Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

CBC and the Virgin Mary

I really don't like the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for you americans out there...). I woke up this morning to an interview on a national morning program on CBC radio called "The Current". They were discussing the Blessed Virgin Mary and were just so far off the mark it was outrageous.

First they had a woman on who described herself as a "feminist revisionist biblical scholar." Now, if that self-description doesn't in and of itself send up red flags, I don't know what else could. The woman's name was Jane Shaberg and she's the author of a book called "The Illegitimacy of Jesus: A Feminist Theological Interpretation of the Infancy Narratives." This books is definitely not on my reading list.

Anyways, Jane Shaberg, of course after making the claim to being a "practicing Catholic" (by who's definition I have no idea...) went on to argue that the virgin birth of Christ is a misreading of scripture that was developed in the third century after Christ to further patriarchal attitudes towards women. She said that 'virgin' does not mean what we think it means but rather is simply referring to a woman who is of age to get married. I don't know who's dictionary she was using, but certainly not any of the one's I own. The way her story goes is that Mary committed adultery but by God's love and compassion for those of us who make wrong choices and face difficult conditions God decided that the child conceived of Mary's adulterous act would be Christ! She argued that it would not make sense to have a virgin Mary because if she was a virgin than women would be unable to relate to her. Obviously she does not understand that people who lead consecrated live's have not rejected their sexuality or their gender but rather embraced it in the light of God's specific plan for their lives. I was completely baffled when she argued that by no means could Mary show us what it means to be feminine. It's obvious that Jane Shaberg doesn't know what it means to be feminine as she is missing out on the perfect model Christ gives us in his Blessed Virgin Mother.

The interviewer then went on to transition to the next person they'd interview by stating "Some scholars continue to question the divinity of Mary and the virgin birth." Ummmmm...since when has any mainstream Christian church been teaching the divinity of Mary?!?!?!

I thought that they'd interview a solid orthodox Christian theologian to follow up with the heresy they started off with but no such luck. The second person to be interviewed was Tom Harpur, the author of "The Pagan Christ." Once again, his book title says it all. This man was introduced as a former Anglican priest, but also, of course, a Christian. Although I don't know how that's possible since he doesn't believe in a historical Jesus at all. According to Mr. Harpur the virgin birth narrative (and I guess the whole of scripture relating to Christ) is simply a reflection of ancient myths and is not historical. He argued that the virgin birth wasw significant to bring about an inner wareness of our spiritual side since in the virgin birth we recognize our own divinity. If you don't understand that reasoning, don't worry, neither do I.

Anyways, this interview was so frustrating to listen to. I thought after the first person they interviewed that they'd have a solid Christian apologists on the air, but nope, of course not. I could have recommended a few theologians to them who could have done a far better job of explaining the significance of the virgin birth and what it means in relation to the Incarnation as well as the role of Mary in the Faith. But no, they went ahead and interviewed two heretics instead.

The first woman interviewed obviously has some deep wounds that have led her to such a twisted perspective of Christianity. The second guy, well... I don't know how anyone can argue that Christ never existed at all? It's not even just Christian authors who refer to him but Roman historians as well, such as Tacitus when writing on the Neronian persecutions. It's clear that Christ walked on this earth just as sure as I myself am alive flesh and blood. It boils down to the age old mad man or divine conclusion, but this guy doesn't even get that far. He claims that Jesus Christ never was a historical figure and yet claims to be a Christian, I know not how.