Bible study group linked to Trump cabinet backs children’s separation


Amidst scrutiny President Donald Trump’s intransigent immigration policies, criticism has been leveled against the family separation policy at the border by, among others, members of his own party and otherwise loyal christian law GOP allies. A Christian ally in the White House, however, has spoken out in favor of removing children from their parents: Capitol Ministries.

Ralph Drollinger, the head of the private Christian group, which leads Bible study sessions for Republican lawmakers and senior members of Trump’s cabinet, has led the charge to defend the administration even as photos and stories emerge showing children crammed into cages and snatched from their mothers.

“It follows that when someone breaks the law of the land, they should expect that one of the consequences of their illegal behavior is separation from their children.

“No one, especially my personal friend, the benevolent Attorney General Jeff Sessions, wants a mother or father to be separated from their children,” Drollinger wrote, in a a message to supporters on Friday. But, said the capitol ministry chief, there are “three classifications of people in each country, as was the case with ancient Israel in the Old Testament.” In Drollinger’s interpretation, there are citizens, legal immigrants, and foreigners – the latter were known to be “illegal,” he said – and the Bible only prohibits family separation for citizens. and legal immigrants.

“It follows that when someone breaks the law of the land, they must expect that one of the consequences of their illegal behavior will be separation from their children,” Drollinger wrote. “This is the case with thieves or murderers who are arrested and put in jail.”

The sessions sparked controversy after citing a Bible verse to defend the administration’s “zero tolerance” border enforcement strategy. “I would quote you the apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of government because God ordained the government for his purposes,” said the attorney general. declared during a speech in Fort Wayne, Indiana, last Thursday.

Despite the support of a right-wing Christian group particularly close to the administration, other conservative Christians are pressuring the Trump administration to change its practices. Earlier this month, a group of evangelical pastors signed a letter harshly condemning the child separation policy. “The traumatic effects of this separation on these young children, which could be devastating and lasting, are of great concern”, declared the letter, which was signed by Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, who delivered an opening prayer during Trump’s inauguration and is said to be close to the president, among other evangelical leaders.

Drollinger, who became extremely influential after the 2016 election, believes Sessions correctly invoked the Scriptures.

“The passage quoted by the Attorney General, Romans 13, speaks of this: There are and there should be serious and known consequences for breaking the laws of the land – otherwise the law becomes toothless and inconsequential and it is no longer a law. deterrent against harmful behavior. , that’s what God designed for him to be, ”Drollinger wrote, citing his own Bible study on illegal immigration, published on the Capitol website two years ago.

“Procedurally excluding foreign individuals who might be criminals, traitors or terrorists, or who have communicable diseases is not at all racist! “

In the 2016 Bible Study, Drollinger wrote that “every nation’s immigration laws should be based on the Bible and strictly enforced – all with the utmost confidence in the assurance that God approves such actions by the leaders of the nation ”. He added: “Procedurally excluding foreign individuals who might be criminals, traitors or terrorists, or who have communicable diseases is not at all racist!” “

Drollinger, a former college basketball star turned spiritual advisor to conservative politicians, quietly amassed power in Washington, DC, through his Monday night Bible studies with conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Several Cabinet members, including Vice President and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, pray regularly with Drollinger’s group. As the Minister recently told a German newspaper, he provides administration with “the high protein diet of the Word of God”. In the past, Drollinger has criticized gay rights and called Catholicism “the world’s greatest false religion.”

As The Intercept first reported, shortly after the presidential election, Drollinger could barely hide his excitement that members of his inner circle would soon occupy the White House. He issued a press release celebrating that Trump’s nominations for his administration came from “long-time sponsors of Bible studies members.”

“It follows then that the sudden rise of Pence, Sessions and Pompeo – all men who are disciples of Jesus Christ – serves to vividly illustrate the truth of 1 Timothy 2: 1-4! Drollinger announced, referring to a Bible verse that calls for prayer “for kings and all who hold authority”.

Drollinger’s controversial interpretations extend to other areas of GOP orthodoxy. Capitol Ministries claims “that Islam and its Qur’an are nothing more than plagiarism of Old Testament truths” – a reference to the Old Testament – “and a non-chronological, sloppy addition – surmounted by a falsified diminution of Jesus Christ.

Top photo: retired clergyman and professional basketball player Ralph Drollinger at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, DC in October 2017.


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