God's Divine Sperm? Lib Church Shakes Up Story of Jesus' Birth
A progressive New Zealand Church wants you to know that not all Christians are lame. To that end, they've put up a billboard displaying a post-coital Mary gazing longingly at the sky (that's where God lives), while Joseph lays next to her looking dejected. It reads "Poor Joseph. God was a tough act to follow."
The purpose of the billboard, according to St. Matthew's website , is to highlight the absurdity of literal Biblical interpretation. "The Christmas billboard outside St Matthew-in-the-City lampoons literalism and invites people to think again about what a miracle is. Is the miracle a male God sending forth his divine sperm, or is the miracle that God is and always has been among the poor?" writes Vicar Glynn Cardy.
Here's the billboard:
Here's some more really nice, smart stuff from Cardy:
The Christmas billboard on a local fundamentalist church sums up this thesis. It reads: “Jesus born 2 die 4 u!” His birth was just an h’orderve before the main Calvary course.
No doubt on Christmas Eve when papers print the messages of Church leaders a few of them will serve up this fundamentalist thesis wrapped in a nice story.
Progressive Christianity believes the Christmas stories are fictitious accounts designed to introduce the radical nature of the adult Jesus. They contrast the Lord and Saviour Caesar with the anomaly of a new ‘lord’ and ‘saviour’ born illegitimate in a squalid barn. At Bethlehem low-life shepherds and heathen travelers are welcome while the powerful and the priests aren’t. The stories introduce the topsy-turvy way of God, where the outsiders are invited in and the insiders ushered out.
Progressive Christianity doesn’t overlook Jesus’ life and rush to his death. Rather it sees the radical hospitality he offered to the poor, the despised, women, children, and the sick, and says: ‘this is the essence of God’. His death was a consequence of the offensive nature of that hospitality and his resurrection a symbolic vindication.
The site describes some of the tenets of progressive Christianity. Here's an interesting one:
Invite all people to participate in our community and worship life without insisting that they become like us in order to be acceptable (including (including but not limited to):
o believers and agnostics,
o conventional Christians and questioning sceptics,
o women and men,
o those of all sexual orientations and gender identities,
o those of all races and cultures,
o those of all classes and abilities,
o those who hope for a better world and those who have lost hope
Pay attention creationists! And Catholic Church! And U.S. Evengelicals! And some of the really bitchy atheists that spit on all forms of religious belief!
Tana Ganeva is an AlterNet editor. Follow her on Twitter.