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Why I am not a Catholic nor Protestant Christian, Part 1: The “Virgin” Mary

03/18/10

Permalink 09:30:00 pm, by Norgaard Norgaard Email , 713 words   English (US)
Categories: Why I am not a Catholic nor Protestant Christian

Why I am not a Catholic nor Protestant Christian, Part 1: The “Virgin” Mary

I want to begin a new series of posts that give some details about my thought process that led me to renounce traditional Christianity (of which Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, and Orthodox forms are all considered traditional). As I stated in earlier posts, I was raised Roman Catholic and I was a practicing Catholic until my mid 20's. I am now 31 years old, so it was not really that long ago that I stopped having faith in Jesus, the Bible, and Catholic dogma.

Let me begin by saying that I never fully believed everything that I was told to believe. I never fully accepted all of the Catholic dogma. One thing that struck me as odd when I was young, probably elementary school age, is the Catholic obsession with the virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was almost elevated to the level of a god, and this seemed wrong to me. In my household, there was a 5 or 6 year period where my Mom wanted us all to say the rosary regularly. For those who don't know, "saying the rosary" is reciting a set group of prayers with the aid of a beaded necklace, which is, as you might guess, called a rosary. This involves saying 10 Hail Mary's and 1 Our Father in repetition, and occasionally saying other prayers like Glory Be, etc. I couldn't understand why we were supposed to say 10 prayers to Mary and only 1 to God. It got really repetitive too. Really annoying.

Mary was referred to as "Mother of God", yet I understood God as being above all! I did believe at the time that God came to earth in human form as Jesus, but that Mary was only the physical mother of Jesus, not the actual mother of God.

We were told that Mary never sinned. I learned though that the Bible never said anything of the sort. I do not any longer believe that the Bible is true. There is overwhelming evidence that quite a bit of the Bible is false, and that it only has the occasional half-truth, but at the time I did believe that the Bible was true because I had been told this and because I hadn't actually read much of it myself.

And of course Jesus' mother was often referred to as the "Virgin Mary", yet the Bible does not say that Mary was a virgin her whole life. It does say that Mary was a Virgin when Jesus was conceived and later born, but in the Gospels it does refer to Jesus' sisters and brothers, and there are two books of the Bible that are purportedly written by Jesus' brothers. Another interesting thing is that the Bible implies that Jesus was a direct male-line descendant of King David through Joseph. The Bible refers to Joseph as Jesus' father. At the time, I was confused about this, but now I know that Jesus did of course have a father and it was Joseph. Mary was not at all a virgin when Jesus was conceived. Joseph is responsible for that.

Probably the reason why the church wanted to make such a big deal about Mary being a virgin is because of fear of sexuality. They like the concept of motherhood, but fear sexuality so for them the ideal would be a mother who is also a virgin. They like the result, but not the means, even though the means are perfectly natural. The legend of virgin birth may have been inspired by earlier Egyptian myths that were similar. Also it might have started as a misunderstanding of Isaiah's prophecy that a young woman would give birth to the Messiah. In Hebrew, the word for young woman is the same for virgin. I have no reason, though, to believe that Isaiah did anything more than make up his so-called prophecies. I also have no reason to believe that the concept of a messiah actually exists.

I think I will stop for now. In future posts, I will be covering more Catholic concepts such as communion and sainthood and general Christian concepts like the Bible and Jesus.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Is faith virtuous, or is it harmful? Let your voice be heard in the forum.
You can also email the me at brandon@enlightenedworldview.com

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