Bible passage cited by AG akso used to justify slavery and Nazi Regime

Associated Press

By THOMAS REICH | JUN 16, 2018

We've already established how wrong it was for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to cite Bible verse Romans 13 to try to justify separating families. Here's a bonus: that particular verse has been used to defend other horrendous policies throughout history.

According to American history professor John Fea from Messiah College, in the 1840's and 1850's, Romans 13 was used to defend - drumroll, please - slavery.

"(It) is invoked by defenders of the South or defenders of slavery to ward off abolitionists who believed that slavery is wrong," Fea told The Washington Post. "I mean, this is the same argument that Southern slaveholders and the advocates of a Southern way of life made.”

But wait. That's not all.

Apparently, Romans 13 was used to justify - of all things - the Nazi regime.

According to the Reverend Rob Saler, executive director for the Center for Pastoral Excellence at Indianapolis' Christian Theological Seminary, Romans 13 was used by Lutherans in Nazi Germany to justify their support for Hitler.

"Romans 13, for a long time, has been appealed to in an incorrect way, as a justification for 'Obey the laws, no matter what,'" Saler said. "Whether they're just or not. I don’t want to be too extreme, but ... in Nazi Germany, Lutherans, for the most part, supported Hitler and they used Romans 13 to validate that."

Saler went on to point out that that the apostle Paul wrote Romans 13 at a time when the Romans were executing Christians, and he wrote it as a guide for living a gentle life full of charity, as opposed to life in the Roman Empire.

"It's flat-out irresponsible to use it without attention to the broader context," Saler continued. "It's basically practical advice: While you're doing this, sure, go ahead and pay your taxes, give the government its due. But taken as a whole, Romans stands as a counter to unjust government and unjust rule."