“i am the son of mary and of joseph,” claims Jesus Christ
PRIEST The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
FAITHFUL And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.
PRIEST Behold, the handmaid of the Lord.
FAITHFUL Be it done unto me according to your word.
RACHEL Once again we are transmitting from the Basilica of the Annunciation, in the center of Nazareth. We have with us, as in our previous broadcasts, Jesus Christ himself, during his second coming to earth. Jesus, do you hear what the faithful are praying and singing?
JESUS Yes, I got up early today, and I have heard this prayer several times.
RACHEL They are the words spoken by the angel Gabriel when he visited your mother Mary right here, in this sacred place, two thousand years ago. If you would permit me…, can I get right to the point?
JESUS By all means.
RACHEL Mr. Jesus Christ, whose son are you?
JESUS I’m my mother’s son, just like everybody.
RACHEL Yes, that much we already know. The problem is with your father. I want you to give me a straightforward answer me are you the son of God, yes or no?
JESUS Yes, of course I am.
RACHEL [sighs loudly] I feel great relief at hearing those words. And I’m sure many of our listeners do as well.
JESUS But you already knew that, Rachel. Life is a gift of God. We are all sons and daughters of God. You are also.
RACHEL Wait now, let me see … Maybe I did not express myself well. I was referring to … whether you were born by the power and the grace of the Holy Spirit.
JESUS Of course I was. The Spirit of God blows over all the waters.
RACHEL I’m going to be more explicit. Was it the Holy Spirit that … impregnated Mary?
JESUS How do you mean? … God does not have sperm. God does not impregnate women.
RACHEL Let me ask the question another way how did Mary become pregnant? Was it a gynecological wonder? Or maybe a case of parthenogenesis?
JESUS Partheno-who? I don’t know what those words mean.
RACHEL That is, the way certain flowers reproduce themselves.
JESUS In my language, Nazareth means “flower”, … but I never heard of any Nazarene women becoming pregnant by themselves.
RACHEL We don’t know how he did it, but God realized an extraordinary miracle in the womb of your mother Mary.
JESUS Yes indeed, the miracle of life. Every mother is amazed at this marvel.
RACHEL I’m referring to the miracle of her being a virgin and a mother at the same time.
JESUS Rachel, don’t look for three humps on a camel. If God is able to do things easily, what’s the sense in making them complicated? Don’t you see?
RACHEL What do you mean by that?
JESUS My father Joseph knew my mother Mary, and I was born of that union.
RACHEL Am I hearing well or …. ? Are you aware that what you are saying is a heresy, … perhaps the worst of all heresies?
JESUS But … nobody can be a heretic about himself! Don’t I know how I was born?!
RACHEL But, then, please, what’s left of the virginity of the virgin? Where is the angel Gabriel, the “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you…”?
JESUS You know what, Rachel? I’m going to treat you to some fresh dates.
RACHEL What’s that you said?
JESUS Come along, outside here there’s a market …
RACHEL Let’s leave the jokes for another moment …
JESUS The jokes, fine, but the hunger, no. Come with me, and we can continue conversing. Maybe outside this church you’ll understand things better… Come, follow me!
RACHEL Wait, I have to sign off from this interview … Reporting from Nazareth for Emisoras Latinas, this is Rachel Perez.
ANNOUNCER Another God is Possible. Exclusive interviews with Jesus Christ in his second coming to Earth. A production of María and José Ignacio López Vigil, with the support of the Syd Forum and Christian Aid.
*More information about this polemical topic…*
A saga of miraculous births
The passage about the annunciation in Luke’s gospel is generally taken as an historical account which gives a basis for the dogma of Mary’s virginity. This text, however, finds its literary inspiration in several ancient prophecies, such as Zephaniah 3,14-18; Isaiah 7,14 and 9,5. Throughout the Old Testament we are told of children who were born in a marvelous or “miraculous” fashion, as a gift of God for their mothers, who were sterile or very old and no longer had hopes of giving birth. Some examples are Isaac (Genesis 18,9-14), Samson (Judges 13,1-7), and Samuel (1 Samuel 1,1-18); in the New Testament we find the same regarding John the Baptist (Luke 1,5-25). By giving such wondrous accounts of the origins of these great men, those who told of their lives and deeds wanted to emphasize that they were not only begotten by their parents, but were also a special gift of God for the people.
The dogma of Mary’s virginity
In the year 649 the Lateran Council proclaimed that Jesus was conceived “absque semine ex Spiritu Santo” (without semen, by the Holy Spirit). Many centuries later, on August 7, 1555, an Apostolic Constitution declared the dogma of Mary’s virginity with these words: By God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and by our apostolic authority we correct those who perchance affirm that Jesus Christ was not conceived by the work of the Holy Spirit, but like other men … or who affirm that the Blessed Virgin Mary is not the true Mother of God and that she did not remain forever perfect in her virginal integrity … before Christ’s birth, during the birth itself and perpetually after His birth.
The “scientific” explanation of the dogma
Using the new discoveries of science, some dogmatic theologians attempt to modernize and explain the “mystery” of the conception of Jesus with reasoning of this type:
Since Jesus was male and therefore had XY chromosomes, then in order for the Virgin Mary to conceive him, the miracle had to be that she formed from her ovum, with its own XX genetic message, a diploid zygote with 46 chromosomes, one of whose X chromosomes underwent a miraculous mutation and became a Y chromosome.
Whatever the nature of the miracle, these “theologians” hold that the dogma allows us to believe that all the genetic material of Jesus came exclusively from the “Most Holy Virgin.” Out of a vicarious feeling of shame, we decline to name the author of this nonsense.
The perversity of this dogma
The dogma of Mary’s virginity and the attempts to explain it and justify it “scientifically”, theologically or even metaphorically, are the expression of real contempt for the female body and for sexual relations, but especially for women’s sexuality.
Saint Augustine was one of the theologians of antiquity who, starting in the fourth century, forged a strong link among these three ideas: the sinfulness of sex, the virginal birth of Jesus and the superiority of virginity over sexual relations. In her book, Alone of all her sex: the myth and the cult of the Virgin Mary (1976), British historian Marina Warner analyzes in depth the perversity of the theological arguments which are summed up in the statement, “the woman is uterus, and the uterus is evil.”