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600 Methodists bring religious charges against Jeff Sessions over family separations

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Trump administration officials recently retreated on a policy to separate families at the border. Some have blamed past administrations for the stories of chaotic separations and traumatized children; others have pointed to Congress. And then one official claimed divine authority on the matter.

Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III called on Romans 13 to justify his department's choices; the verse extolls adherence to government as an agent of God.

"When he brought religion into it, with the power he has to cause harm, that's when it became something we wanted to speak to," says David Wright, director for spiritual life and civic engagement at the University of Puget Sound. 

Wright has spearheaded a campaign in which more than 600 clergymembers charged Sessions using the Methodist Book of Discipline. Charges are almost never filed against the laity. Wright joined Bill Radke to explain what he hopes to see change.

Year started with KUOW: 1985 – 1986, 1991 – 2004, 2012