The Story of God Impregnating Mary Isn’t a Story About Rape December 8, 2018

The Story of God Impregnating Mary Isn’t a Story About Rape

A psychology professor at Minnesota State University is making headlines for tweeting that God essentially raped Mary when she became pregnant with Jesus.

Eric Sprankle, Psy.D, an associate professor at the Minnesota State University, angered Fox News host Tucker Carlson and guest commentator Mark Steyn with his Monday comments.

He wrote: “The virgin birth story is about an all-knowing, all-powerful deity impregnating a human teen. There is no definition of consent that would include that scenario. Happy Holidays.”

He later added: “The biblical god regularly punished disobedience. The power difference (deity vs mortal) and the potential for violence for saying ‘no’ negates her ‘yes.’ To put someone in this position is an unethical abuse of power at best and grossly predatory at worst.”

For what it’s worth, I understand the point that Sprankle is trying to make. It’s a similar situation to that of David and Bathsheba: a powerful king who sees a nude woman bathing and decides he must have her — even killing her husband to cover up her eventual pregnancy. The idea of “consent” is sketchy at best.

The difference between God and Mary versus David and Bathsheba? We never hear Bathsheba’s side of the story.

By contrast, in the New Testament, we learn what happens to Mary through her own actual words. In the passage known as the Magnificat, in Luke 1:46-55, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior… he who is mighty has done great things for me.”

That doesn’t sound like a woman who believes she’s been violated. That sounds like enthusiastic consent.

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