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Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Episcopal Feminist Epiphany To You

On Stand Firm Greg posted a card one of the Episcopal bishops received from the Presiding Bishop's family:

The caption was:

We don't need no stinkin' patriarchs in TEC!!!! Or any men, for that matter, and that includes you, Joseph. I always thought that Joseph got poor billing in the Holy Family anyway. Without him, what would have happened? Don't tell me that he didn't take a huge amount of abuse over the whole thing, and talk about faith! Mary at least had the Annunciation. All Joseph got was a strange story and someone else's baby, and now I guess he's out of the picture altogether.

No doubt the official TEC creche has no rams standing around. No bulls allowed. For a church that talks so much about inclusiveness, it seems a bit mean to exclude men entirely.

I don't know whether this has anything to do with the fact that 3 or 4 Episcopalian bishops are begging to be let into the Catholic church, but it is hard not to speculate. Perhaps they fear the ritual castration comes next.

Jesus was the eldest of as many as seven children. Joesph got something out of the deal but I suspect that something wasn't an aspect the card senders were interesting in dwelling upon.
Yes, but not in the beginning. Things probably looked pretty bleak in the beginning.
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I really doubt things were much better later on. Poor Jewish peasant family in a rural setting, lots of kids. The relatives of a traitor to both the religious authorities, the secular authorities and and enemy of the financial elites.

But in any case, there is no report of Joesph 12 years after the birth of Jesus. He just drops from view. Assumed dead.

The orthodox Roman Catholic position is that Mary was always a virgin, by implication, Joseph never 'got any'.

I am not a orthodox Christian and I believe that Jesus was adopted by God at the time of his baptism by John.

In ancient times, the male contribution was thought to be a seed, complete as a seed is complete and the only contribution a woman made was a vessel to nurture that seed. By implication, by with Joseph out of the picture, Mary makes no contribution to the child and thus there is no corrupting human contribution.

Genetics notes that both male and female make contribution to a child thus negating the reasoning the need for a virgin birth.

At which point my head starts hurting thinking about it.
I think the idea that women were just the vessel was a medieval idea. It doesn't square at all with the Jewish rule that Jewishness flows through the mother or with a bunch of other traditions. An idea like that can only come from a group of people which are quite separated from breeding stock animals. One thing that's quite clear from the Old Testament is that the Jews through the early establishment of Israel had some sort of disease theory and were nomadic, so they couldn't have held that idea.

Still, I can see your point about Joseph. He's not in the gospels when all the action starts, although Mary is mentioned. I think one tradition says that he was an elderly man at the time he married Mary, which would take him out of the picture by the time Jesus was in his thirties. He also had probably had another earlier wife.
Joseph, I mean! Joseph probably had another wife before Mary!

What I find so fascinating is that people want to restructure this story to fit the times. Personally I always read the Bible in the mindset of "What did this mean to the people who wrote it?"

It just seems boring to remake everything over all the time.
No doubt the official TEC creche has no rams standing around. No bulls allowed. For a church that talks so much about inclusiveness, it seems a bit mean to exclude men entirely.

ISLAM welcomes Men.
And promises payback in the bargain.
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