I know this is a little out of season, but I have recently been struck by the absurdity of Christmas.
There are a number of problems with the Christmas story, and I’m not talking about “and a messiah was born” variety. I’m talking about how we get to that point.
Let’s start with how God chose a time period that would require his surrogate mother to be a 13-year-old girl. Due to the marriage customs of the time. Of course God wouldn’t need a surrogate to incubate a manifestation of himself for 9 months, nor would he need to follow the child marriage customs of the time, yet he did anyways. For any of my readers who are “God as foundation for moral objectivity” are you comfortable with the morality of child marriages? Because you kind of have to be.
And how come no one talks about the statutory rape aspect of the story. Setting aside that 13-year-olds really can’t consent to the idea of being a parent. Even though Mary “gave her consent” God would literally be Mary’s Highest Authority. God’s violation of Mary is worse than a teacher violating a student, worse than a priest violating a child. God isn’t just capable of telling his victim’s parents about a bad thing Mary did. He isn’t limited to physically harming Mary, or even killing her. This is the God that had Jonah swallowed by a whale, who turned Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt, had the Levites murder their own neighbors, spouses, and children, commanded Achan, and his entire family to be stoned to death. And that’s all without delving into the prospect of an eternity of torture in Hell. Did 13-year-old Mary really have an option to say no?
But every year Christians dutiful gather around to celebrate the birth of a child to another child who was coerced into pregnancy by her highest authority figure because #Jesus. Since when do the ends justify the means? Particularly when an omnipotent deity is in play who can achieve those ends through any means without coercing children.
But hey! Merry Christmas… In August.