MSNBC host Joe Scarborough is questioning how Vice President Mike Pence, a professed devout Christian, could support White House policies that have led to the mistreatment of children at Customs and Border Protection facilities.
Scarborough, speaking on “Morning Joe” Monday morning, suggested that Pence should “read the Gospels” again to understand what Jesus would have to say about reports that hundreds of children at a Texas detention facility were held in “dirty, neglectful, and dangerous” conditions.
“I’m not questioning his faith but he uses it as a political badge of honor,” Scarborough said about the vice president. “Mike should read the Gospels again and see what Jesus says about the treatment of little children.”
“You can start at Luke 17:2. Something about millstones being hung around people’s necks,” a reference to Jesus’ warnings that a person who harms children would be better off having a “millstone hung around his neck” and getting thrown in the sea.
President Donald Trump’s administration has been pummeled with criticism over the past week after media reports painted a bleak picture of children’s treatment at a migrant detention facility in Clint. A team of lawyers, who interviewed more than 50 children, claimed that the kids were sleeping on cold concrete floors and suffering from flu and lice outbreaks.
Some children reportedly hadn’t showered for weeks and said they hadn’t had a clean change of clothes. The lawyers claimed because guards were overwhelmed by the number of people living in what was supposed to be a temporary site, children as young as 8-years-old were tasked with caring for their even younger peers.
On Monday afternoon, the Associated Press reported that the government has removed most of the children from the Clint border patrol station. It’s unclear where they have been moved. About 30 children reportedly remained in the facility.
Scarborough was reacting to an interview that Pence had with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday. In the clip, Pence attempts to pin the blame for conditions at the border patrol facilities on Democrats in Congress, claiming that lawmakers need to provide more funding for border security.
Scarborough and his co-host Mika Brzezinski contested that stance, insisting that the government has enough funds to immediately provide safe and sanitary conditions for children in detention facilities.
“Mike Pence is lying about children living in torturous positions right there,” Scarborough said about the vice president’s comments.
Scarborough, who attended a Catholic high school, referenced another Bible passage on Twitter Monday afternoon. The chapter, Matthew 25, has frequently been cited by Christians to criticize the White House’s border policies.
In that chapter, Jesus teaches his followers that during the final judgment, the sheep and the goats will be separated (in other words, those who will enter heaven and those who will not), based on how they cared for strangers and others in need.
Scarborough insisted that this “central message” of Christianity is being undermined by Republican politicians.