Attorney General Jeff Sessions was called out by one of his own church’s pastors this weekend over the increasingly horrifying “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
Reverend Tracy McNeil Wines, pastor at Clarendon United Methodist Church told her congregants:
“This week, we in the congregation have been surprised to find ourselves at the center of a firestorm over our nation’s immigration policy, more specifically the policy of separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents as they are apprehended after crossing the US-Mexico border.”
She added, “Some in our denomination are calling on us to distance ourselves from Sessions or to do what we can to get him to change. There has been an outcry about that.” Rev. Wines said her inbox has been overflowing since the prior Tuesday when more than 600 United Methodists nationwide issued a formal complaint against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a fellow church member, against Sessions, a fellow church member, asserting that the zero tolerance policy he announced violates rules of the Methodist church, and may be considered child abuse.
As Sessions was accused of violating the United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline, he could have potentially been subject to a “church trial.” But the 640 Methodists who filed the complaint, which included both clergy and lay members, requested a “reconciling process that will help this longtime member … step back from his harmful actions and work to repair the damage he is currently causing to immigrants, particularly families and children.”
Sessions’ wife, Mary, attended the 11 a.m., service on Sunday, sitting in the fifth row as Wines preached. Mary Sessions said the attorney general did not attend the service because he had to “catch an early flight.” The pastor and Mary Sessions greeted each other warmly after the service.
Though Sessions himself reportedly attends a church in Clarendon more regularly, Sessions’s wife, Mary, sat in the Mobile church as Wines preached and reportedly said the attorney general did not attend the service because he had to “catch an early flight.”