“Many Americans were shocked… when Attorney General Jeff Sessions turned to the Bible — specifically, Paul’s epistle to the Romans — to justify President Trump’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents. This scriptural justification for a political decision should not have surprised anyone, because Mr. Trump’s administration has consistently treated the separation of church and state as a form of heresy rather than a cherished American value.”
Mr. Trump owes a disproportionate political debt to religious conservatives, some of them extreme, whose views on church-state issues are far removed from many liberal Americans.
“The very meaning of the phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom”— traditionally understood as referring to the right of Americans to practice whatever faith they wish or no faith at all — is being altered to mean that government should foster a closer relationship with those who want to mix their Christian faith with taxpayer dollars. This usage can be found in numerous executive orders and speeches by Mr. Trump and his cabinet members.
“Changes in language have consequences…” Religion-related issues are everywhere in government these days. While it is impossible to overstate the long-term importance of the next [Supreme Court] appointment, Mr. Sessions and many of his fellow cabinet members offer textbook examples of the everyday perils of entangling religion with politics. Mr. Sessions’ citation of the opening verse of Romans 13, which declares that every soul must be “subject to the governing authorities” and that there is “no authority except that which God has established,” inflamed an already bitter debate over immigration.”
By the way, Sessions is wrong about that. The true followers of Jesus obey Him, instead of human authorities if their requirements conflict. Evangelicals want to establish a Christian America. And while Christians are divided on as many issues as there are denominations, they will join together on the one point on which they can agree.
“The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, followed up [Sessions’ comment] with a reminder that it was ‘very biblical’ to enforce the law…
The “Trump administration officials have used fundamentalist biblical interpretations to support everything from environmental deregulation to tax cuts. Scott Pruitt, who resigned as head of the Environmental Protection Agency in disgrace… had asserted in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network that Americans who want stricter environmental standards are contradicting the Bible. He said, ‘The biblical worldview with respect to these issues is that we have a responsibility to manage and cultivate, harvest the natural resources that we’ve been blessed with to truly bless our fellow mankind.’ The trenchant headline recounting the interview in Baptist News read: “God Wants Humans to Use Natural Gas and Oil, Not “Keep It in the Ground,” say EPA chief.
President Trump’s appointees seem unconcerned about whether statements praising the godliness of mixing religion and politics will offend secular and many religious Americans.
Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development and a devout Seventh-day Adventist, has described commitment to the separation of church and state as “crap,” prompted by “political correctness.”
Mr. Sessions took on a larger mission last fall when he sent a 25-page memo on “protections for religious liberty” to every federal agency. It warned that government “may not exclude religious organizations as such from secular aid programs, at least when the aid is not being used for explicitly religious activities such as worship or proselytization.”
“Last but not least is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Ms. DeVos, raised as a strict Calvinist, has devoted much of her life to promoting private and religious schools over public education. She is particularly proud that last year’s tax bill expanded the education savings accounts known as 529s so that they can now be used to pay for private schools, starting from kindergarten.”
When she visited New York City she only visited two private Jewish schools and in a speech called for federal tuition tax credits to support private schools. Her speech was introduced by Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
In order for Revelation 13 to be fulfilled, every principle of the U.S. Constitution must be repudiated, including separation of Church and State. This is in full swing under the Trump administration. See Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, page 451.