Friday, December 01, 2006

The Virgin Mary and Intelligent Design

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Have you ever wondered why all those deities that got steamrolled by this One God guy didn't take up picket signs and protest? Me too.

A reminder to my legions and legions of readers: My longterm substitute teacher assignment has been moved to a start date of December 6. I may therefore have less time to create these stunning essays every day. C'est la vie du goat judge unemployee. (Fill in the accents if you know where they belong.) Oh, my cloven-hooved wonders! How I will miss you!

Today we at "The Gods Are Bored" are fresh off a glowing review of the new movie based on the Christmas story in the New Testament. Now here's one that will rake in the dough. It's rated PG. You know all those good Christians will flock (pardon the pun) to see it.

The movie review reminded me of something I'd forgotten about this sweet tale. The Virgin Mary was a tot of 14 when she was chosen by the Holy Spirit to give birth to Jesus.

I'm not quibbling with this virgin birth stuff at all. Because I've read accounts of people being abducted by aliens and impregnated with half/alien/half/human babies. So of course it could be done.

What has me baffled is how this story contradicts Intelligent Design.

Giving birth is always a risky proposition. It is especially perilous to two age groups: women almost too old to have babies and young teenagers. I'm a goat judge, not a public health official, but I've seen the newspaper stories about the complications arising from pregnancies and deliveries in the youngest age demographic.

But budding teens do have healthy babies, even hardy babies that can spend their first days surrounded by pooping stable animals. (If this wasn't true there would be no Scotch Irish - and I can say that because I am Scotch Irish.)

My qibble is this: Why did an Intelligent Designer take a chance on a 14-year-old kid when there must have been, oh please, at least a few 21-year-old virgins in the neighborhood? Wouldn't it have been safer and more humane to go with a slightly sturdier female?

I should contact the Discovery Institute and see what their scientists say about this.

Now, this second little issue I have arises from the first chapter in the Gospel According to Matthew. The writing in question begins with a long, involved genealogy of Joseph, showing how he was related to the House of Father Abraham. But then the author, Matthew, says that Mary's baby was not fathered by Joseph! So why the tedious genealogy? Jesus would not have been eligible for the Sons of the American Revolution if he was only adopted by Joseph, or not blood kin to Joseph.

So, if you ask me, someone filled out a massive S.A.R. form for no good reason.

I guess maybe it's a good thing I won't be able to write so much in the future. I give myself a headache. Imagine what I do to you!



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Tlachtga said...

You know, I never understood Matthew's genealogy--it's such an obvious flaw given that only a few paragraphs later we have Joseph freaking out 'cause the kid isn't his. Luke does this too, though he at least says that Joseph isn't really his father, and thus kinda invalidates the entire genealogy; and I always thought it was funny that he calls Adam the son of God.

tou-mou said...

Actually, in that time and place most women would've been married by 21. A 21-year-old virgin in ancient times probably would have some sort of disability. They started young then because mortality rates were high. (Heck, both my grandmothers even married at 16.)

Vertalio said...

But, but...the Bible was written by God, or at least whispered by God into the ears of the Disciples, or into the ears of the guys who wrote the Gospels a generation or two later, or maybe into Paul's ear on the road to Damascus and he contracted the Gospels, or maybe my head is spinning.

And how about that earthquake that split the Temple and opened tombs that the dead walked among the living?
How come only one Gospel mentions that detail?

But then, this is a religion that teaches small children that God kills his only child, a bastard at that, to teach we mortals a lesson.
So raping a 14-year-old isn't bad by comparison. Sorta.

Anonymous said...

Hehe, good pagan blog with a sense of humor.

My Christian Armenian grandmothers were married off at age 14 and 15 respectively, shipped over from Ankara Turkey to the U.S. to their 40-something year old husbands.

Paxton said...

"But then, this is a religion that teaches small children that God kills his only child, a bastard at that, to teach we mortals a lesson.
So raping a 14-year-old isn't bad by comparison. Sorta."

As much fun as it is to recast stories in different molds so that you can ramp up the scorn, you'd do better to attack the story that is actually told, as opposed to your conveniently demonized version.

As to the danger of the birth, as I understand it childbirth is always dangerous and even moreso in those times. But it's hardly counterintuitive to suppose that the Creator could see that Mary had a safe birth. (At this point a discussion could open up about that same Creator also being responsible for those who die in childbirth...but that discussion of the Good Lord Givething and Takething Away would not fit in this little box =).

I just think it's dishonest and unfair to say that the Virgin Birth contradicts Intelligent Design. The idea of God "taking a chance" is where you're getting stuck -- as if he had power over the conception but not the delivery.

The genealogy thing has always confuzzled me too. Maybe it has something to do with families and inheritance and stuff in Israelite culture? I don't really know much about it.

Anne Johnson said...

Paxton, I hope you realize that my tongue is always in my cheek when I write like this. However, I'm glad you do pause for a moment and consider some of the incongruities in the Bible. As a Druid, I'm proud to be part of a religion that has no written tradition. King Arthur doesn't count.