A Feminist’s Take on Christmas: God Raped Mary
A Feminist’s Take on Christmas: God Raped Mary
I am not a person that despises labels and titles. I find comfort in the way I have chosen to label myself. I am a patriotic American. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a good friend. I am a conservative. I am also a Christian.
My faith journey started when I was very young because my mother always thought it was important to have me in Sunday School. I loved going to church and learning the stories in the Bible. I learned very young to love the Lord. Now, as an adult, I have a vibrant, loving, active relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ. I have chosen to embrace the stories I read as a child, and I adore teaching my own children about God’s amazing gift through Jesus.
I love the Christmas story that tells the tale of Jesus’ birth. I love that God chose a young, seemingly insignificant woman to bear His Son. I love that God used a faithful man to be the earthly father of Jesus. I love that three rich, wise men took off two years of their lives to follow a star to find a small child. I love that shepherds witnessed the Heavenly Host. Can you imagine being out in a field, watching your livestock, when the heavens open up for angels singing glory to God? Most of all, though, I love the faith and trust these individuals had in God. They put everything after His plan, and obeyed.
I am not a feminist. I hate liberal feminism. I find atheism extremely hopeless, and I find feminism to be too focused on self.
Knowing all of that, you can probably understand why I am so appalled by this article written by Valerie Tarico, a religion-hating feminist, at AlterNet. Entitled Why Is Rape in the Origins of So Many Religions?, Tarico asserts that God raped Mary, just like the Greek, Roman, Hindu, and Buddhists gods did in their separate mythologies. Yes, you read that right. Feminism has become so incredibly washed up and outrageous that they now say Yahweh raped Mary.
The impregnation process may be a “ravishing” or seduction or some kind of titillating but nonsexual procreative penetration. The story may come from and Eastern or Western religious tradition, pagan or Christian. But these encounters between beautiful young women and gods have one thing in common. None of them has freely given female consent as part of the narrative. Luke’s Mary assents after being not asked but told by a powerful supernatural being what is going to happen to her, “Behold the bond slave of the Lord: be it don’t to me…”)
Who needs consent, freely given? If he’s a god, she’s got to want it, right? That is how the stories play out.
Whether or not the delectable young thing puts up a protest, whether or not seduction requires deception, whether or not the woman already has a husband or love, whether or not she is physically forced, the basic assumption is that the union between god and a woman is overwhelming in an orgasmic way, not a bloody, head-bashed-against-the-ground kind of way. And afterwards? Well, what woman wouldn’t want to be pregnant with the son or daughter of a god?
Of course, she is making a sad attempt at understanding the angel Gabriel coming to Mary to tell her that she has found favor with God. In Luke 1:26-38, we find the account Tarico is talking about.
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a Son, and you will name Him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David. And He will reign over Israel forever; His kingdom will never end!”
Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and He will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail.”
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
As I grow older, and as I read more of the Left’s vicious attacks against Christianity, the more I am convinced they just don’t understand. Tarico doesn’t understand that God didn’t choose Mary because she was beautiful, sensual, or desirable like the gods of Greek, Roman, Hindu, or Buddhist mythology. He chose her because she was faithful, willing, and strong. God chose Mary to bear His Son because He knew she and Joseph would obey Him. He knew they loved Him enough to raise His Son.
God also knew that Joseph was an extraordinary man. He knew Joseph would accept Jesus as his own son, would raise him in the Temple, and would love Him. Joseph thought to quietly break his relationship off with Mary, but the Lord sent an angel to him in a dream to tell him the Good News, and to keep Mary as his wife. In Matthew 1:18-24, we read this story, and we also see that Joseph chose to obey God.
Tarico goes on to write that when these “stories” sprang into existence women and children were merely possessions that men collected and owned – like slave and livestock. She then asserts that gods start to conform to these standards, so they began to rape mortal women and collect bastard children. The argument is so absurd I actually asked myself, “What did I just read? Did she honestly just say that God decided to lower Himself, violate His own standards, and follow the evil hearts of mankind?”
Once again, this just goes back to the fact that these people don’t understand the God of Christianity. If they think the infinitely glorious God of the Universe needs anything from us, they are fools.
It was also a time when gods picked favorites and meddled in the affairs of tribes and nations, and great men were born great. Small wonder, then, that so many powerful men claimed powerful paternity. In the tradition of the ancient Hebrews, this took the form of an obsession with lineage and pure, favored bloodlines. Writers of the Hebrew Bible trace the genealogy of King David back to Abraham, for example, and the genealogy of Abraham to the first man, Adam. In the Greek and worlds, entitlement claims took the form of assigning supernatural paternity to public figures. The Christian tradition, somewhat awkwardly, tries to lay claim to both of these – tracing the lineage of Jesus through his father Joseph have to King David, while simultaneously denying that he had a human father.
Firstly, Christians never say that Joseph wasn’t Jesus’ earthly father. Joseph acted as Jesus’s father here on Earth. I’m not really sure how this helps her argument that God raped Mary, but we know that Joseph took Jesus as his son and followed Jewish traditions. Jesus would have spent countless hours with His earthly father, Joseph.
Secondly, Tarico clearly did no research whatsoever before writing her charming article. If she had, she would have saved herself the humiliation of looking like such an uneducated ignoramus. In the Hebrew tradition, genealogies were very important because land rights were apportioned to families in Israel based on their lineage, and because certain offices, such as priest and king, were inherited from father to son.
The genealogies of Jesus found in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 are different, although both trace back all the way to Abraham and before. The one in Matthew is Joseph’s lineage, showing that Jesus has a connection to the throne of David, and the genealogy in Luke is likely Mary’s. It stretches all the way back to Adam to illustrate that Jesus is the Savior and has a connection to all people – not just the Jews.
Tarico goes on to assert that the Bible never said women had to consent to sex, or even enjoy it, and that we still struggle with this basic human right now… on our college campus’. Yes, she actually managed to connect the Rolling Stone faux rape case to her insane assertion that God raped Mary. She doesn’t mention that we now know that the victim in the Rolling Stone rape article was a liar, that she wasn’t raped, and that she potentially ruined an entire group of fraternity brothers’ lives.
I’ve been around legitimate rape victims. I’m an abuse survivor myself. You can read about that here if you haven’t already. Mary’s response, a song, to God’s news that she would bear His Son, is far from how I feel about my abuser, and a far cry from what I’ve heard from other survivors, leading me to the conclusion (what I already knew and believed) that God didn’t rape Mary. You can find The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise in Luke 1:46-55.
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For He took notice of His lowly servant girl,
And from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy,
And He has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear Him.
His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
For he made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.”
God didn’t subjugate, rape, and control Mary. He chose Mary because He knew her heart. He knew she would respond to His extraordinary message in simple faith, humbly submitting herself to His will. Humility and faith are two things that the Left doesn’t understand, and probably never will.
I’ll leave you with the amazing video of Amy Grant singing her song, Breath of Heaven, a song she wrote one year after reading about the amazing Christmas story that is part of the foundation of our faith, at the CMA Country Christmas in 2011. Merry Christmas!