In the 2000 Census, I was impressed by the publicity campaign the US Census Bureau used to promote participation. For Latinos, they used well-known Chicano folk artists with catchy slogans: Es Nuestro futuro. Hágase contar (It’s our future. Make it Count).
This year the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), have been distributing the poster on the left to more than 7,000 churches in an effort to raise awareness of the census among Hispanics. Most were printed in Spanish.
Luke 2:1-4 says Jesus was born during a census ordered by Caesar Augustus. Although historians question the accuracy of the account, Luke stated that everyone had to return to his ancestral town to be registered for taxes and that Joseph and Mary left Nazareth for Bethlehem.
Those of us who attended Sunday school are familiar with the story. The problem is that some Christians think that it is inapproriate to use the image of Christ to advertise the Census.
The Census Bureau, which did not commission the poster, is staying out of the debate:
“We work with people from all walks of life to get an accurate count, but we do not provide funding to partner organizations and play no role in the creation of material by private community groups,” said Nick Kimball, a spokesman for the Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau.