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Methodist Church Charges Sessions with Child Abuse for 'Zero Tolerance Policy, Faces Expulsion

U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III may lose his job as Sunday school teacher as he faces expulsion by his own church’s people for his enforcement of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.


Methodist church charges include child abuse, immorality, racial discrimination and falsely using God’s word for support of the policy.

More than 600 clergy and laity issued a statement on Monday, which said, in part:

“We, the undersigned laity and clergy of the United Methodist Church, issue a formal complaint against fellow United Methodist lay person Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, by our understanding a lay member of Ashland Place United Methodist Church, in Mobile, Ala., and an active participant in Clarendon United Methodist Church, Arlington, Va.

“While we are reticent to bring a formal complaint against a lay person, Mr. Sessions’ unique combination of tremendous social/political power, his leading role as a Sunday school teacher and former delegate to General Conference, and the severe and on going impact of several of his public, professional actions demand that we, as his siblings in the United Methodist denomination, call for some degree of accountability.”

Should the churches proceed, Sessions could be kicked out of the Methodist Church if he doesn’t change and create resolution for the damage he’s done. Charges brought against a layperson are rare in the church, and charges against someone in the president’s administration are unprecedented.

A number of religious groups, including Southern Baptists and Catholic bishops, have also called for an end to the practice.

“We believe that rather than just a social outcry, something formal needed to be done to bring this to the attention of his local area so that there could be some severe consequences, like his pastor talking to him, or his bishop talking to him,” Mr. Kleber, a layman who signed the letter, said.

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