This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute.
“Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child’s cry, a blazing star hung over a stable, and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven’t forgotten that night down the centuries. We celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, with the sound of bells, and with gifts… We forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. It’s his birthday we’re celebrating. Don’t let us ever forget that. Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most. And then, let each put in his share, loving kindness, warm hearts, and a stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts that make peace on earth.”—The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
The Christmas story of a baby born in a manger is a familiar one.
The Roman Empire, a police state in its own right, had ordered that a census be conducted. Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary traveled to the little town of Bethlehem so that they could be counted. There was no room for the couple at any of the inns, they stayed in a stable (a barn), where Mary gave birth to a baby boy, Jesus. Warned that the government planned to kill the baby, Jesus’ family fled with him to Egypt until it was safe to return to their native land.
Yet what if Jesus had been born 2,000 years later?
What if, instead of being born into the Roman police state, Jesus had been born at this moment in time? What kind of reception would Jesus and his family be given? Would we recognize the Christ child’s humanity, let alone his divinity? Would we treat him any differently than he was treated by the Roman Empire? If his family was forced to flee violence in their native country and sought refuge and asylum within our borders, what sanctuary would we offer them?
A singular number of churches across the country are asking those very questions, and their conclusions are being depicted with unnerving accuracy by nativity scenes in which Jesus and his family are separated, segregated and caged in individual chain-link pens, topped by barbed wire fencing.
These nativity scenes are a pointed attempt to remind the modern world that the narrative about the birth of Jesus is one that speaks on multiple fronts to a world that has allowed the life, teachings, and crucifixion of Jesus to be drowned out by partisan politics, secularism, materialism, and war.
The modern-day church has largely shied away from applying Jesus’ teachings to modern problems such as war, poverty, immigration, etc., but thankfully there have been individuals throughout history who ask themselves and the world: what would Jesus do?
What would Jesus—the baby born in Bethlehem who grew into an itinerant preacher and revolutionary activist, who not only died challenging the police state of his day (namely, the Roman Empire) but spent his adult life speaking truth to power, challenging the status quo of his day, and pushing back against the abuses of the Roman Empire—do?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer asked himself what Jesus would have done about the horrors perpetrated by Hitler and his assassins. The answer: Bonhoeffer risked his life to undermine the tyranny at the heart of Nazi Germany.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn asked himself what Jesus would have done about the soul-destroying gulags and labor camps of the Soviet Union. The answer: Solzhenitsyn found his voice and used it to speak out about government oppression and brutality.
Martin Luther King Jr. asked himself what Jesus would have done about America’s warmongering. The answer: declaring “my conscience leaves me no other choice,” King risked widespread condemnation when he publicly opposed the Vietnam War on moral and economic grounds.
Even now, despite the popularity of the phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” (WWJD) in Christian circles, there remains a disconnect in the modern church between the teachings of Christ and the suffering of what Jesus in Matthew 25 refers to as the “least of these.”
As the parable states:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”
This is not a theological gray area: Jesus was unequivocal about his views on many things, not the least of which was charity, compassion, war, tyranny, and love.
After all, Jesus—the revered preacher, teacher, radical and prophet—was born into a police state, not unlike the growing menace of the American police state. When he grew up, he had powerful, profound things to say, things that would change how we view people, alter government policies and change the world. “Blessed are the merciful,” “Blessed are the peacemakers,” and “Love your enemies” are just a few examples of his most profound and revolutionary teachings.
When confronted by those in authority, Jesus did not shy away from speaking truth to power. Indeed, his teachings undermined the political and religious establishment of his day. It cost him his life. He was eventually crucified as a warning to others not to challenge the powers-that-be.
Can you imagine what Jesus’ life would have been like if, instead of being born into the Roman police state, he had been born and raised in the American police state?
Consider the following if you will.
Had Jesus been born in the era of the America police state, rather than traveling to Bethlehem for a census, Jesus’ parents would have been mailed a 28-page American Community Survey, a mandatory government questionnaire documenting their habits, household inhabitants, work schedule, how many toilets are in your home, etc. The penalty for not responding to this invasive survey can go as high as $5,000.
Instead of being born in a manger, Jesus might have been born at home. Rather than wise men and shepherds bringing gifts, however, the baby’s parents might have been forced to ward off visits from state social workers intent on prosecuting them for the home birth. One couple in Washington had all three of their children removed after social services objected to the two youngest being birthed in an unassisted home delivery.
