Part II of the I Believe in Miracles series, or "I don't believe in this one"
Over the past few months, we haven't spent too much time trying to debunk other religions' creation myths and basic tenets because we want to be a positive, constructive influence in the world. Well, besides lambasting all other faiths for their comparative infancy, criticizing Catholicism for being so harmful to the environment, showing how Christians have the wrong end of the stick when it comes to homosexuality (heh), bashing the Vatican for its love of genocide and snobbish elitism, proving conclusively that Jesus has insufficient blood to feed his greedy followers, and arguing forcefully that creationism has got it all wrong when it comes to dinosaurs, it hasn't been too much time at all.
But today we're going to divert from our usual non-confrontational stance and address an issue which has recently come to our attention. Thanks to the crafty infiltration of a Frodologist spy into a service last Sunday, we have learned that Christians believe that Jesus was born of his virgin mother. That probably needs repeating. They think Jesus, a man, popped from the uterus of a woman who had never, ever been in a position to get so much as indecent, let alone pregnant.
Generally of the opinion that only pregnant women give birth to human babies, our trusty team of scientists set off on another mission to discover just how easy it is for a virgin to give birth. To that end, they followed around a group of purity ring-wearing teenagers for a week. Following a minute misunderstanding with the police and a hairy overnight stint in jail, their first discovery was that it's probably a good idea to ask someone's permission before following children around with binoculars and a camera. Undeterred, they felt triumphant when one of the chaste little teens did fall pregnant. If it really is so easy, what's so great about Jesus?
Disappointment then struck our heroic team when one scientist stumbled across the Wikipedia entry for purity rings and discovered that they are in fact just fashion accessories which could only be worn with less sincerity had they come from a cereal box. No immaculate conception, no miracle baby, and more to the point, no virgin.
The team then surmised that there were two possible conclusions. First, Mary was a virgin and thus there was no Jesus. While we're absolutely titillated by the track that train of thought could lead us down, we must admit the second possible outcome has equal merit. That is that Mary was more seasoned than the Gospels would have us believe. Perhaps she had an acquaintance in the Nazareth Postal Service. Maybe her name wasn't even Mary, but Mary the Harlot. Regardless, if Christians want to believe she gave birth, they have a hard truth to swallow.
Scientists suspect the culprit looked something like this... a 90s computer mouse
Immaculate conception, really? You know what would be more immaculate? Fertilization. Some Christians argue that it's a metaphor. That's right. A metaphor for a load of crap. Plus it sort of defeats the purpose of a metaphor when you proceed to take all of the conclusions that follow as literal fact. Obviously back when the Bible was scrabbled together from bits of irrelevant folkore and the inside cover of the Lonely Planet guide to Tel Aviv, sex education was somewhat lacking. Perhaps people thought virgin births were possible then. But since that time we've learned to wear sunscreen to prevent skin cancer and to run away from volcanoes when the island gods get angry. I feel like there's scope for improvement in the whole virgin birth department.
There is of course a third solution. Once again, it could have been a miracle.
But that's total bull: everyone knows only hobbits can immaculately conceive.