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'Even the devil quoted scripture,' Miami archbishop says of Sessions' immigration stance

Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, shown in September 2017, waded into the debate over U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' use of a Bible quote to defend the Trump administration's immigration policy.
Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, shown in September 2017, waded into the debate over U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' use of a Bible quote to defend the Trump administration's immigration policy. emichot@MiamiHerald.com

Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' use of a Bible scripture to defend the administration's immigration policy was akin to the devil.

"Even the devil quoted scripture," Wenski said in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday morning, when he was asked what he thought of Sessions' quote of Romans 13 to defend the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on illegal immigration.

Trump's stance has led to passionate debate as members of both parties argue against separating children from their parents at Southwest borders and putting the children in detention centers.

Wenski waded into the debate when he mentioned the devil's misuse of scripture.

"If you remember in the famous scene of Jesus being tempted in the desert by the devil, people can use scripture to nefarious ends. I think Sessions is. He is not quoting scripture correctly."

On June 14, Sessions invoked a biblical verse at a news conference when he said: "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. Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”

Religious leaders accused Sessions of bastardizing the meaning of the verse.

Wenski told MSNBC: "He comes from a religious tradition that holds that everyone can interpret scripture as they please. But scripture has to be [understood] in its proper context. If you read that scripture from Romans that he quoted it doesn't lead to the conclusion that Sessions suggested."



Romans 13 reads:

“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.”

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