Anchor Baby Jesus

Was Jesus the first “anchor baby?”  This offensive term is being used by the right in accusing immigrant women of coming to the United States to “drop” their babies just so they can become citizens and “anchor” their family here.  This language is cruel and offensive on many levels, not least in that it completely dehumanizes both the mother and the child. 

But it occurs to me that Mary could be accused of this same alleged practice.  After all, she was a single mother (“engaged” but never married) from Nazareth who travels to Bethlehem to register herself and her baby as citizens of Rome.  Emperor Augustus’ purpose in conducting this census was to make sure that everyone paid their taxes.  But it is also true that by registering in this way, Mary claimed all the rights and benefits of citizenship for herself and her child.

Jesus was born a Roman citizen.  But instead of anchoring his family to Rome, Jesus anchors all humanity to a love and justice that transcends all borders.  Instead of inflicting a cruel and offensive dehumanization, Jesus allows all of us “strangers and foreigners on the earth” (Heb 11:13) to be fully human.

Published in: on August 11, 2010 at 8:45 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well said, George. Also makes me think of the Judaic tradition of setting an extra place, particularly at Passover tables, in case the prophet Elijah should come – or a stranger. The remembrance being of all the times Jews wandered as strangers in lands far from their own homeland.

    But more than that, your comments remind me again that no member of the human family is ever truly a ‘stranger’ for all are children of God. Terms like illegitimate or anchor meant to disparage one group of human beings in favor of any others became obsolete in Christ.

    The world, all alien generations of humanity, was spinning out of control until the anchor of Christ offered us a way to be grounded in the most heavenly sense to the eternal, to the good, to hope, to God…

    Times sure are tough in this here humanity. [When haven’t they been??] And while I’m not economically blind or mindless, I wonder, if faced with similar circumstances, who would not do whatever they could, or felt they had to, to offer their children and themselves a life of hope?

    Anchor Baby Christ, dropped from the Most High, did it for us – aliens all.

  2. Exactly, Peruse! How about that, God “dropped and left” his son here among us as an “anchor” in the kingdom for the entire human family. I love it!

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