The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Fact Check: Jesus Was NOT an ‘Undocumented Immigrant’ (and Also, Joseph and Mary Weren’t Homeless)

Posted on | December 15, 2023 | Comments Off on Fact Check: Jesus Was NOT an ‘Undocumented Immigrant’ (and Also, Joseph and Mary Weren’t Homeless)

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David: To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Luke 2:1-7 (KJV)

It’s that time of year, when ignorant liberals try to turn Christmas into a political talking point. We can expect, for example, a repetition of the claim that Jesus and Mary were homeless. This popular Democratic Party holiday theme was pioneered by the Rev. Jesse Jackson:

Every Christmas season we hear the inevitable revisionist version of the Christmas story in order to further government programs. Jesse Jackson was the first to turn Joseph and Mary into a “homeless couple” when he claimed that Christmas “is not about Santa Claus and ‘Jingle Bells’ and fruit cake and eggnog,” of which all Christians would agree, but about “a homeless couple.” . . . He repeated his “homeless couple” theme at the 1992 Democratic Convention. . . .
Hillary Clinton, in comments critical of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s homeless policies, sought to remind all of us that “Christmas celebrates ‘the birth of a homeless child.’”

This is obviously false. Joseph and Mary had a home in Nazareth. The reason they were in Bethlehem was because the government wanted to tax them, a policy which required them to go to Bethlehem. Trying to turn this into an argument for voting Democrat is about deceiving fools (which is true, of course, of all arguments for voting Democrat).

My podcasting partner John Hoge calls attention to a new variation of this — the idea that Jesus was an “undocumented immigrant”:

Jesus was not an immigrant. He was born in Joseph’s family’s home town in the same part of the Roman Empire where he spent essentially all of his life until the cruxifixction. Joseph had returned to Bethlehem for a census, so it also unlikely that Jesus was in any sense “undocumented.”

Research led me to the Rev. Kevin M. Young as the person who’d posted that photo, showing his gesture of enlightening his “deep South” neighbors. The question occurred to me: Who is this guy?

One of the first things I discovered was that he had formerly been pastor of a Quaker church in Ohio. Quakerism is heresy — “inner light” and all that — and no Bible-believing Christian would be associated with it. A bit more searching turned up an article identifying Young as “An Obvious Wolf In Wolf’s Clothing.” No one should be deceived by this man, who is not preaching anything close to actual Christianity.

Conservative Christians must beware of the danger of co-opting religion for political purposes. Some years ago, I read an article by a conservative theologian criticizing the idea of “All-American Jesus” — a corruption of faith, an idolatrous fiction making the Gospel an endorsement of suburban middle-class life. It is easy for some people to be seduced by such ideas, which appeal to their vanity, and certainly I don’t want anyone to get the idea that voting Republican is going to get you into Heaven, still less that it’s going to bring about Heaven on Earth.

In conclusion: “Don’t immanentize the eschaton!”



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