Had Jesus been born in a hospital, his blood and DNA would have been taken without his parents’ knowledge or consent and entered into a government biobank. While most states require newborn screening, a growing number are holding onto that genetic material long-term for research, analysis, and purposes yet to be disclosed.
Then again, had Jesus’ parents been undocumented immigrants, they and the newborn baby might have been shuffled to a profit-driven, private prison for illegals where they first would have been separated from each other, the children detained in make-shift cages, and the parents eventually turned into cheap, forced laborers for corporations such as Starbucks, Microsoft, Walmart, and Victoria’s Secret. There’s quite a lot of money to be made from imprisoning immigrants, especially when taxpayers are footing the bill.
From the time he was old enough to attend school, Jesus would have been drilled in lessons of compliance and obedience to government authorities while learning little about his own rights. Had he been daring enough to speak out against injustice while still in school, he might have found himself tasered or beaten by a school resource officer, or at the very least suspended under a school zero-tolerance policy that punishes minor infractions as harshly as more serious offenses.
Had Jesus disappeared for a few hours let alone days as a 12-year-old, his parents would have been handcuffed, arrested and jailed for parental negligence. Parents across the country have been arrested for far less “offenses” such as allowing their children to walk to the park unaccompanied and play in their front yard alone.
Rather than disappearing from the history books from his early teenage years to adulthood, Jesus’ movements and personal data—including his biometrics—would have been documented, tracked, monitored and filed by governmental agencies and corporations such as Google and Microsoft. Incredibly, 95 percent of school districts share their student records with outside companies that are contracted to manage data, which they then use to market products to us.
From the moment Jesus made contact with an “extremist” such as John the Baptist, he would have been flagged for surveillance because of his association with a prominent activist, peaceful or otherwise. Since 9/11, the FBI has actively carried out surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations on a broad range of activist groups, from animal rights groups to poverty relief, anti-war groups and other such “extremist” organizations.
Jesus’ anti-government views would certainly have resulted in him being labeled a domestic extremist. Law enforcement agencies are being trained to recognize signs of anti-government extremism during interactions with potential extremists who share a “belief in the approaching collapse of government and the economy.”
While traveling from community to community, Jesus might have been reported to government officials as “suspicious” under the Department of Homeland Security’s “See Something, Say Something” programs. Many states, including New York, are providing individuals with phone apps that allow them to take photos of suspicious activity and report them to their state Intelligence Center, where they are reviewed and forwarded to law-enforcement agencies.
Rather than being permitted to live as an itinerant preacher, Jesus might have found himself threatened with arrest for daring to live off the grid or sleeping outside. In fact, the number of cities that have resorted to criminalizing homelessness by enacting bans on camping, sleeping in vehicles, loitering and begging in public has doubled.
Viewed by the government as a dissident and a potential threat to its power, Jesus might have had government spies planted among his followers to monitor his activities, report on his movements, and entrap him into breaking the law. Such Judases today—called informants—often receive hefty paychecks from the government for their treachery.
Had Jesus used the internet to spread his radical message of peace and love, he might have found his blog posts infiltrated by government spies attempting to undermine his integrity, discredit him or plant incriminating information online about him. At the very least, he would have had his website hacked and his email monitored.
Had Jesus attempted to feed large crowds of people, he would have been threatened with arrest for violating various ordinances prohibiting the distribution of food without a permit. Florida officials arrested a 90-year-old man for feeding the homeless on a public beach.
Had Jesus spoken publicly about his 40 days in the desert and his conversations with the devil, he might have been labeled mentally ill and detained in a psych ward against his will for a mandatory involuntary psychiatric hold with no access to family or friends. One Virginia man was arrested, strip-searched, handcuffed to a table, diagnosed as having “mental health issues,” and locked up for five days in a mental health facility against his will apparently because of his slurred speech and unsteady gait.
Without a doubt, had Jesus attempted to overturn tables in a Jewish temple and rage against the materialism of religious institutions, he would have been charged with a hate crime. Currently, 45 states and the federal government have hate crime laws on the books.
Had anyone reported Jesus to the police as being potentially dangerous, he might have found himself confronted—and killed—by police officers for whom any perceived act of non-compliance (a twitch, a question, a frown) can result in them shooting first and asking questions later.
