The Christmas season always presents an opportunity for shameless politicians to break out their bad theology and lecture the rest of us about how we’re doing Christianity all wrong. 2018 was no exception and this year’s “Worst Pastor Ever” award deserves to go to Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) for his outburst in a committee hearing just a few days before Christmas. Gutierrez took a break from the “Trump is literally Hitler” narrative to dazzle the cameras with a new holiday-flavored insult: “Trump is literally Herod!”
During an oversight hearing with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Congressman Gutierrez began his remarks by berating her for the federal government’s family separation policy at the border – in which children are housed separately while their parents are in jail. Democrats apparently believe that children should go to jail with their criminal parents, in a policy the likes of which humans in Western civilization are not really used to.
The big irony of Luis Gutierrez lecturing Secretary Nielsen on “family separation” is that Gutierrez began his career in Chicago as a case worker for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services – a state entity which exists for the sole purpose of ripping children away from their families. Then, the right reverend Gutierrez had a revelation for the cameras:
“It is repugnant to me and astonishing to me that during Christmas… a time in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, a Jesus Christ who had to flee for his life with Mary and Joseph… Thank GOD there wasn’t a WALL that stopped him from seeking refuge in Egypt. Thank God that wall wasn’t there. Thank God there wasn’t an administration like this, or he would have perished!”
President Trump is literally Herod and his border wall would have aborted the baby Jesus! Yikes! That is terrible theology, which we’ll address in a moment. Gutierrez went on to tell Secretary Nielsen, “You probably agree with Tucker Carlson that immigrants only bring danger, division and dirt.” He left out incurable communicative tuberculosis. Rather than waiting for Ms. Nielsen to answer any of his criticisms, “Pastor” Gutierrez then fled the hearing.
Gutierrez’s thesis is that a wall on our border with Mexico is immoral and un-Christian. Joseph, Mary and Jesus would have died if they had encountered a wall. This, of course, is utterly false. The curse in Deuteronomy 28:52 states, “They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land.”
Although the walls would be torn down when Israel fell under God’s curse, take notice of the fact that all cities in ancient Israel had walls, without exception. The historical and archaeological records in Egypt reveal that its cities likewise had walls. Cities without walls were viewed as ripe pickings for nomadic armies, which were plentiful in ancient times.
The ancient Upper Egyptian city of Nekheb, for example, is laid out in a square shape with walls nearly a half-mile long on each side. In their full glory the walls were nearly 35 feet thick and 30 feet tall. Every ancient city and even most villages had walls to protect their citizenry. If you lived outside of a walled fortification, everything from wild dogs to raiding Bedouins would have represented an ever-present danger to your life. Walls were an accepted and necessary part of life in the ancient world.
A foreigner would never be able to enter through a city’s gates without first being vetted to determine their intentions. This would certainly have been the case for Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus, no matter where they traveled.
The book of Nehemiah relates how the Israelites rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem after being released from captivity. The whole point of the book was that in order for Israel to be viewed as a legitimate nation once again, they had to complete the walls! Without walls to defend the border of their city, Israel would not have been a nation at all. The same holds true today, where modern Israel has built a wall along its entire border with Egypt to stem the tide of illegal immigration from Africa.
These three things are certain: Walls are biblical. Secure borders are an integral part of nationhood. And Congressman Gutierrez needs to retire from the pulpit.