Matthew Dowd Explains Christmas on Twitter: Mary and Joseph Were 'Immigrants' and 'Refugees'

December 25th, 2016 10:53 PM

The latest media person to fail to think and count to ten before hitting the "Tweet" button is Matthew Dowd.

Once a Democrat, Dowd came over to the Republican Party in 1999, and was George W. Bush's chief campaign strategist during the 2004 campaign. He became an independent in 2008 and is currently a Chief Political Analyst at ABC News. He also claims to be Catholic, but clearly has a politically twisted understanding of the first Christmas.

Although he has posted many tweets during the past several days, here is the first of the two betraying ignorance of the Nativity story:


Fortunately, Federalist's Sean Davis was at the ready with a timely response in the form of the opening verses from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2. Here is the Catholic version:

1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled.
2 This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
4 And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
5 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
6 While they were there, the time came for her to have her child,
7 and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.
9 The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.
10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

"Enrolled" has generally been understood as a reference to a census. Joseph and Mary were not immigrants, as they returned home after being "enrolled."

The King James version of the Bible consistently refers to purpose of Caesar Augustus's decree in Chapter 2 of Luke as being for the purpose "that all the world should be taxed" instead of "enrolled."

Neither Bible version indicates that the couple was "turned away by many," as Dowd claims. As best we can tell, there was simply no room at the single place they had hoped to stay.

Here is the second tweet:


While a lot of people have pitched the bogus "immigrant" theme seen in the first tweet, Dowd's second tweet takes the politicization to a new level. There's something for almost everyone to be offended by here, not the least of which is the claim that the Joseph and Mary were "refugees." To be clear, they became refugees later when Herod set out to kill them, but they weren't at the time of Christ's birth.

Dowd could have decided to keep his thoughts private. But he didn't — and then he had the nerve to decry those taking exception to his use of the second-greatest event in Christianity to make cheap political points (HT Twitchy):


Oh boo hoo. Shorter version: Man politicizes Christmas to get a reaction, gets said reaction, and whines about it.

How about we just celebrate the fact that God sent down his only son to offer every human the opportunity for redemption and everlasting life? That's should be enough for everyone.

As I understand it, part of Dowd's job is supposedly presenting and sometimes defending the conservative side of issues in the predominantly liberal news culture at ABC, where conservatives and practicing Christians are likely equally rare. If Dowd's genuine knowledge of conservatism is as weak as his knowledge of Catholicism — a review of posts with his name tagged at NewsBusters indicates that this is likely the case — heaven help us all.

Cross-posted at