We Know More About Jesus's Birth Than Obama's
A few years back, the Harvard-educated Paul Mirecki, then head of the Religious Studies Department at Kansas University, proposed a new class.
His goal, as he told his cohorts in an atheist and agnostic chat room, was to give "fundies" -- i.e., orthodox Christians -- "a nice slap in their big fat face by teaching [intelligent design] as a religious studies class under the category 'mythology.'"
Mirecki did not expect any pushback from KU. "The majority of my colleagues here in the dept [sic] are agnostics or atheists, or they just don't care," wrote Mirecki. "If any of them are theists, it hasn't been obvious to me in the 15 years I've been here."
Unwittingly, Mirecki opened a window on the world of religious scholarship. At least since Darwin, cynics like Mirecki have been working to subvert Christianity under the guise of religious studies. The notorious, 150-scholar strong "Jesus Seminar" would seem to have no higher calling.
As the record will show, however, the subversives have not succeeded. The story of Jesus's birth, as well as his death, remains as rooted in the historical record as it was before these researchers began their unholy labors.
We know where Jesus was born, to whom, and more or less when. Were Jesus politically minded, it would not have been hard to establish his status as a citizen of Roman Judaea or to confirm it 2,000 years after his birth. (To be sure, the "natural born" part might prove a little tricky.)
No such luck with our president, Barack Obama. The most visible man in the world's most transparent society remains as much an enigma as he was four years ago. If the faithless in the media and academia investigate Jesus, only the faithful in those same quarters have been allowed to investigate Obama. Were there an "Obama Seminar," its members would be booted from every faculty lounge and newsroom in America, FOX News included.
In April 2011, Obama famously told us what we were allowed to know about his origins. Said he, "Every news outlet that has investigated this, confirm that, yes, in fact, I was born in Hawaii, August 4, 1961, in Kapiolani Hospital."
This, however, was inaccurate on two counts. For one, up until January 2009, the Obama-friendly websites, including Snopes and Obama's own campaign website, had been listing Honolulu's Queens Hospital as the site of his birth. For another, the reporters who had been doing real research -- including at least one from the Boston Globe and another from the New York Times -- had failed to confirm any of the story.
As the world knows, Mary and Joseph were compelled to leave Nazareth shortly before Jesus was born to register for the census in Joseph's hometown of Bethlehem. There, Jesus was born in a stable, a birth witnessed by Joseph and Mary, local shepherds, and eventually the magi. No birth was better documented for the next eighteen or so hundred years.
Despite Obama's birth just 50 years ago, in the most information rich place and time in world history, no one seems to know anything about his parents' presumed marriage or the whereabouts of his mother in the six months prior to her son's birth. The two recent mainstream biographies of Obama's parents -- Janny Scott's A Singular Woman and Sally Jacobs' The Other Barack -- tell us close to nothing.
Although Scott, a New York Times reporter, spent more than two years researching her book, she can say only than that Ann Dunham and Barack Obama Sr. "reportedly" wed on the island of Maui. "Reportedly" is not a comforting word from a definitive biographer. Equally troubling, Scott fails to comment on Ann's doings from the apocryphal wedding in February 1961 to Obama's birth in August 1961. Not a single word.
As to the birth, Scott provides no details other than those available on the disputed short form certification of live birth. There are no baby pictures, no tales of worried grandparents, no accounts of frantic drives to Kapiolani Hospital or Queens or wherever. Jacobs of the Boston Globe likewise tells us nothing about Ann's comings and goings for the six months prior to the birth or about the birth itself, the most historically critical period in Ann or Obama Sr.'s life.
To avoid the wrath of a paranoid King Herod, Mary and Joseph fled with the baby Jesus to Egypt and returned to Nazareth only after Herod's death. This flight is documented in Matthew 2:16-2:18 and generally tracks with the historical record.
Likely to avoid the profound indifference of Barack Obama Sr., Ann and baby Obama made their own trek to Washington State. How or when they got there, or where they came from, remains unknown.
It was in Seattle, however, in late August 1961, that we have the first confirmed sightings of young Barry Obama. We also have ample evidence that Ann and the baby lived there for about a year while Obama Sr. remained in Hawaii during that same time. He would leave for Harvard before Ann and the baby returned to Hawaii.
Unlike Matthew, however, Obama chroniclers have chosen to conceal or obfuscate the flight of their messiah. Worse, those who have tried to shed light on the early movements of young Obama are ignored or scorned as "birthers."
Conservative bloggers were chronicling Ann's Seattle hegira by the summer of 2008, but not one of the four book-length biographies I consulted for my book, Deconstructing Obama, placed Dunham anywhere other than Hawaii during Obama's first two years. The same holds true for the magazine bios I researched including a lengthy one pre-election by the Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning David Maraniss.
This is not an incidental detail. The mother's exile to Washington state means no less than that the famed multicultural marriage, the rock on which Obama built his political career, was pure sand.
New Yorker editor David Remnick was the first of the orthodox scribes to break the silence, sort of, with the 2010 publication of his Obama bio, The Bridge. Remnick buffers the news, however, by claiming that Ann may have taken "extension courses" at the University of Washington in the fall, but he implies that she did not arrive in Seattle until the spring semester.
Scott, too, concedes Dunham did go to Seattle but, like Remnick, she plays games with the timeline. "In the spring quarter of 1962, as Obama was embarking on his final semester in Hawaii, Ann was enrolled at the University of Washington in Seattle," Scott writes.
As in Remnick's case, this is borderline fraud. Scott conceals the well-documented truth that Ann had already been at the university for months. Jacobs does much the same. "Dunham would, in fact, enroll at U-Dub [the University of Washington] the following spring," writes Jacobs, ignoring Dunham's attendance in the fall.
The biographers finesse the timeline to preserve the illusion of an actual Obama family. As late as Father's Day 2011, Obama was saying of Obama Sr., "He left when I was 2 years old." No, as Obama Sr.'s INS documents now confirm, he never lived with Ann Dunham or her son.
All three of these biographers concede that Ann visited Seattle with the baby in August 1961 -- there are multiple witnesses -- but, to preserve the fabled Obama marriage narrative, they spin wobbly rationales for the visit.
Jacobs, for instance, posits that Ann "was coming through Seattle on her way to Boston to look into job possibilities for herself." Remember, this was 1961, the pioneer days of jet travel. The baby was weeks old, and Ann had no money. The chronically broke Obama Sr. would not enroll in Harvard for another year. In 1961, he had no idea that he would or could. So why Boston?
Even if there were no constitutional issues involved in Obama's origin story, the collective failure of the media to tell it truthfully now augurs poorly for later histories. Unlike the writers of the gospels, the allegiance to the truth of progressive evangelists has become more and more suspect.
As a case in point, in the way of postscript, days after the story of Paul Mirecki's anti-ID course broke, Mirecki told the local police that two white men stalked him, drove his car off the road in the pre-dawn dark, hectored him about ID, and struck him about the upper body with their fists and perhaps "a metal object."
Other than the Daily Kos -- "Thugs beat up evolution supporter" -- almost no one believed Mirecki's convoluted story, especially not the police. Two days later, Mirecki stepped down as chair of the Religious Department. He still teaches there. Something tells me he supports Obama uncritically.