Christmas was not about a housing shortage but about wicked government

It is traditional at this time of year for commentators to misrepseresent the Christmas story, urging more social housing to deal with the problem of homelessness.

If they read the bible story more carefully, they would see it was not a housing shortage but a hotel bedroom shortage that caused the trouble. This shortage had been brought on by a nasty government, forcing people to travel away from their homes to the large towns and cities to register and to pay a tax. It was some kind of combination of an an early forerunner of ID cards with a poll tax.

As far as we know Joseph had a home,and turned to a home in Nazareth after the stay in Egypt, where they successfully evaded the massacre of the innocents ordered by Herod.

The New testament story is interwoven with interesting questions of how Jesus should relate to the kings on earth. His advice of render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s was wise indeed. It recognised the brutal reality of Roman power, whilst reassuring people there were other values that the temporal power could not overcome in the free minds of men.

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. [[NAME EDITED]]
    Posted December 28, 2007 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    There’s a sermon in that!

  2. Posted December 29, 2007 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    What this story really proves is that everybody loves to embellish a good story. The reason we get the born in a manger story is that the Talmud predicts the Messiah will be born in Bethleham. Thus Jesus was retrofitted with a Bethleham birth & accoutrements. Later Christians added the December birthdate.

  3. Bazman
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    In this story Herod caused the massacre of the innocents by passing laws to stop councils from using money raised from the selling of council houses to build more houses. Causing homeless people to flee and live in hotels and B&B's. An entirely cynical political decision. The brutal reality of Roman power was temporal and could not overcome the minds of the working class.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

    Promoted by David Edmonds on behalf of John Redwood both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page