The United States is currently in the process of separating families who have come across its southern border without the appropriate documentation, which has meant hundreds if not thousands of young children are now being detained all alone in a strange land where they likely don’t speak the language. The act of separating families is a scare tactic by the U.S. government, meant not just to terrorize infants and toddlers, but to terrorize their parents, with the aim of deterring future undocumented immigrants, as well as, presumably, asylum seekers. We know it’s a scare tactic, first, because White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and others have said so, but also because it is more expensive and more onerous to be responsible for thousands of terrified small children separated from their parents.
To be clear, the policy is a moral abomination. It is one we would decry if it were done to American citizens anywhere else in the world. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, however, sees it quite differently. He sees moral outrage not in snatching young children from parents, who have come to U.S. out of desperation, but in the fact that they have broken the law.
Not just his law, or U.S. law, but God’s law.
Here’s what Sessions had to say about the situation during a speech Thursday to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
I thought I would take a little digression here to discuss some concerns raised by our church friends about separation of families… 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 the government for his purposes. Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent and fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak and protects the lawful.
Romans 13 has a shaky track record of moral relativism in American history, the Washington Post reports.
“Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together,” Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement. “While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”