I wonder if the president, or more realistically just his ‘evangelical’ hype men, realizes that other Christians, like those in North Korea for instance, can read Romans 13, too. Meaning if you read that passage as conferring God’s authority on the U.S. to perform nuclear annihilation, then the same authority would have to apply to Kim Jong-un as well. Isolating this one passage as a proof text for mass slaughter seems like a gross failure to understand Scripture on a catastrophic level not just that it deludes influential people (I will not call them pastors) to bend the ear of authority down towards literal and spiritual hell fire (also literal in its way), but also that it eviscerates any future attempt to stage a moral opposition to the abuse of power by any government.
Elsewhere—in the same Bible that teaches governing authority comes from God—we also read that God thwarts the plans of the nations (Psalm 33) and generally has a low opinion of kings and people who stump too vigorously for something as shallow and fleeting as national authority (I Samuel 8). Point being, the Bible’s stance on kings and kingdoms is complicated. Saying for sure that only one of these biblical passages is most applicable to your own government, much less saying which one, would take wisdom on an order of magnitude and from a vantage point approaching divinity. And that seems pretty unlikely at considering that this pesky Bible also says that the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure (Jeremiah 17).
It’s madness and the only way out of this moral and logical quagmire is to consider that maybe Romans 13 means something other than a rubber stamp that says of mass murder, ‘Hooray for our side!’ Perhaps even consider that nuclear hawkishness is the very breath of antichrist.