Why the Internet meme that God raped Mary is wrong (COMMENTARY)

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Sandro Botticelli (Alessandro Filipepi), Madonna and Child (Madonna col Bambino),  also called Madonna of the Book (Madonna del Libro), 1480–81;  Tempera and oil on wood panel, 22 7/8 • 15 5/8 in.; Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan; inv. 443. Photo courtesy of National Museum of Women in the Arts

Sandro Botticelli (Alessandro Filipepi), Madonna and Child (Madonna col Bambino), also called Madonna of the Book (Madonna del Libro), 1480–81; Tempera and oil on wood panel, 22 7/8 • 15 5/8 in.; Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan; inv. 443. Photo courtesy of National Museum of Women in the Arts

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(RNS) Consent is not only part of the story -- it’s the cornerstone of the story.

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  • CM Roberts

    A miracle was involved in the conception of Jesus. Just what this was the angel explained to Joseph: “That which has been begotten in her is by HOLY SPIRIT.” (Matthew 1:20) We do not know precisely how this was done. Yet we must admit that if mere man can in a limited way manipulate the fertilization process in the laboratory, surely it is not beyond the power of the Creator and Life-Giver of the universe to do so and to transfer the life-force of his Son from the heavens to the ovum of a virgin girl. Jesus’ life-force was not to be extinguished but would be transferred to the ovum of the virgin girl, Mary. She, ‘overshadowed by the protective power of the Most High,’ could produce a perfect body for the babe Jesus.—Luke 1:35.
    An imperfect Jesus could not have become the ransom. Nor could he have become such as an incarnation or God/man. God selected a virgin to be the earthly mother of Jesus so that it would be clear that he was the son, not of an imperfect human father, but of God.

  • Neon Genesis

    Salon can be overly-sensationalist at times but I think the author is also kind of ignoring that God does kind of order a lot of violence against women throughout the OT and even commands rape victims to marry their rapists. I don’t think the gospel writers intended anything sexual from the story of the virgin birth but theologians who try to paint the Virgin Mary as this feminist heroine of the faith are clearly reading a modern interpretation into the bible. I’m also not sure why the author seems to think we should stop using critical thinking skills just because of a human made holiday makes him feel warm and fuzzy or something.

  • George R David

    are you guys mad

  • Jon

    As anyone involved with rape know, “consent” is not freely given if there is a perception of a large difference in power. Someone in a comparatively powerless situation can be forced to say “yes” by someone with power.

    And who could have more power than God?

    Rape. …

  • Garson Abuita

    God commands the rapists to marry the victim, not the other way around. Bad enough but that’s what is written.

  • samuel johnston

    Well here we are discussing an absurd mythical story, believed by half the population, in light of whether it conforms to our current notions of morality. Such is the damage that this Christian religion has done to the Western mind since the Greeks gave us philosophy and logic.

  • Ben in Oakland

    Well here we are discussing an absurd mythical story (Sodom and Gomorrah, or Leviticus and god’s obsession with the proper way to sacrifice animals to him in order to propitiate him, or Paul’s certainty about who gets into heaven, or whose marriage god blesses

    believed by half the population (conservative Christians and other people who use religion as their excuse for 2000 years of shameful behavior),

    in light of whether it conforms to our current notions of morality (but we shouldn’t be concerned at all about whether it conforms to the constitution or morality, let alone the reality of the harm done to the lives of gay people for millennia).

    Such is the damage that this Christian religion has done to the Western mind since the Greeks gave us philosophy and logic. (And yet, you advocate that we gay people should never have gone to the Supreme court for relief, but it was fine when conservative Christians misused the democratic process).

    Sorry, but I’m not buying.

  • Peter

    The discussion means something because most stories of divine-human birth are stories of rape, and Mary’s is not.

  • samuel johnston

    I am sorry for anyone so hurt and bitter that they take the” it’s us or them” position. Socretes observed that it was easier for a rich man to be generous, than for a poor man not to be bitter.