New York Congress member-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came under fire on Tuesday for comparing modern-day refugees to Jesus Christ.
The 29-year-old Bronx woman, who takes office on January 3, was heavily criticized on Twitter in response to a post where she sent holiday wishes to everyone and made sure not to leave out those fleeing violence and war in their home countries.
She wrote: ‘Joy to the World! Merry Christmas everyone – here’s to a holiday filled with happiness, family, and love for all people. (Including refugee babies in mangers + their parents.)’
Congressmember-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez riled up Twitter on Tuesday
Cortez wished followers a ‘holiday filled with happiness, family, and love for all’ but she also tweeted wishes to ‘refugee babies in mangers + their parents’
Her tweet evoked the story of Jesus Christ being born in a manger on the day that much of the world has chosen to celebrate on December 25.
But the comment in parenthesis didn’t seem to go down well with many of her approximate 1.64million followers on the microblogging site.
Some of those who caught wind of her comparison of displaced people to the son of God, the Virgin Mary and her husband Joseph.
Social media users insisted that Jesus was not a refugee when he was born in Bethlehem, and said as the story goes, the family was traveling back to Joseph’s home because a Census had been called.
Those who do not agree with the politician’s views claimed the religious reference was a political move.
One person tweeted: ‘I still cannot comprehend the depth to which your lies could go and your blatant misrepresentation of facts. Joseph and Mary were not refugees; they returned to Bethlehem for a census as required by their law.’
She later addressed ‘anti-immigrant pundits uncomfortable with and denying that Christ’s family were refugees’ by sharing an article about the story of Christ
Some insinuated she wasn’t intelligent and was using Christmas to push her political views
Another chimed in: ‘Pls read The Bible if your going to try to use our Lord & Savior in your political rhetoric. Luke is a good one which explains why they were going to Bethlehem.’
Despite hours of others putting forth the idea, social media enthusiasts continued to repeat a similar sentiment throughout Christmas Day.
‘They were not refugees. They were returning to Joseph’s home town of Bethlehem in order to participate in a govt. ordered census and to pay taxes. The exact same type of thing that socialists like yourself would force everybody to do. And just who the heck uses mangers anymore?’ one person added.
However some pointed out that the family later fled to escape King Herod’s genocide.
Cortez herself also shared an article with the Holy Bible story within.
One Twitter user replied to commenters: ‘This is bizarre hairsplitting. They fled Judea to escape the reach of Herod’s political power. That’s a refugee. Because Roman Imperial power extended further doesn’t mean that they weren’t refugees from a genocide.’
People said Jesus, Mary and Joseph were traveling home to take part in the census
It led to much arguing about the politician’s intellect.
One person tweeted: ‘It is unbelievable that Ocasio Cortez can be as ignorant as she is and be elected to Congress.’
Another posted: ‘Please note Jesus’ family registered with the local authorities when required. Amazing people like you get elected.’
One said: ‘So, what you’re saying is Central Americans entering this country illegally are coming to take part in the census, much like Joseph and Mary traveled from Nazareth (in Israel) to Bethlehem (also in Israel) under decree of the ruler at the time? You really are delusional…’
Twitter users lashed out saying migrants cannot be compared to Jesus Christ
A social media user tried to clear up confusion by pointing out that Cortez may not have been referring to Jesus being a refugee at the exact time of them traveling before his birth.
There was mention of a story from the Gospel of Matthew where an angel warned Joseph they should flee to Egypt because King Herod was planning to destroy Jesus and proceeded to slay every boy child under two years old.
‘This probably referring to when Jesus was a toddler and they fled Herod into the foreign land of Egypt to escape persecution in their homeland. Merry Christmas!’ one wrote.
An angry tweeter replied: ‘Then she should have stated it that way but she clearly misled those who follow her by stating explicitly ‘including refugee babies in mangers + their parents’. Meaning the time of His birth and when they were traveling to follow the law.’
Bringing the argument up-to-date, a large chunk of replies addressed the migrant caravan at the Mexican border.
It’s a topic Cortez has often addressed and she was criticized in a similar way after a November tweet where she shared an image of people running from tear gas near the border wall in Tijuana, Mexico to Jewish people in the Holaucaust.
Others asked her not to make the religious holiday about politics and the current immigrant crisis
Some sympathized with the politician and asked tweeters to show some kindness
A furious tweeter said: ‘REFUGEE BABIES IN MANGERS??? Such drama BS, how about liberal funded caravans putting human life in harms way offering lies, tents to fill sanctuary cities for illegal liberal Socialistic votes… you a lost and dark soul AOC.’
Another said: ‘They might have been ‘refugees’ when they escaped to Egypt (running from Herod’s baby killing spree), but then they SELF-DEPORTED back to their family’s home town. IOW, they returned to their ‘Honduras’ even while the bad guys were still in charge. Poof went your analogy.’
No matter what side people were on many wished the story of Christmas wasn’t associated with current political arguments.
One tweeter said: ‘Let’s not exploit a sacred holiday to prove a political point.’
Another wrote ‘Jesus wasn’t a refugee but a legal citizen who’s parents chose to remain in an occupied territory and legally participate in a census Please don’t politicize Christmas and enjoy time with your family.’