Why is Jeff Sessions Quoting Romans and Why is it So Often Invoked?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the border this week by citing a passage from the Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Romans:

“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 the purpose of order,” Sessions said. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”

Later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders summed up the same idea: “It is very biblical to enforce the law.”

But is it? Does the Bible really preach to obey the laws of government? If so, was Sessions right to use this passage to defend the government’s actions?

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