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07 September 2016


Oh CR, I am *so* glad that you read and reviewed this! It really reassured me that I was correct in not buying it for my library* and also that -- despite it being apparently aimed directly at my interests in Biblical criticism, Church history, and women and sexuality in religion -- I absolutely did not need to read it for myself.

It baffles me how anyone could take Schaberg's work and pervert it into an argument that a) Mary was a prostitute ** and b) therefore prostitution should be legalized. The whole thrust of Schaberg's analysis (which I don't entirely buy, but I don't think is, ahem, illegitimate either) is that Matthew and Luke were aware of a tradition that stated Jesus was conceived in *rape*, and that the "begetting of the Holy Spirit" was a gloriously subversive act of grace transforming the depths of degradation, humiliation, and abuse into the eruption of the redemptive presence of God.

It takes balls (tiny shrivelled ones) to think that this radically compassionate feminist Christology somehow supports the pathetic fantasies of an overgrown boy who fantasizes he is being "kind" to the women he objectifies, attempts to cheat, and enjoys hurting.

*but I am also really glad that it is available in public libraries. I just didn't want to be the one. I prefer to restrict myself to buying only one GN a year that will put my job in jeopardy, and I'd much prefer to fill that slot this year with Rokudenashiko's joyful WHAT IS OBSCENITY? (which I highly recommend)

** like you, I don't care one way or the other if she was a prostitute, a virgin, or a rodeo barrel-riding champion (although that last would be AWESOME). To steal a famous punchline, when it comes to the BVM, I stand with Paul.

On your last point regarding the Bible, I absolutely understand what you mean. I grew up Baptist, and that's a tradition that reveres the Bible and studies it intently. In that universe, people do all kinds of backflips to eliminate inconsistencies and draw conclusions that aren't there. It was a struggle for me because I could still see they were there. I became Episcopalian a few years ago, and although we read the Bible and take it seriously, we also (mostly) acknowledge the fuzziness. We put our emphasis on the Eucharist instead, which suits me fine.

And I have GOT to read Lost Girls. I've had it out of the library twice, and it came due before I could get to it both times. I'm going to wait until I'm sure I'll read it next before I try again.

Oh, Hapax,
Thank you for your comment. My only thought when writing this post was, wow, I am really babbling on now. But there were so many more things I could have said about these books!
In all fairness, you can't call these things I do reviews--they're more like "reactions." I don't know my bible or religious scholarship, so I'm glad you could enlighten me about the nature of Schaberg's book. Your sentence (and the idea): ""begetting of the Holy Spirit" was a gloriously subversive act of grace transforming the depths of degradation, humiliation, and abuse into the eruption of the redemptive presence of God"...that made me very happy. What an interesting and hopeful idea.
Yeah, I'm glad it was in my library too. It sure has given me a lot to think about it. But yeah, I'm ready for something different...perhaps What is Obscenity will fill the bill!
Amen for the barrel-riding champion BVM!

I know and am related to some very nice people who take the Bible very seriously. But when they start pulling out exact quotes to "prove" things to me...well, it's not very nice, but it always makes me giggle. At the very least I want to say, "Oh, is that what it says in the original Aramaic?" (Or Greek or what have you.) I lean more towards religions that co-exist peacefully with the fuzziness myself.

And yes, I do think you have to read Lost Girls. It's not happy but I thought THAT was a work that really "humanized" prostitutes--if they needed that--seeing how so many women got into escort work to provide money for family, babies, boyfriends, geez. As I say often to the boys around here: it's a tough old world.

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