The powers that be are ordained of God

Michael Harriot at The Root explains about Romans 13:

Around A.D. 49, the Roman emperor Claudius expelled the Jews from the city of Rome. Historians argue about the exact date and the reasons, but we know that Claudius did not want them holding office or bringing in more immigrants. Instead, he wrote that the Jews (pdf) “should rest content with what belongs to them by right and enjoy an abundance of all good things in a city which is not theirs. They must not bring in or invite Jews who sail in from Syria or Egypt; this is the sort of thing which will compel me to have my suspicions redoubled.” The Jews, according to Claudius, were running in gangs, opening the borders and taking the good jobs from the true Romans.

Sound familiar?

As this was happening, one of the early Jewish leaders of a new sect called “Christianity” was composing a letter to his church. In the epistle, he told his oppressed minority of followers to avoid causing trouble with the most powerful government in the world.

He wrote Romans 13.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same. —A Letter to the Roman Church From the Apostle Paul, Chapter 13, Verses 1-3

Great stuff, isn’t it. The powers that be are ordained of God. Never mind who they are, never mind what they do, mind your own business – they are ordained of god. If they’re Hitler, they’re ordained of god; if they’re Stalin, they’re ordained of god; if they’re Mugabe or Pinochet or Genghis Khan or Marcos or Duterte or Berlusconi or Trump, they’re ordained of god. Suck it up, buttercup. Nobody gets to be on top without god’s ordinance, therefore anyone who is on top is there because god said so, therefore you have to accept and bow and obey. Power is ordained by god, so all power is sacred and Meant To Be and to be obeyed. God loves a bully.

If you have ever wondered why slaves adopted the religious philosophy of their slave masters, Romans 13 is your answer. If you wanted to know why slaves, who often outnumbered slave masters, rebelled so rarely, the answer lies in Romans 13. To understand why the Bible was the only book many slaves were allowed to own, read that verse again.

Christianity was adopted by people, rulers and governments all around the globe because it tells its followers to comply. It boasts of a benevolent God who knows best; even when you are the subject of brutality, the Bible tells you that this is what God wants. At the root of Romans 13 is an edict to obey authority.

The 13th chapter of Romans is white supremacy, explained.

So it’s no wonder Jefferson Beauregard invoked it to justify Trump’s “take their kids away” policy.

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