Representative Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) delivered an impassioned but ridiculous diatribe against U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen at a Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday. His remarks were clearly an attempt to virtue signal, and, therefore, the words themselves didn’t necessarily have to make sense. However, he managed to make a couple of points that just don’t hold up under scrutiny, one of which demonstrates a shocking lack of scriptural or historical understanding, given his professed Christianity. So it seems, once again, that it’s time to give a Democrat a history lesson.
There’s a lot to unpack in the congressman’s unhinged rant, but the gist of it was that Nielsen and anyone else who claimed to be Christian but supported the current administration’s efforts to stymie illegal immigration should be ashamed of themselves. How dare they wear the badge of Christianity while enforcing border policies that cause the death of those awaiting asylum, and at Christmas, of all times?!
In his attempt to prove that the Trump immigration policy is ungodly, Mr. Gutiérrez managed to confuse both the issue of the political correctness of Christmas and the history of the birth of Christ.
The deranged congressman began his remarks by foreshadowing the attacks to come against both Secretary Nielsen and Christmas:
“Secretary Nielsen, the majority on this committee must think you’re doing a fantastic job because they’ve ordered this hearing so that you could come before us and look tough and remorseless just in the time for the holidays. The remorseless secretary during the holidays. Christmas, as they like to make sure and specify.”
He spent the next three minutes and 33 seconds listing off the lies he believes the Trump administration has told. He seemed on the verge of winding up, but then his blood pressure went right out the window – along with any pretense of logic.
As if in warm up for the great final act, he first called Christmas the “holiday season” for the sake of being inclusive and derided the majority for wanting to just call it Christmas – only to then say that the reason for the season is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
So which is it, congressman? Are you the Roman Catholic who believes in, worships, and celebrates the birth of the Messiah, or are you a proper progressive who believes that referring to a Christian holiday is a violation of the rights of all the non-believers?
A Faulty Comparison
But it gets better; that was merely the warm up, after all:
“…A Jesus Christ who had to flee for his life with Mary and Joseph … Thank God there wasn’t a wall that stopped him from seeking refuge in Egypt. Thank God that wall wasn’t there. And thank God there wasn’t an administration like this, or he would have too perished on the 28th, on the Day of Innocents, when Herod ordered the murder of every child under two years of age. Maybe I haven’t gone a lot to Bible school, but I know that part. Thank God. Shame on everybody that separates children and allows them to stay at the other side of the border fearing death, fearing hunger, fearing sickness. Shame on us for wearing our badge of Christianity during Christmas and allow the secretary to come here and lie.”
To conflate the immigration policies of ancient civilizations to those of modern America is flawed for a number of reasons, but Mr. Gutiérrez did, so let’s fix his comparison.
The opening verses of the second chapter of Luke tell us that Joseph lived in the city of Nazareth in Galilee, a mountainous region in what is now northern Israel. Because he was of the house and lineage of David, Joseph and his pregnant wife, Mary, had to go to Bethlehem to report for the census and tax. It was here that Mary gave birth to Jesus, wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger in the stable, as there was no room for them in the local inn.
After the magi visited with Jesus, an angel warned Joseph that Herod planned to kill the child, and commanded him to flee to Egypt. Joseph did, and Herod had every boy – not every child – two and under in Bethlehem and the surrounding area murdered, according to Matthew 2: 13-16. After the death of Herod, which wasn’t long after the slaughter, Joseph took his family home to Nazareth.
Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth were all under Roman control during the life of Christ, in the province of Judea, though the empire allowed local rulers – like Herod the Great – to govern. What many fail to realize, however, is that Egypt was also under Roman rule at the time. The first Prefect of Egypt was Gaius Cornelius Gallus, and he brought both the upper and lower kingdoms fully under Roman control well before the birth of Jesus.
When Joseph and his family fled to Egypt, they were escaping the reach of Herod, king of Judea, but they were still traveling within the empire. Coming from Puerto Rico to the mainland, something that doesn’t even require a passport, would be a closer comparison to what it would have been to go from Judea to Egypt at that time. While they might not have had all the rights of Roman citizenship, there would have been no rule stopping them from traveling from one province to another.
It is also worth pointing out, despite the congressman’s apparent championing of Egypt, that when actual Egyptians ruled, they enslaved the Jews. Had Joseph sought asylum there during the reign of the pharaohs, he would have been taken captive.
... he’s willing to use religion as a method of virtue signaling his moral superiority.
Morally Fluid, Ultimately Irrelevant
It’s interesting that Mr. Gutiérrez finds this imagined policy of family separation both repugnant and astonishing. He has voted consistently in favor of abortion, supporting not only the right for women to kill their unborn children for any reason, but also to make the American taxpayers cover it.
Like most Democrats, he’s willing to use religion as a method of virtue signaling his moral superiority. Any time a Christian value runs counter to the progressive narrative, however, religion has no place in politics. But this should come as no surprise from the left; if gender and now even age and race can be fluid, then why not morality?
As entertaining as his six-minute-long quasi-religious diatribe was, it was also entirely irrelevant. Given five minutes for inquiry, he failed to ask any actual question. Instead, he got his rant out and then left before he had to face the rebuttal. Thankfully, the man won’t be coming back in January.