Then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during an opioid- and drug-abuse listening session in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on March 29, 2017.
Photo: Shawn Thew-Pool (Getty Images)

I grew up in a Christian household. Both of my parents were raised Baptist, and they raised me as one, but I wouldn’t quite say that we were practicing. We didn’t go to church very often, and we mostly just prayed before eating and while hoping that the Pirates would win the pennant. And while there were Bibles around, they were primarily used to store birth certificates and end debates about Kool-Aid.

Also, I attended a Catholic middle school, and the only things I’ve retained from that experience are an expert understanding of the rhythm method and literally all of the lyrics from Jesus Christ Superstar (I know every word from every song, and I can and will sing them for you for a fee).

That said, despite this background, it’s possible that I might have missed certain lessons in the Bible and might not have grasped certain tenets of Christianity. Like the part where it said, “Thou shall allow yourself to be the secretary of education while also being the dumbest motherfucker who ever lived.” Or the Hebrew translation of the book of Matthew, which was revealed to just be an extensive guide on gerrymandering.


Or the book of the Bible that included an alliterative pamphlet about gay-conversion therapy. Or perhaps the section where Jesus was like, “Remember last week when I said, ‘Be nice to poor people because, you know, poor people are people, too, and I, Jesus Christ, am also poor?’ Well, PSYYYYYCH! Shit on them broke hos!”

Or maybe there’s a special Bible and a special Christianity, because that’s the only way I can imagine a group that includes Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Betsy DeVos, Rick Perry and Jeff Sessions—the axis of mayonnaise itself—having the audacity to hold regular Bible-study sessions in the White House. But “whiteness” is just a bottomless rabbit hole of shamelessness, so it shouldn’t surprise me.

From the BBC:

Every Wednesday, some of the world’s most powerful people meet in a conference room in Washington DC to learn about God.

The location can’t be revealed - the Secret Service won’t allow it - but the members can.

Vice-President Mike Pence. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The list goes on.

In total, 10 cabinet members are “sponsors” of the group. Not everyone attends every meeting - they are busy people - but they go if they can.

Meetings last between 60 and 90 minutes, and members are free to contact the teacher after-hours.


The meetings are led by Ralph Drollinger, a giant man (he’s 7 feet tall) who played college basketball and regularly blogs about the evil of gay marriage and how the Bible explained that both communism and welfare are sinful (seriously). The profile doesn’t state that they end each session with Sessions singing an a cappella version of “Camptown Races,” but I’ll assume that part was cut in edits.

White people have used Christianity as a tool to oppress and subjugate since America’s inception (and before), so the professed Christianity of these feckless fucks and the existence of this meeting would actually be more surprising if they didn’t exist. Still, you can’t help sitting back sometimes and admire their audacity. I mean, how confident do you have to be to have a Bible study when you know there’s a chance it will burst into flames whenever one of you touches it?

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a columnist for, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

Share This Story

Get our newsletter