Join Christian theologians to stop Jeff Sessions
By Rev. Dr. Peter Heltzel and Dr. Jeannine Hill Fletcher
Next Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will decide whether they’ll nominate Senator Jeff Sessions as the new Attorney General under the Trump administration.
Justice is central to the role of Attorney General, a value that cannot be left in the hands of a man once rejected as a federal judge over allegations he called a black attorney “boy,” suggested a white lawyer working for black clients was a race traitor, and joked that the only issue he had with the Ku Klux Klan was their drug use.
Senator Sessions’ racist track record and failure to uphold the Voting Rights Act erodes the trust of many of the members of our faith communities and we are united in our opposition to his nomination.
As made clear in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), we are called to “seek first the Kingdom,” as the righteous reign of God “on earth, as it is in heaven.” In his teachings, Jesus calls us to love our enemies and work for restorative justice. The Sermon on the Mount directs our care to the flourishing of all people, and is consistent with the values of justice and human flourishing that are central to our American democracy.
While Jesus stood in embodied solidarity with the vulnerable, it is through the law that our country offers protections for its most vulnerable members. Senator Sessions’ racist remarks and unjust policies make it morally unacceptable for him to be America’s top law-enforcement officer.
Let’s shut it down.
Rev. Dr. Peter Goodwin Heltzel is Associate Professor of Theology and Director of the Micah Institute at New York Theological Seminary and an Auburn Senior Fellow. Dr. Jeannine Hill Fletcher teaches at the intersection of Systematic Theology and issues of diversity at Fordham University.