Trump spiritual adviser: Jesus would have been sinful if he broke immigration laws
President Trump’s spiritual adviser Paula White said this week that Jesus would have been sinful and “would not have been our Messiah” if he had broken immigration laws.
White, who recently toured an immigrant detention center in Virginia, said during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) on Monday that there was a difference between the immigrants being detained for illegally entering the U.S. and Jesus being a refugee in Egypt.
The Gospel of Matthew describes Jesus and his parents Mary and Joseph fleeing to Egypt shortly after Jesus’s birth to escape King Herod, who sought to kill the infant.
“I think so many people have taken biblical scriptures out of context on this, to say stuff like, ‘Well, Jesus was a refugee,’ ” White told CBN. “And yes, he did live in Egypt for 3 1/2 years. But it was not illegal. If he had broke the law then he would have been sinful and he would not have been our Messiah.”
The Hill has reached out to the White House and White for comment.
White also said during the interview that the trip to the detention center “100 percent” solidified her views on stricter border control.
White is one of several evangelical leaders who regularly meet with Trump. She has been a friend and counselor to him for more than 16 years.
Last year, White said that God “lifted up” Trump to victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, though she later said she regretted the comments.
Trump administration officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have used the Bible to defend the administration’s since-ended zero tolerance policy of separating detained immigrant families at the border.
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” Sessions said during a speech last month. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also said last month that it is “very biblical to enforce the law” when defending the administration’s immigration policies.
Several Christian groups and leaders have spoken out against the zero tolerance policy, including Pope Francis, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and prominent evangelical Christian Franklin Graham.