Were Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ‘Palestinian Refugees’?
It happens just about every year: Social justice warriors try to hijack the story of Jesus and the Holy Family to score political points. They know better than the Nazis and Soviets. Those revolutionaries sought to suppress the holiday outright. Smart radicals don’t try to crush potent symbols and stories that touch the heart. They try to co-opt them.
How to Secularize the Sacred
It works like this. Take the events of sacred history that point to the real supernatural. Then de-Christianize them. Use stories that play on our heartstrings. But retune them to play instead some Party anthem. The most extreme form of this counter-baptism is surely seen in North Korea. There the Communist despots of the Kim family explicitly perverted Christian theology, even the Trinity. They created a potent myth that combined Marxist ideology with crackpot ultra-nationalism and worship of the Leader as an idol.
The Holy Family as a Political Football
Less overt but also insidious: Attempts to twist the story of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph into fables of immigration. As I wrote way back in 2003:
It’s common in certain circles nowadays to compare the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt, or their search for a “room at the inn,” to the plight of illegal immigrants. Bunk (as usual). These were no economic refugees, slipping across a border in search of higher carpentry wages. Joseph and Mary were law-abiding and obedient — to Caesar, who ordered them to Bethlehem for a census, and to God, who commanded they flee the tyrant Herod.
They were poor but nobly-born — of the House of David — proud members of a people that spurned intermarriage with alien races, despised other nation’s gods as fictions or devils, and fully expected one day to be a “light unto the gentiles,” a city on a hill, ruled over by a triumphant Messiah who governed the world.
And these two knew their son was the Messiah. They expected him to assume the throne, to reign as priest-king of a newly triumphant race, to drive out the invaders and purge the sacred kingdom of foreign influences. In other words, they were less like new immigrants slipping into the U.S. than like the family of King Louis XVI trying to slip away from the Jacobins.
Or like the Romanovs fleeing the tyrant Lenin.
Pope Francis Moves In
Pope Francis and others are still spreading this mashed-up message. In his Christmas Message, Pope Francis said:
We see Jesus in the many children forced to leave their countries to travel alone in inhuman conditions and who become an easy target for human traffickers. Through their eyes we see the drama of all those forced to emigrate and risk their lives to face exhausting journeys that end at times in tragedy. … Jesus knows well the pain of not being welcomed and how hard it is not to have a place to lay one’s head. May our hearts not be closed as they were in the homes of Bethlehem.
In the past, Pope Francis has been even blunter. In 2013, he spoke at the Italian town of Lampedusa. (It has has been completely inundated by mostly economic migrants from Africa.) Francis minced no words. He compared those who resist the colonization of Europe by millions of Muslims to King Herod, who slaughtered the infants of Bethlehem.
Catholic News Service drove the point home on Christmas Eve:
#Pope: Amid the gloom of a city that had no room or place for the stranger from afar, amid the darkness of a bustling city which in this case seemed to want to build itself up by turning its back on others, it was there that the revolutionary spark of God’s love was kindled.
— Catholic News Service (@CatholicNewsSvc) December 24, 2017
Wrong About Everything
Theologian Chad Pecknold pointed out that in Bethlehem, Jesus, Mary and Joseph were not refugees in any sense:
If you are returning to the town of your birth for a government mandated census, you are not a refugee.
If you are fleeing a murderous king who wants to kill your child, you’re seeking sanctuary, and are owed it as a matter of justice.
— C. C. Pecknold (@ccpecknold) December 26, 2017
They weren’t rejected from the inn because of their race or religion. There was simply “no room.” Probably because there was a census going on. Nor were they immigrants. They were obeying the law of their country (the Roman empire) by returning to Joseph’s home town.
Fleeing a Globalist Puppet
Later on, of course, they fled the tyrant Herod. So the Holy Family were briefly political refugees. Kevin Michael Grace described that nicely:
The Holy Family fled an infanticide ordered by a globalist puppet ruler & returned as soon as the danger had passed. All this is explained in a book called the New Testament. Happy Christmas! https://t.co/fRS7xzQBkN
— Kevin Michael Grace (@KMGVictoria) December 24, 2017
There is almost no similarity whatsoever between the Holy Family and the million-plus Muslims admitted to Europe by Angela Merkel. Maybe I don’t read the New Testament closely enough. But can anyone point out to me where Jesus, Mary, and Joseph:
- Left the Roman empire.
- Passed through several other safe countries till they found one with a much higher living standard.
- Stayed indefinitely in that new country.
- Remained unemployed, collecting public benefits not offered back in Bethlehem.
- Joined synagogues full of Zealots, who preached the overthrow of the local regime in favor of a Jewish theocracy.
Most of the Muslims now in Europe weren’t persecuted for their religion, but displaced by a civil war. In any case, the moment they set foot in Turkey (the first safe country), they lost their refugee status and turned into economic migrants.
So there is really only one thing that the Holy Family had in common with Muslims now colonizing Europe: They were a group of people who moved from one place to another.
Cue the world’s tiniest violin.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.