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.

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

    There’s a sermon in that!

  2. Neil Craig
    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.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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