The leaders of a Christian church in Indianapolis have proven their complete lack of Bible literacy by creating a display featuring Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus in a cage to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration policy. Only, Joseph and Mary were not immigrants, so the whole absurd display is Biblically ignorant.
Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis placed a cage made of a chain-linked fence on its lawn and then put the usual nativity scene of statues of Baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph inside as a way to represent the Holy Family being detained by Donald Trump’s immigration authorities.
“On our lawn tonight we placed The Holy Family…in #ICE detention,” the church posted on its Twitter account on July 3.
— CCC Indy (@CCCathedralIndy) July 3, 2018
According to Breitbart News, the dean of the church said it was all meant as a protest against Donald Trump:
Rev. Stephen Carlsen, the church’s rector and dean, told the Indianapolis Star that the display was meant to serve as a protest to Trump’s policy of housing illegal migrant families in detention centers for illegally crossing the United States border.
“I know what the Bible said,” Carlsen said. “We’re supposed to love our neighbors as ourselves.”
Rev. Lee Curtis, who also presides at the church, said the display was his idea and argued that the Holy Family sought asylum in Egypt.
The church later whipped up a “campaign” to justify its Biblically ignorant display called the “Every Family is Holy” campaign.
— CCC Indy (@CCCathedralIndy) July 3, 2018
The Church added this message on its website:
Last evening we revealed our #EveryFamilyIsHoly campaign, designed to bring awareness to the humanitarian atrocities from our nation’s “zero tolerance” immigration policies on the border and here in Indianapolis. The campaign’s icon of The Holy Family, held in detention, is now on the Cathedral’s lawn facing Monument Circle.
Holy Scripture is clear about how we are to treat people trying to find safety for their families—we are to show mercy and welcome them. Jesus, Mary and Joseph were homeless and fled danger to seek asylum.
The Holy Family today calls us to stand with all families seeking safety and a future for their children. We will not stand by while children are being taken from their parents, and families are being taken from our communities and congregations.
People of good will and faith must not allow this to continue. We must not be divided by race, language or culture, but reach out to care for our neighbors—because every family is sacred.”
Dean and Rector
Christ Church Cathedral
Whatever the church was trying to do, the fact is The Holy family were not “immigrants,” so the whole foolish comparison is a misuse of the Bible. The truth is, the story of the birth of Christ is not in any way at all the story of immigrants.
There is much we don’t know about the birth of Christ, of course. We don’t know what year it was, for instance. Nor are we 100 percent sure what month it was when Christ was born. But one thing the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are clear about (especially Luke) is that Christ’s parents, Joseph and Mary, had travelled from their home in the city of Nazareth to the city of Bethlehem. And they went to the latter to register for a great census decreed by the Roman Emperor. The couple was essentially registering so the empire could tax them.
Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem apparently too late to secure a room at any inns. So, they rented space in a manger. It was there that Jesus was born to all the fanfare with which we are familiar, including wise men, shining stars, and all sorts of wonderment.
After all the hoopla subsided down and the couple had completed their registration, they went right back to Nazareth from whence they came. There they began raising their son whom they named Jesus.
That was a simplified version of the tale, of course, but did you notice was what was missing in that scenario? Yeah, “immigrants.”
Joseph and Mary were not “immigrants” or migrants of any sort. They were simply traveling from one city to another for a temporary stay. Joseph and Mary both had a life in Nazareth and were not seeking any “better prospects” in Bethlehem.
In fact, not a single person mentioned in either account in the Books of Matthew or Luke was an migrant. Everyone was either just visiting Bethlehem for one reason or another (registering for a census or delivering gifts fit for a king) or they lived there (such as those darn, uncaring inn keepers).
No one in these stories was seeking a better life in Bethlehem like supporters of immigration say illegals are doing today. Indeed, you can even say some authorities in that famed Bible story were seeking to make their lives harder as they were signing up for a tax hike!