Christmas story isn’t about immigration -- Ron Dobie

December 22, 2017 GMT

I was drawn Bill Mefford’s Sunday column, “ Christmas story tells of helping migrants.” He uses the plight of Mary and Joseph to send “a strong message for the United States today.” He urges faith communities to be hospitable, which is good, then blasts President Donald Trump for “stepped-up enforcement of immigration laws.”

But Mary and Joseph were forced into their travels by an oppressive government, taxation and meddling. They were not really immigrants because they traveled to Joseph’s familial home, which was still in the boundaries of his own country, Israel. His travels were made necessary by law, and therefore were legal.


To equate the salvation story to the immigration debate, specifically illegal immigration, is bad theology. Mary and Joseph not only were obeying the law but were fulfilling their duties as citizens by paying taxes. They had nothing to fear because they obeyed the law.

Fear entered the picture only when the despot Herod learned a king had been born and wanted to kill him to protect his own self-interest.

So the story is really summed up by Scripture itself: “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Immigration status notwithstanding, we can all be migrants into the kingdom of God by faith.

Ron Dobie, Stoughton