Friday, December 29, 2017

When context helps a counterpoint

So Mark Shea blasted Ann Coulter's tweet that Mary and Joseph weren't refugees when they went to Bethlehem.  He calls her a liar who is removing part of the birth narrative from her Bible. 

I don't know the context of her tweet.  She is right to say that they were not, by any definition, a refugee family when they went to Bethlehem.  And if she was addressing those who show pictures of the Nativity scene, and declare the Holy Family to be refugees, then she is correct. 

If, however, she is deflecting from someone arguing that they were refugees on their flight to Egypt, then her tweet is rather pointless.  I would need to see the context.  I've seen several Nativity scenes over the last year with references to the Holy Family being refugees.  Technically, that is incorrect.  They would not fall into the category of refugee for a couple years, after the visit of the Magi, when the young Jesus was already an infant to toddler.  So conflating the birth and their refugee status is, technically, wrong.

I would at least need to know the context before moving to call someone a liar, or accuse them of dissecting the Scriptures.   It might be the ones who are guilty of manipulating the biblical narrative are the ones using the biblical stories to buttress their own opinions on the refugee issue.  For better than conflating the narratives, simply allowing refugees to enter into their homes would make a better witness to the importance of welcoming refugees.

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