Rather than having armed guards capture Jesus in a public place, government officials would have ordered that a SWAT team carry out a raid on Jesus and his followers, complete with flash-bang grenades and military equipment. There are upwards of 80,000 such SWAT team raids carried out every year, many on unsuspecting Americans who have no defense against such government invaders, even when such raids are done in error.
Instead of being detained by Roman guards, Jesus might have been made to “disappear” into a secret government detention center where he would have been interrogated, tortured and subjected to all manner of abuses. Chicago police have “disappeared” more than 7,000 people into a secret, off-the-books interrogation warehouse at Homan Square.
Charged with treason and labeled a domestic terrorist, Jesus might have been sentenced to a life-term in a private prison where he would have been forced to provide slave labor for corporations or put to death by way of the electric chair or a lethal mixture of drugs.
Indeed, as I show in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, given the nature of government then and now, it is painfully evident that whether Jesus had been born in our modern age or his own, he still would have died at the hands of a police state.
Thus, as we draw near to Christmas with its celebrations and gift-giving, we would do well to remember that what happened on that starry night in Bethlehem is only part of the story. That baby in the manger grew up to be a man who did not turn away from evil but instead spoke out against it, and we must do no less.
You forgot Herod’s slaughter of babies commemorated on the Feast of the Holy Innocents.
Of course we have abortion, but it isn’t as of yet forced like in China.
What if Jesus was born in China?
Kris Kristofferson wrote a song called Jesus was a Capricorn…lyrics are :
Jesus was a Capricorn
He ate organic food
He believed in love and peace
And never wore no shoes
Long hair, beard and sandals
And a funky bunch of friends
Reckon we’d just nail him up
If he came down again
I will respectfully stand down from answering these for yet another year…
“family” (sic) “are separated, segregated and caged”
“Martin Luther King Jr.”
Virtue signalling misrepresentation of Christ’s life.
Let’s examine this shall we?
Jesus was born IN HIS OWN COUNTRY. He would have been born at home except his government REQUIRED that his parents return to their tribal birthplace for a census. Otherwise, they would not have gone.
He wasn’t fleeing anyone (yet). He wasn’t looking for a job or a handout. It was the law. So take that off the table.
There was no room at the inn or anywhere else, but they did find a dry place to stay. Not finding a great place to stay when there is not uncommon given their circumstances then or now. It is the fact that He Is God that makes it important.
He fled to Egypt to survive (Well his parents did) because the government was trying to kill him …. OH AND DID KILL EVERY MALE CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF TWO YEARS!
Get your story straight. Stop virtue signalling. You don’t know my Jesus.
Jeremiah Johnson doesn’t post articles anymore. Did he finally get that full time position at the dollar store? Good for Jerry
What is the common element in all that was listed here? People, governmental employees who “just followed orders” [Hitler, Stalin, Lenin to name a few modern “leaders whose orders were followed’].
What is different about the USA that the American people are not taught, dangerously for them? What the Oaths required of those who SERVE WITHIN our governments. The oaths make every single governmental servant PERSONALLY responsible for their actions for following unconstitutional, unlawful orders yet it is done daily by Oath takers.
It is critical that those who are REQUIRED [all who serve within our governments – state and federal] to take the Oaths learn what is required of them when they do. It would also help if they learned at least some of the penalties for breaking those Oaths and if some today were actually held accountable for those oaths.
“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
Accountability of Oaths:
Federal law regulating oath of office by government officials – state and federal – is divided into four parts along with an executive order that further defines the law for purposes of enforcement.
5 U.S.C. 3331, provides the text of the actual oath of office the three branches of our government, the military, all law enforcement, the heads of the States, all federal employees are required to take before assuming office.
5 U.S.C. 3333 requires the three branches of our government, the military, all law enforcement, the heads of the States, all federal employees sign an affidavit that they have taken the oath of office required by 5 U.S.C. 3331 and have not or will not violate that oath of office during their tenure of office.
18 U.S.C. 1918 provides penalties for violation of oath of office described in 5 U.S.C. 7311 which include: (1) removal from office and; (2) confinement or a fine.
5 U.S.C. 7311 explicitly makes it a federal criminal offense for anyone employed in the United States Government to “advocate the overthrow of our constitutional form of government”.
The definition of “advocate” is further specified in Executive Order 10450 for the purposes of enforcement supplements 5 U.S.C. 7311. Executive Order 10450 provision specifies it is a violation of 5 U.S.C. 7311 for any person taking the oath of office to advocate “the alteration … of the form of the government of the United States by unconstitutional means.”
