In a Christmas tweet, Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) remarked that Jesus' parents were refugees who required emergency shelter in a manger for the birth of their son. "Merry Christmas everyone - here's to a holiday filled with happiness, family, and love for all people. (Including refugee babies in mangers and their parents.)"

In response to her tweet, Fair Tax tax-reform advocate and radio host Neal Boortz called her a "blithering idiot" for her lack of biblical knowledge about the birth of Jesus. "Mary and Joseph we're off registering for the census so they could be taxed. Gawd, you're amazing," Boortz replied.

Former adviser to the President Sebastian Gorka reminded Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet that Mary and Joseph were following the laws by travelling to the town of King David as part of the Roman census so they could be taxed. "Exactly the opposite of a refugee or illegal alien," Gorka replied.

Was the Holy Family refugees?

Ocasio-Cortez mixes different events in the Bible. Both Gorka and Boortz were correct that the Holy Family were not refugees at the time of Jesus' birth. It was after the birth that Mary and Joseph were forced to flee from Israel to Egypt to escape the possible death of their son by King Herod, who ordered the killing of male babies under the age two-years-old when he heard about the birth of the "king of the Jews."

Possibly correcting herself, Ocasio-Cortez retweeted an article by Reverand James Martin, a Jesuit priest who writes for "American Magazine", who wrote that the Holy Family would fall under the modern definition of a refugee when they were forced to flee to Egypt.



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