Press Conference with King Herod: A Contemporary Reflection on the Murder of the Bethlehem Children

By Tim Heishman

“When Herod knew the magi had fooled him, he grew very angry. He sent soldiers to kill all the male children in Bethlehem and in all the surrounding territory who were two years old and younger” (Matthew 2:16a).

Good morning! It has come to my attention that some of you are planning to release a story about a special forces operation in the village of Bethlehem overnight. Now, I have pledged to be the most open and transparent administration in history and today is no exception. So my administration wants to make sure you have all the correct information on this developing situation.

What I’d like to tell you is a little more of the background to the operation. Over the last few weeks our intelligence services picked up “chatter” among persons on our terrorist watch-list. The information we picked up was specific and credible. It centered around a certain individual who claimed to be “king” of our nation and had intentions to directly threaten our way of life.

The matter at hand became serious enough that I directed the full resources of our armed forces to enter the village of Bethlehem, where the suspect was said to be staying at the time, and we eliminated every male within a two-year age range of the suspect. Certainly I did not want to have to order this operation, as the likelihood of collateral damage was significant. We spent several weeks gathering information and this was an unfortunate last resort.

However, I am pleased to report to you that at this time, the suspect is no longer a threat to us. The peace of Jerusalem has been assured and I would like to praise our intelligence officers and the troops for their bravery and their service to our nation.

If you have further questions regarding the overnight operation in Bethlehem or the nature of the threat itself, my press secretary is standing by and would be happy to answer your questions. Thank you, and God bless Jerusalem.

— Tim Heishman is one of the coordinators for National Youth Conference 2014, and a Brethren Volunteer Service worker. This was one of a set of presentations by BVS volunteers at the Christmas lunch at the Church of the Brethren General Offices.