Jeff Sessions and the Christian Right


Jeff Sessions is out as Attorney General.  Donald Trump has asked him to step down.   As Tara Isabella Burton has recently noted, Session helped to create “Trump’s brand of evangelical patriotism.”  Here is some of our coverage of Sessions’s stint as AG:

Jerry Falwell Jr. apparently told Trump to fire Sessions a few months ago.  He also wanted Sessions to “rot in jail.”

Sessions tried to help the administration define “religious freedom.”

Sessions quoted Romans 13 to justify Trump’s immigration policy separating children from their parents.  (Also here).

Alan Jacobs suggested Sessions’s views on government are not “formed” by Christian teaching.

Sessions often attended a Bible study of cabinet members led by a former UCLA basketball player.

Addendum:  In this piece at The Atlantic, Emma Green reminds that the court evangelicals were never big fans of Sessions.

8 thoughts on “Jeff Sessions and the Christian Right

  1. James, you are a Trump Myrmidon. You consistently defend him when Trump is obviously lying, is wrong, and is flouting the Constitution. You also do that for the conservative talking points.

    Here’s an psychosocial analysis of Trump supporters:

    And here’s one of Trump. So much for your claim.


  2. I think Trump’s obvious reason is he wants protection. Not investigation. Where various evangelicals stand on Sessions is of little consequence compared to Trump wanting to see the Mueller probe ended.
    Trump has a warped sense of law, right and wrong and how important he is in the grand scheme of humanity. So he may really believe he has never done anything wrong because HE is the standard not the law, or many of the normal constraints most of us live with and manage to function under.


    • Jeff,
      Neither of us have done in-depth clinical psychological observations on President Trump. I personally don’t think he believes that he and not the law is the standard, but your remote analysis is arguably as accurate as mine. My personal thinking is simply that he is simply the product of the rough and tumble New York real estate development community. It’s the sort of environment where you are not successful if you are not aggressive. As I have stated previously, the late Roy Cohn was a mentor of sorts for the young Donald Trump. From what I have read Roy taught him that the winners in legal battles are those who stay on the offensive.



      • James, I am a senior executive in the institutional real estate world. I’ve been in the industry more than 20 years, I’ve met Trump (very briefly), written about some of his deals, and I know some of his bankers personally. (They tell me his net worth is far less than he claims, although they can’t discuss specifics.)

        So believe me (get it?) when I say that Trump’s behavior is not normal in the real estate world. It’s a demanding industry, its very insular in many ways, people care a lot about money and deals — that said, there’s a reason it’s been a long time since his business is focused on real estate. His behavior is just as abhorrent to most real estate executives as it is to the rest of the world.

        Most developers, even those who have defaulted on deals at some point, do not set out to take advantage of partners and contractors. They pay their bills and realize that their relationships are important to maintaining their business. Bankers will forgive a default, but not a borrower who defaults and then sues the bank. I could go on, but Trump is not a typical developer.

        In fact, in 2016, before the election, I attended a conference in DC where John Boehner was a speaker. An executive from a large NY firm asked him, “Those of us who have worked with Donald in NY know how dishonest he is, how can you support a guy like that?”


    • Paul,
      Your anecdote was interesting and I appreciate you sharing it, however, I don’t think I said he was identical to all real estate developers in NYC. I stated that he is the product of at least two influences.

      1. The rough and tumble New York real estate world. Some in that field might consider his behavior idiosyncratic but that doesn’t lessen the fact that this aggressive world shaped him.

      2, Association with the late Roy Cohn who taught Donald to always punch back. ( I don’t want to make this a discussion about Roy. I realize that he was controversial, but he was also a highly sought-after lawyer.).

      You did bring up an interesting point about Trump transitioning into other enterprises as his business developed. He might well have made enemies within the developer community, but it is just my opinion that the guy has such a high energy level that he is always looking over the next horizon for stimulation. Today he’s finally in the job where he can find it in spades. He sleeps three or four hours a night and is a bundle of energy. He’s not too many years older than I am and I need either a nap or a strong coffee most afternoons. I don’t even think he drinks coffee.

      Again, your story about John Boehner was interesting, but I did hear a radio interview with John in which he said he voted for Trump. So did many others who might find him personally odious. After all, the alternative in 2016 was neither virtuous nor very exciting.


    • Jeff,
      If Dr. Fea allows it on his site, let’s stay in touch to see if you are right. If there is a valid obstruction charge, I will owe you lunch one day. My thinking, however, is that Trump’s adversaries are deluding themselves into thinking this is going to occur. It is a case of wishful fantasizing.


  3. John,
    Despite the Politico opinion piece about Jerry Junior’s lack of support for Jeff Sessions, most of the opposition to him was on the religious left—-not the evangelicals. Sessions is a Methodist and the parishes in Alabama tend to be much more Wesleyan or traditional theologically. In other parts of the country where the denomination is modernist, there was a greater clamor by liberal clerics and activist laymen against Jeff’s policies. Having more than once been connected to Methodism, I know how these people mask their secular priorities in pseudo-religious language.
    I seriously doubt that Jerry Junior’s admonition to the president to remove Jeff was crucial in his demise. Jeff’s failure to take the full driver’s seat at Justice probably was his undoing long before Jerry Jr. even considered making his remarks.


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