It is important to realize that our form of government is defined by the Constitution of the United States. That according to Executive Order 10450 and 5 U.S. 7311 any act taken by government officials who have taken the oath of office prescribed by 5 U.S.C. 3331 which alters the form of government other then by amendment, is a criminal violation of the 5 U.S.C. 7311.
Brookfield Construction Company V. Stewart 284 F Sup. 94: “An officer who acts in violation of the constitution ceases to represent the government.”
Dr. Vieira put it this way: “This has nothing to do with personalities or subjective ideas. It’s a matter of what the Constitution provides… The government of the United States has never violated anyone’s constitutional rights… The government of the United States will never violate anyone constitutional rights, because it cannot violate anyone’s constitutional rights. The reason for that is: The government of the United States is that set of actions by public officials that are consistent with the Constitution. Outside of its constitutional powers, the government of the United States has no legitimacy. It has no authority; and, it really even has no existence. It is what lawyers call a legal fiction.
… the famous case Norton v. Shelby County… The Court said: “An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties. It is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.”
And that applies to any (and all) governmental action outside of the Constitution…”. What are the defining characteristics of a limited government? They are its disabilities; what it does not have legal authority to do. Look at the First Amendment… What does it do? It guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion. But how does it do that? I quote: “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press” etcetera. Congress shall make no law;” that’s a statement of an absence of power. That’s a statement of a disability.” (end Dr. Vieira quote)
God Bless, and Merry Christmas, and BTW, THIS constitutional republic was founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
John Jay: “No human society has ever been able to maintain both order and freedom, both cohesiveness and liberty apart from the moral precepts of the Christian Religion. Should our Republic ever forget this fundamental precept of governance, we will then, be surely doomed.”
John Hancock, 1st signer of the Declaration of Independence: “Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian duty of each individual… Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which Heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”
John Adams: “This, however, has been known by the great to be the temper of mankind; and they have accordingly labored, in all ages, to wrest from the populace, as they are contemptuously called, the knowledge of their rights and wrongs, and the power to assert the former or redress the latter. I say RIGHTS, for such they have, undoubtedly, antecedent to all earthly government, — Rights, that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws — Rights, derived from the great Legislator of the universe.”
Samuel Adams: “If men, through fear, fraud or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.”
“…Family are separated, segregated and caged in individual chain-link pens, topped by barbed wire fencing.” …Just what the Democrats had (and still have) planned for everyone, once their world totalitarian prison police state is unveiled (II Thessalonians 2:3-12). They only sprang it on equally authoritarian Republican Trump who also feigns from Shutting Down their police Deep State and who coddles their Grand Oil Party beneficiaries of it by building a wall to keep would-be escapees from merely escaping their rule–instead of turning on them and eliminating their means of ruling over them. Herod would be so envious of “our” rulers.
The Gews murdered Jesus, just like they do to the Palestinians daily, who’s land the parasites squat on.
Palestinians aren’t Jesus, though.
The greatest betrayal of Christ since Judas’ kiss..
“SUPER SUPERIORITY” Executive Order for Jews.
For the first time since Emperor Constantine recognized Christianity in the 300th Year of Our Lord, Christians are relegated to SECOND CLASS CITIZENSHIP. 1700 years and JUDAS ISCARIOT again betrays CHRIST.
The first step in legalizing State sponsored Christian Persecution. Trump is setting the legal precedent for the subjugation of Christianity.
Talk about “War on Christmas” … Like King Herod attempting to murder the Baby Jesus, King Trump has launched an attack on CHRISTianity by Officially, Legalizing the elevation of Judaism ABOVE Christ, just 13 DAYS before CHRISTmas.
The once popular phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” has been replaced by agendas. It is testimony to a fallen people.
This article is sacrilegious and a disgrace.
First, the land of the USA is the greatest on earth. Is it perfect NO No.
Second, American’s are the most compassionate and charitable people on earth.
Third, American’s have only themselves to blame for any grievances they have – You get the government you vote for.
Fourth, The American Constitution is a Godly inspired model of governance.
I believe the author is just another American hater
Western Civilization is being destroyed from within. Civilization needs a core to rely on as a moral and civil base for living.
Unfortunately, we have and are abandoning this core. The belief and worship of GOD.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!