When Matthew Dowd of ABC News attempted to portray Mary and Joseph as “immigrants” who were “turned away by many,” the Twitterverse promptly swatted down the assertion from the network’s chief political analyst and mercilessly mocked his bungling butchery of the Christmas story.
Dowd, attempting to link the Biblical story of the birth of Christ to the contentious political issue of immigration, pointed to Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea.
“Let us remember today 2 immigrants, a man and his very pregnant wife, sought shelter & were turned away by many.”
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“Let us remember today 2 immigrants, a man and his very pregnant wife, sought shelter & were turned away by many. She gave birth in a manger,” Dowd tweeted.
The problem for Dowd, however, lies in the fact that Mary and Joseph really were not immigrants.
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As Luke 2:1-7 reveals, Mary and Joseph began their journey in Nazareth and concluded it in Bethlehem. Did these two cities exist a considerable distance apart? Sure. But Mary and Joseph weren’t immigrants at all.
As the Gospel of Luke reads, “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
In Dowd’s effort to politicize the Christmas story and presumably issue a subtle jab at President-elect Donald Trump’s immigration and refugee policies, facts didn’t seem to matter — since Mary and Joseph travelled from one city to another in the same country. And it didn’t take long for Twitter to call him out on his blunder.
“You don’t Bible much do you?” one person responded to Dowd’s tweet. “Ahh, so you just morphed that story into something it wasn’t to support your point. That’s today’s journalism for you.”
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“Weird when people try to fit history into their ideology,” another responded. “You can have compassion without making up facts. That is what radicals do.”
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“But Mary and Joseph were traveling in Israel where they were from. They were not immigrants,” another pointed out to Dowd.
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Two responders got into a small argument with one saying, “Oh calm down! Seriously it’s Christmas Eve. How about demonstrating some love, light and peace.”
“Calm down? This started because someone twisted the story to fit a political narrative,” the second person responded. “Yes, your implication was that people who are for tight immigration are failing their faith.”
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“@matthewjdowd I take your point, but was a temporary trip from Galilee to Judea really ‘immigration?'” someone else tweeted.
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To sum up the entire conversation, another person tweeted a gif of Trump from one of the presidential debates saying, “Wrong!”
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