Another immaculate conception

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 19 05:48:16 UTC 2013

On Sat, May 18, 2013 at 1:23 PM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at>wrote:

> What I meant was that the idea that Mary was a virgin when she conceived
> comes under the term "virgin birth."

And what I tried to explain was that it doesn't, in the theology of the One
True Faith, since "conception" and "birth" can hardly be confused. "Virgin"
means only that Mary, in the words of the only translation of the Decameron
that I've ever read, "had never felt the horn with which men butt."
Therefore, she was a virgin, in that narrow, restricted sense. Yet, she
bore a child. Hence, virgin birth. Q.E.D. I don't even see any
pswaydo-logical connection between the Immaculate Conception in which God
infused a soul unsullied by original sin into a female zygote at the moment
of its/her conception and the subsequent bearing of a child that was not
begotten on her by any man, but by the Holy Spirit.  So, clearly, she was a
virgin when she gave birth. A virgin - defined as a woman who has never had
vaginal sexual intercourse with a man - giving birth is a "virgin birth."
That is all that's theologically required. If you want to get all
puritanical about it and put icing on that cake because you think that
human sexual activity of any kind is disgusting, obscene, and immoral, you
can. Otherwise…

Nothing to see here. Move along.

But I admit that my view of this question as a non-question has been warped
by thirteen years of Catholic education, starting from the first grade and
including five years under the Jesuits.

I can understand that a person might not *believe* this, since "*true*
belief requires reason informed by the gift of faith." [Of *course* I once
thought this way! It's *religion* and not science. "Believing makes it so."
Unless you *already* believe in the God of Catholic Christianity, you can't
reason Him into existence. Saying that there is an uncaused cause that we
call "God" in pretty much the same as saying that we don't know the origin
of the Big Bang and we call that unknown origin "God."]  but I don't
understand how there could be any confusion as to the clear distinction
between the two concepts, particularly since only the Immaculate Conception
is of any theological consequence. If you believe that Jesus is both God
and the son of God, then that there was an "immaculate conception" and that
Mary was a virgin whose vagina had not been sullied by the intromission of
any mortal man's membrum virile at the time that she gave birth just plain
makes sense. Especially if you have any grasp at all of the concept of the
Triune God constituted of the "Holy Threeness," as we might still be
saying, were it not for 1066 and all that.

Wondering whether Mary was a virgin at her own birth is nonsensical.
Whether she still retained her physical *maidenhead* even after the birth
of Jesus doesn't matter. She may even have been born without one. Happens
all the time.

BTW, as you can see, the pristine simplicity of the origin-story of
Catholicism simply blows those of Mormonism and Scientology all to hell.
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain
get allget

The American Dialect Society -

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