A Christian apologist says to suggest that scripture has no place in public policy, as stated last week by a prominent NBC News anchor, is to demonstrate an ignorance – perhaps even a willful ignorance – of the role of the Bible in America's founding.
With lower-court decisions being levied against faith-based photographers, bakers, and the like – and with politicians grilling Christians in nomination hearings, it's clear that society is becoming less tolerant of expressions of faith in the public square. Now it's cropping up in the media as well.
NBC's Andrea Mitchell tweeted recently that "the notion of using biblical verses to justify [President Trump's immigration policy is] morally wrong" – and that "biblical verses don't have a place in public policy." Dr. Alex McFarland of Truth for a New Generation says that smacks of other recent shamings of expressions of faith in the public square; and furthermore, he says, it's just dead wrong.
"To say that the Bible doesn't have a place in shaping public policy? [I guess] the Founding Fathers didn't get that memo," he tells OneNewsNow.
The Christian apologist and educator says the nation's founders directly quote, allude to, or reference scripture in almost all of their writings leading up to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
"The people who referenced the Bible as our philosophical foundation would include Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, [Dwight D.] Eisenhower, Chief Justice Earl Warren, Judge Rehnquist, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan – not to mention a certain Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.," he notes.
And McFarland sees no reason for anyone, including members of the Trump administration, to be backing away from those examples now. "This country was built on the Judeo-Christian worldview, the Ten Commandments, and even specifically biblical principles and the principles of Christ," he argues.
But what about using scripture to argue that illegal immigration is biblical? The head of the American Pastors Network argues that Christians who push that idea are off-base.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, appeared recently on CNN with Wolfe Blitzer to continue to try to justify his position on illegal immigration by arguing that children shouldn't be separated from the parents who are entering the U.S. illegally. He called Attorney General Jeff Sessions to task for holding to the rule of law.
"I think surely as Americans we can do better than this when it comes to vulnerable children who need their parents," said Moore. "If we're pro-family, we ought to recognize how important that is."
In response, Sessions pointed out that Americans who are jailed don't take their children with them – "and non-citizens [with children] who cross our border unlawfully between our ports of entry ... are no exception to this principle," the AG added.
Sam Rohrer, an independent Baptist and president the American Pastors Network, says it is deplorable that Moore and others try to use scripture to justify their position.
"Many Christian leaders are taking the position that the Bible says Open up the borders ... Bring in anybody ... To say no to anyone is sin ... The Bible's command to invite in the stranger means anybody, including the enemy – and that's totally and patently unbiblical," Rohrer tells OneNewsNow.
Editor's note: Comments from Sam Rohrer added after story originally posted.