Speaking at the Boston Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society on Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was confronted by a Methodist minister who calmly and politely used Bible verses to remind Sessions just how harmful his tenure at the Department of Justice has been on some of the most vulnerable members of society.
Sessions, a devout Methodist himself, described the extremely low-key protest an “attack.”
As Sessions delivered his prepared remarks extolling the Trump administration’s conservative defense of discriminatory “religious liberty” laws, the unidentified protester stood and recited the Book of Matthew, stating: “I was hungry and you did not feed me. I was a stranger and you did not welcome me.”
After repeating the verses several times, the man concluded, addressing Sessions directly as “Brother Jeff”:
As a fellow United Methodist I call upon you to repent, to care for those in need. To remember that when you do not care for others, you are wounding the body of Christ.
Sessions dismissively thanked the man for his “remarks and attack” as a second protester, who identified himself as a Baptist minister, stood and defended the first man. Some members of the audience booed.
“That’s pretty close to what we refer to as the ‘heckler’s veto,’” Sessions said, after the both men had been escorted from the venue. “The ability of one individual to prevent others in a proper forum to be able to express a hopefully coherent though about a serious subject.
“It’s not immoral, not indecent and not unkind to state what your laws are and then set about to enforce them,” he continued to scattered applause.
This isn’t the first time Sessions has been protested by religious leaders. In June, members of the clergy were among the more than two dozen arrested during a protest of the Trump administration’s family separation policy outside of a Criminal Justice Foundation event featuring Sessions. And earlier this year, more than 600 members of the United Methodist Church signed a complaint against Sessions for his role in the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies and enforcement. That complaint was eventually dismissed by the church.
Nevertheless, Sessions has willfully—even gleefully—worked to separate undocumented immigrant children from their families, deporting adults while keeping many of the children locked away in detention facilities. All things, evidently, he doesn’t find to be immoral, indecent, or unkind.