It’s election season, so that means we can fully expect politicians to co-opt all major cultural holidays and hijack them for political purposes.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg is no exception to this rule as he took the occasion of Jesus’ birth 2000 years ago to make a point about today’s immigration policies.
Here’s the claim:
“Today, I join millions around the world in celebrating the arrival of divinity on earth, who came into this world not in riches but in poverty, not as a citizen but as a refugee. No matter where or how we celebrate, merry Christmas,” Mayor Buttigieg’s tweet read.
Many were quick to point out the many errors in these claims, particularly the portion about Jesus being born a refugee.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem because his family had to travel there in order to be counted for the census ordered by Caesar. But as commentator Matt Walsh points out, Egypt was a Roman territory at the time. Jesus’ family was fleeing persecution from the king of Judea, not the Roman Emperor.
RedState also makes a similar observation:
Joseph and Mary and Jesus were citizens of a province of the Roman Empire. When the Massacre of Innocents took place, they fled to Egypt and stayed, we think, in the rather sizable Jewish community there. Egypt was also part of the Roman Empire.
Also, the whole premise of this debate is utterly pointless. Even if Jesus was indeed a refugee, it doesn’t change the Gospel, and it doesn’t change anything about how we’re supposed to treat people as followers of Christ.
If we could prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus was indeed born a refugee. What would change? SPOILER: Nothing.
While not a refugee, as Ben Watson points out, Jesus was born in humble surroundings.
This is why attempts to commandeer the wonderful works of Jesus Christ and use them to make cheap political points in today’s political world always fall flat. It doesn’t matter if such points come from a democrat or republican. The fact that the Creator of the world humbled himself and became fully God and fully man, all in order to dwell among us and ultimately save us through His sacrifice on the cross — is so far above any political agenda of the day it’s a foolish comparison.