Friday, June 15, 2018

America's "Real" Christian Values

"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 His purposes."

 Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Taking scripture out of context, like this beauty from Jeff Sessions, is a cornerstone of repressive evangelical ideology. If we were to draw this misreading of scripture to it's most logical conclusion then the crucifixion was just, Paul's four trips to prison for emulating the life of Jesus and spreading the Gospel were just, and yes America's enslavement of Africans was just. This is the kind of regressive Christianity that continues to poison people against the church.

Religion and patriotism have always been good disguises for bigotry. There are very real issues to be resolved with our immigration system, but snatching babies off of their mother's breast and detaining kids in makeshift prisons isn't the answer. It's painfully obvious, to anyone who isn't emotionally invested in the myth of America, that this kind of treatment has always been reserved for racial minorities. This is an empirical fact. America has always mistreated those with "problematic" identities. This is just another version of that.

In 25 years the people who are supporting this foolishness will have to pretend they were always against it. They are, coincidentally, the same people angry about nonviolent protests against police brutality. These are the descendants of the people who defended southern police departments when they were spraying protesters with hoses and beating unarmed people with nightsticks. It takes some of our fellow citizens a generation or two to see the humanity in people who don't look like them.

Here's some free advice: be very careful around people using the Bible to justify vicious and cruel behavior. The same people using scripture to dehumanize the "other" will use the same Bible to find a verse to legitimize your mistreatment.

There's a rich history of Christians who have been martyred for disobeying unjust laws. I wish Jeff Sessions was as well versed in what Jesus was doing when he was calling out Pharisees and running money changers out of the temple. Maybe if Mr. Sessions had paid more attention to what Black people were rebelling against when he was a young man he would know the state isn't always doing things in accordance with the principle of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

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