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Opening Arguments

Counting Jesus

"Sillier and sillier all the time" department:

A push to spread the gospel about the 2010 Census this Christmas is stoking controversy with a campaign that links the government count to events surrounding the birth of Jesus.

The National Association of Latino Elected Officials is leading the distribution to churches and clergy of thousands of posters that depict the arrival of Joseph and a pregnant Mary in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago. As chronicled in the Gospel of Luke, Joseph returned to be counted in a Roman census, but he and Mary found no room at an inn, and Jesus was born in a manger

[. . .]

The Rev. Miguel Rivera, chairman of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, says invoking the name of Jesus to promote the 2010 Census is "blasphemous" and "violates the concept of separation of church and state." Using the name of Jesus for "a political and secular intention, it is definitely an assault against our Christian faith," Rivera says.

Of course the census back then was so the authorities knew whom to tax, and if you want to talk about church-state issues, the whole idea caused a major uprising among the Jews, who though a census was against scripture and the will of God. And today, a major use of the census is so the government knows how to give away about $500 billion a year. Goodness, if we were taxed enough to account for all the money the government throws around today, there'd be, well, a major uprising, wouldn't there? Good thing they're smart enough just to borrow it from China.