Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley compared Jesus Christ to present day refugees on Thursday.
The tweet is in response to the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement that it plans to raid and deport hundreds of families who left Central America and entered the U.S. illegally.
A Christmas Refugee Roundup sounds like something @realDonaldTrump would concoct. Remember: Jesus was a refugee child who fled death gangs.
— Martin O’Malley (@MartinOMalley) December 24, 2015
New York Republican Rep. [crscore]Chris Gibson[/crscore] dealt with protesters earlier this month who stood outside his district office, angered over a bill he voted for that would add requirements on refugees in order to get asylum in the United States. The demonstrators compared the Syrian refugees to Jesus, Joseph, and Mary.
Politicians, columnists, and others often compare the protagonists in the Nativity story to present day political victims.
For example, Mary and Joseph were compared to Washington D.C.’s homeless by Pope Francis. Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton described Jesus as “homeless” 15 years ago when criticizing then-New York Mayor Giuliani’s policies on the homeless.
Rev. Al Sharpton took a similar whack at Giuliani at the time saying, ”He would have said to the baby Jesus: ‘You have been born to two unwedded parents. They don’t have an address. They don’t have a job. We have to take you in custody and arrest your parents.’”
President Barack Obama compared illegal immigrants to Jesus and his family last Christmas.
In fact, The New York Times pointed to a few columnists who referred to Christ’s family as helpless victims of the present day in 2000.
NY Daily News columnist Mike Barnicle thought of Joseph as an unemployed “illegal alien” treated poorly by elitist New Yorkers when he asked for help for his pregnant wife Mary, and New York Newsday’s Jimmy Breslin wrote in his Sunday column, “Next, they’ll arrest Christ and his family for being homeless.”
Many dispel the characterizations pointing to chapters in the Bible books Luke and Matthew that describe the Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and the birth of Christ.
John Tierney at The New York Times wrote in 2000, “…imbuing Jesus’ family with modern social pathologies — you might call it defining deviancy up — is problematic. To call Mary an unwed mother is about as scripturally accurate as calling her a crack addict. She was already engaged when she became pregnant, and Joseph ‘took unto him his wife’ (Matthew 1:25) before the birth.”
Tierney later discusses Joseph as a carpenter by trade, who was never described in the Bible as “unemployed,” and notes the family of Jesus was simply unable to find “a room one night at the inn in Bethlehem” but was not necessarily homeless.
The Times columnist wrote, “Or maybe both sides could agree that the problems of today’s homeless did not afflict Joseph and Mary, and that New York’s social programs are not relevant to life in ancient Judea. Maybe we could debate the best way to help the homeless without dragging Jesus’ family into it.”