“Our culture of purity celebrates the Virgin Mary. As a rape victim, that hurts me,” wrote Rev. Ruth Everhart for – what else? – The Washington Post. That was the title of an article that turns a beautiful religious story into a petty, uninspiring message.
“Sexual purity” is a fixation according to the pastor and she blames it on the Virgin Mary because of the “impossibly high bar” she set.
The pastor’s unfortunate and vicious rape is being blamed on the Blessed Mother and “patriarchy”.
She gets physical in the piece. “I could say more about living in a female body, but it might be helpful if you just checked in with your own body right now. Is your body feeling quiet and clean and pure at the moment? Or is it hungry or noisy or smelly? Does it have needs?”
“That’s what I suspected,” she continued. “Bodies are like that. Even bodies that don’t bleed or ovulate or lactate. Bodies have needs.”
It’s not Mary’s fault that her body was turned into an “idol of sexual purity”, it’s the church’s, she writes.
“Mary is not responsible for what we’ve done to her story,” she writes. “Church culture has overfocused on virginity and made it into an idol of sexual purity. When it comes to female experience, the church seems compelled to shrink and distort and manipulate.”
To some people, “vaginas are inherently dirty,” she states. “They can never be purified.”
Yikes! What people does she know?
“We want to pretend sexuality is something we can lock in a box and keep on a shelf. But a lockbox won’t work. Neither will a chastity belt or a purity ring. Certainly not the abstinence pledges they make young folks sign,” she writes.
When did it become wrong to want young people to wait and what does any of that have to do with rape except in her mind?
Everhart asks the Virgin Mary, “How do you feel about what the patriarchy has done with you?”
Mary would probably say she’s more worried about the weird feminists.
The pastor doesn’t want to hear about Mary as sexually pure, just about the incarnation.
“The world still needs to hear from Mary. What Mary gives us is the gospel — not a gospel of sanitized sexuality, but the gospel of incarnation. Or as it says in John: ‘The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen His glory.’”
As a Catholic, I can count on one hand how many times “sexual purity” was mentioned, but when it was, it was to teach the value of purity or is that not a value any longer? Teaching the importance of protecting our bodies and valuing them and valuing our reputations to whatever degree possible is a good thing.
The author really should have written a piece about what rape has done to her psychologically and should have left the Virgin Mary out of it. Changing religious doctrine because of violence inflicted against her is a bit unfair to the Virgin Mary and the church.
Nothing is sacrosanct to the feminists.