Statement of Rev. Jim Wallis on Jeff Sessions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Michael Mershon, Director of Advocacy and Communications

Phone: 202-745-4654

Email: mmershon@sojo.net 

January 10, 2016

Whether to confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general is a moral decision and not just a political one. That is why religious leaders and theologians are speaking up about it.
Donald Trump used racial bigotry in his presidential campaign; his appointment of Jeff Sessions to be attorney general signals what that means in governing.

The racial record of Jeff Sessions questions the fundamental commitment that all of God’s children are made in God’s image.

As attorney general, Jeff Sessions could roll back democracy instead of carrying it forward.

Jeff Sessions has historically opposed civil rights and once called them “civil wrongs.”

The head of the United States Justice Department would be someone who has historically been against expanding and even protecting voting rights.

The highest legal official in the nation would be someone who has been in favor of imposing voter restrictions that primarily impact people of color.

Our nation’s chief law enforcement officer would be someone who has opposed measures to hold police accountable for racially biased law enforcement.

The nation’s most influential justice official would be someone who has been against most efforts, even bipartisan ones, to reform the criminal justice system.

A principal overseer of the nation’s prisons would be someone who has consistently supported increasing, rather than reducing, mass incarceration.

The nation’s chief prosecutor would be someone who not only favors the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants but also opposes most legal immigration — and has been called the nation’s most “anti-immigration senator.”

The chief implementer of the nation’s laws on legal status, law enforcement, citizenship protection, voting rights and procedures, police protection, and criminal justice has the power to help disadvantage and disenfranchise citizens of color, and many are afraid that Jeff Sessions would do that: directly reverse the changing cultural demographics of America.

The history, beliefs, and practices of Jeff Sessions on all these matters raises profound religious and moral questions about how we treat our neighbors, those of different races and ethnicities, those who are “strangers’ among us, those in prison, and, fundamentally, how we respect all the diverse people and communities in our country.

Many of us who are white Christians stand with the vast majority of black civil rights and African-American Christian leaders in America who oppose the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general of the United States.

The appointment and confirmation of Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III as attorney general of the United States would be not only a political mistake and danger, but a moral and religious offense to the theological affirmation that every American citizen is created equal in the image of God.

 

Share image by Gage Skidmore / Flickr.com

 

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