This isn’t a post about the times I’ve been harassed, molested, assaulted or raped. I could write far too many of those posts, but that isn’t my goal.
This isn’t a post about what I think should happen to the men who have victimized women – though I have very strong opinions about that as well.
This is a post about a bizarre and unbiblical doctrine that has bubbled to the surface in a few different ways thanks to #MeToo that I believe needs to be called out and exposed.
When a friend first saw this meme and we discussed it on the Thomas Talks Facebook page I was asked to write something about it. I could not figure out how to approach the issue in a way that would make sense to the average reader. I certainly hadn’t encountered this idea.
Everything in the Gospels makes clear two important things:
1) Mary was a virgin
2) God sent an angel to approach Mary with the opportunity to be the mother of the savior and she willingly consented.
Whether you believe the story or not is one thing, but this meme seemed to contradict that story and suggest that Mary was a victim.
We did discuss the reality that in Jewish culture they were not marrying off child brides and forcing sex on children they ay some teach. According to Rabbinic commentary I’ve read even if there was a reason to send a “child” off with a family into which she would be marrying it was required that they raise her and care for her and only when she was ready to be married and have children would the very long betrothal move forward to a consummated marriage.
We discussed the fact that various things about modern life have caused girls to start their menstruation and be capable of having children much younger than at previous times in history. There has been much written about the hormones in food and milk and the toxicity of the chemicals and estrogen producing products we have around us every day. Some blame diet, others credit other things. It wasn’t too long about that the average age for a young women to start menstruating was 17. No matter when a betrothal, she would not have been able to consummate a marriage until after this time. Seventeen is a young bride, but not a child.
Then the Roy Moore story broke and we learned what law enforcement and everyone involved in leadership in the areas where he lived and worked already knew . . . Roy Moore likes ‘em young. I’ve often wondered why the age of consent in Alabama and a few other states was so young and now it all makes sense. The ones making the laws wanted to claim that their victims were consenting. They wanted to imagine that when a 30 year old man has sex with a 16 year old girl it’s because she really wants them and finds them desireable. If you change the laws, you change the context. If you change the context, you didn’t just rape a child . . . Well, not legally.
Except Roy Moore’s youngest-to-come-forth victim was 14 at the time he assaulted her. That’s even below the legal age of consent in his own state.
As Roy began launching his defense I saw the way this #MeToo of Mary was relevant and I understood why it was made. Churches like the ones Roy Moore is part of teach that Mary was young. Very young. They think she was 13 or 14. If Mary consented to carry the savior at 14 then she was capable of consent and that means 14 year olds can consent!
Then his brother spoke up in an interview with the Washington Examiner.
“He’s clean as a hound’s tooth,” Ziegler claimed, before relying on Scripture to defend Moore.
“Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” Ziegler said choosing his words carefully before invoking Christ. “Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
Joseph, according to Jewish custom at the time, was probably 19 or 20. We don’t know for sure his age, but nothing except people like Ziegler and Moore and their crew suggest he was an old man. We don’t know Mary’s age, but according to custom she would have been 15 or older and already menstruating at a time that the average age for that was 17. Mary and Joseph were not a creepy inappropriate couple. They were just a couple that was an appropriate age to marry throughout most of history but today in the West we would say was “young.”
I realized through all of this that the very teaching that Mary was a young teenager probably 13 or 14 was the result of Patriarchy that wants to sexualize young girls. This teaching about Mary that says she was able to consent to God which means this little girl in front of you can consent to whatever you want to do to her is sick and twisted. This teaching that Joseph was in his 30’s and married a child bride is the disgusting result of a sick male fantasy.
This entire picture of Mary is pedophillic and has nothing to do with Scripture!
The Biblical Mary doesn’t have a #MeToo story to post – at least not from what we’re told in Scripture.
The Historical Mary . . . The woman whose story has been twisted and used as justification for everyone who has been assaulted based on this false teaching about her . . . She definitely has a place in the #MeToo Revolution!