John Oliver on why Trump administration shouldn’t use the Bible to defend policies

On Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oliver blasted the Trump administration for using the Bible to defend separating children from their parents at the border. In using the Bible, Attorney General Jeff Sessions had cited Romans 13, which says, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”

According to Oliver, this was not a good choice. “Romans 13 is possibly the worst bible passage to bring up, since it was regularly invoked in civil war times by defenders of slavery,” he said.

Oliver also pointed out that the verse doesn’t justify the separation of children from their parents, because that isn’t a law but rather a scare tactic meant to be a deterrent. He also listed reasons why the Trump administration’s holding up the Bible as a moral code could be seen as hypocritical.

“Let’s remember, the Bible’s not a big fan of adultery, gluttony, coveting your neighbor’s wife, pride, or wrath,” Oliver said. “What I’m saying here is, you probably shouldn’t be just using the Bible to justify separating children from parents, but if you do, you probably shouldn’t be breaking so many of its rules that god has to write an extra commandment that says, ‘I was f***ing serious.’”

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver airs Sundays at 11 p.m. on HBO.

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