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December 12, 2013 4:14 PM Jesus, Santa Claus, and Race

By Ed Kilgore

It’s probably appropriate that an anchor on the media network which annually gives us the maddening agitprop over the “War On Christmas” has kicked up a stir by insisting that Jesus Christ and Santa Claus were (and presumably “are” for believers) white folks, just like most Fox viewers. Politico’s Hadas Gold has the story:

On Wednesday night Megyn Kelly declared on her Fox News show that both Santa Claus and Jesus were white. Discussing a piece in Slate by Aisha Harris about a black versus white Santa, Kelly that “just because it makes you feel uncomfortable it doesn’t mean it has to change.”
“You know, I’ve given her her due. Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change,” Kelly said. “Jesus was a white man, too. It’s like we have, he’s a historical figure that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa, I just want kids to know that. How do you revise it in the middle of the legacy in the story and change Santa from white to black?”
Santa Claus can be traced to a real life monk named St. Nicholas who lived in what is today Turkey, according to the History Channel. Jesus Christ was born to a Jewish family around what is now Israel, and his race has long been debated with several scholars saying he likely looked like what many modern day people of Middle Eastern descent look like.
The unusual segment, where the panelists also debated whether Santa Claus should be a penguin as Harris writes in her piece, seemed to be directly contradicting what Kelly said on Monday when she appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
“I’m a straight news anchor, I’m not one of the opinion hosts,” she told Leno. “The way we do it on the Fox News Channel is the straight news anchors like us give a hard time to both sides.”

It seems especially idiotic to claim a race for a mythical figure like Santa Claus. As for Jesus Christ, we have the authority of a fellow named Paul of Tarsus (Galations 3:28):

In Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

So who cares to what race—or for that matter, gender—the “historical Jesus” belonged? The principal of absolute equality before God is a central principle of Christianity—or at least forms of Christianity that haven’t succumbed to the secularism (yes, that’s what it is, folks) that associates the faith with cultural or political conservatism or the pride of white identity.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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