stuff, who probably sent him that scripture.
Let me just say this, Amy. First of all, he’s misinterpreting that text. Paul actually was arrested by the government, because Christians challenged the government. That’s one of the reasons Paul ends up getting killed. So that’s the first thing. Second of all, the Bible is clear, from the Old Testament to the New Testament, that one of God’s primary concerns is that we care for the stranger, that we do not rob children of their rights, and mothers of their children, that we welcome the stranger and make sure that the stranger, the immigrant, the undocumented person, is treated like a brother or sister. You cannot find anywhere where Jesus or the prophets would say anything like what Sessions said.
Now, he is operating from a playbook. That’s the same kind of heresy that was used to support the genocide of Native Americans. It’s the same kind of biblical heresy that was used to support slavery and used to support Jim Crow. “It’s the law.” And that’s why movements broke it. And remember, Dr. King said any law that’s against God’s law and against the law of justice, we have a responsibility to challenge that law. America has a long history of having laws that do not line up with the moral demands of our Constitution or—