Mary and Joseph Compared to Modern-Day Palestinians


I realize that this is the day after Christmas and you might be tired of Christmas stories, but the so-called Christmas story is not seasonal, especially when liberals twist and distort it beyond factual recognition.

We’ve heard from Hillary Clinton, Jesse Jackson, and other liberal money moochers that the Christmas story is about a homeless couple.

President Obama update the liberal narrative of using the Bible to push a leftist agenda by claiming that Mary and Joseph were like today’s tragic illegal immigrants who only want a place to stay in the inn that’s America but too many Americans and those in the Republican Party are like the inn keeper who is telling them there’s no room for them.

Here’s how President Obama explained it: “If we’re serious about the Christmas season, now is the time to reflect on those who are strangers in our midst and remember what it was like to be a stranger.” He went on to tell his Nashville audience that the Nativity story was about a “soon to be mother” and “a husband of modest means who were looking for a place to stay, but there was no room at the inn.”

As anybody who is familiar with the Bible, this is nonsense. If a Bible question like this came up on “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?,” President Obama would have to say no.

Joseph had a job as a self‑employed carpenter (Matt. 13:55). It was an edict from the centralized Roman government that forced Joseph and Mary to spend valuable resources to return to their place of birth to register for a tax. Joseph’s business was shut down while he took his very pregnant wife on a tax-raising scheme concocted by the Roman Empire (Luke 2:1-7).

Mary and Joseph were citizens. The Romans were invaders. Mary and Joseph had enough money to pay for lodging. The problem was inadequate housing, not a lack of funds. The fact that “there was no room in the inn” (Luke 2:7) did not make them homeless.

From being a homeless couple to being an immigrant family, now the Advent story is about Palestinians.

Mehdi Hasan is the political director of the Huffington Post in the United Kingdom. He posted an article with this title: “If Mary and Joseph Tried to Reach Bethlehem Today, They Would Get Stuck at an Israeli Checkpoint.”

“How would that carpenter and his pregnant wife have circumnavigated the Kafka­esque network of Israeli settlements, roadblocks and closed military zones in the occupied West Bank? Would Mary have had to experience labour or childbirth at a checkpoint, as one in ten pregnant Palestinian women did between 2000 and 2007?”

I don’t see the comparison since Mary and Joseph were Jews. If a Palestinian is going to make a case for his position, it’s important that he makes a valid case with legitimate analogies. This one does not work.

David Bernstein, writing in the Washington Post, comments:

“Seriously, this sort of historical revisionism, treating ancient Jewish Judeans as if they were Palestinian Arabs, and then analogizing modern Israel to the oppressors of Jesus and his family, a common trope in the UK, would be laughable if it were not so pernicious. Pernicious not simply because it’s a ridiculous distortion of history, and not simply because it’s often accompanied by a large dose of anti-Semitism, with Palestinians playing the role of Jesus and the Israelis being the foreign oppressors crucifying him. But pernicious because it goes to the true heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict – the failure of the Arab side to recognize that the ‘Zionists’ are not the ‘European settler-colonialists’ of Third Worldist imagination, but a people with a three thousand year plus tie to the Land of Israel, whose religion was born there, who ruled two separate kingdoms there, who have prayed toward Jerusalem for two thousand years in their ancient Hebrew language, and so on.”

None of this is to say that what’s going on in Israel is always the right thing. Hasan would have made a better case for his position by sticking to the facts and not forcing a false analogy. I have a saying: “Never give anybody a reason to reject your position other than the position itself.” Hasan gave a reason to reject his position just like Jesse Jackson, Hillary Clinton, and President Obama have done.

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