Why Mary's virginity is so important to christians.

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LogicFTW's picture
Yep this whole "virginity =

Yep this whole "virginity = purity" thing really needs to go away, it is incredibly sexist. Is a man considered better, or more pure because he is a virgin? In many cultures its the other way around, a man is not a "man" until he is no longer a virgin. Non-incidentally there is no way to prove a man is a virgin either.

And of course the cruelest joke is for a vast majority of all people in the last 2-3 thousand years they had no way to truly verify virginity. A young girl simply not using a side saddle, and instead the traditional saddle when riding a horse could "lose the evidence" of her "virginity." (As well as many other non sex activities that can do the same.) Where as for some woman, (on the rarer side but still very possible,) they could have sex with many different partners and still appear to be a virgin to those that supposedly were experts and checked the status of the hymen.

The only definitive "proof" they would have is if a woman was ever pregnant or not, and many times the consequences of that were so great women had to perform highly dangerous primitive abortion procedures in secret or face being a society outcast. Even if they were raped.

Sky Pilot's picture
The biblical method for

The biblical method for proving virginity was for the father to jam a rag up his daughter's vagina the day before she got married. He then kept the bloody cloth as a token of her virginity and if there were any questions he showed the crowd the bloody cloth. In the case of Mary there's no evidence that her father ever did that to her so there's no token of her virginity. Therefore she wasn't a true virgin by Bible standards.

jonthecatholic's picture
I think the virginity=purity

I think the virginity=purity thing in Christianity simply comes from how the sexual act is reserved for married couples. It's considered a sin to have sexual relations outside of marriage. If Mary was married and had sex, it wouldn't be considered a sin.

As Christians believe Mary to be sinless (or Catholics and Orthodox Churches at least), and she wasn't married, it followed. Mary's sinlessness is another issue. In Catholic tradition, Mary is known as the new arc of the covenant. God made her pure. Sinless and Virgin from the moment of her conception to her death so she could be suitable to carry His son.

Note: I'll have to make a disclaimer here as my understanding on the subject is pretty limited.

xenoview's picture
So your saying that god was

So your saying that god was Mary's father? So god had sex with his own daughter?

jonthecatholic's picture
God can't have sex with Mary.

God can't have sex with Mary. He doesn't have a physical body to do such a thing. He sent the Holy Spirit to conceive Jesus in Mary. No sex. She just one day became pregnant after she accepted the invitation to be the Mother of God.

xenoview's picture

I believe that god created Adam and Eve in Genesis 1 in his image. That would imply that god has a body.

mykcob4's picture

Jon the Catholic is cherry picking of what to take literally and what not, AND he is interjecting bullshit that isn't even in the fucking bible to fit his narrative. "Mary accepted the invitation to be the mother of god" bullshit!

Nyarlathotep's picture
mykcob4 - Jon the Catholic is

mykcob4 - Jon the Catholic is cherry picking of what to take literally and what not

Have you ever met a theist who didn't cherry pick their religious text on what to take literally and what not too? Then often go on to claim their religious text gives an objective standard for morality?

jonthecatholic's picture
That is pretty confusing I

That is pretty confusing I know. You're talking about Bible only Christians.

It's like a constitution only rule of law. If everyone just reads the Constitution and applies it to their own life, imagine the chaos. As it is, God didn't just leave a book for us to do what we want (this is what happened but not what he wanted us to do). He left us an infallible book and together with it, an infallible interpreter in the form of the chuch.

Going back to my analogy, the constitution has the Supreme Court as the final arbiter as to what the laws mean and say.

LogicFTW's picture
Quite a claim to say the

Quite a claim to say the bible and the church (as interpreter,) is infallible. God did not leave any book at all. Humans wrote the bibles, translated the bibles, edited the bibles, print the bibles, distribute the bibles. And there are literately 1000's of different books and versions of the bible all claiming to be the "word of god."

Much of just about any version of the bible talks about how fallible humans are, suddenly when it comes to all things bible humans are suddenly infallible?

I suppose you can say any perceived error with the bible is just us interpreting it wrong, and other "special" people can simply explain it away as us interpreting it wrong, and it is indeed perfect, we just "cant see it." But that sort of logic again takes us to a place where that sort of logic can prove/disprove anything, and is therefore worthless.

jonthecatholic's picture
It's funny you say it that

It's funny you say it that way but let me make another analogy again to the constitution. It mentions the right to life and yet in the states, abortion is legal. Tell me, is this a contradiction or a perceived contradiction? You and I may have different views on this topic but at the end of the day, we don't have the authority to define what "life" means in the constitution. It's the government that has that authority. So they defend abortion as being an essential part of women's rights and not a threat to life and may in fact protect life.

You see the analogy I'm drawing here?

LogicFTW's picture
If I read back through the

If I read back through the thread a bit, you are trying to paint an analogy of: the use of religious text (bible) as an objective standard to morality is a bit like the US constitution being used as an objective standard of morality. The constitution instead relies on: the supreme court to interpret it, the supreme court is an integral component to the constitution to be useful, (just like the bible relies on the church to interpret it for it to be useful.)

I think you are also trying to sort of say: the bible is fallible, the church is fallible, but between the both of them they are closer to infallible. (Remember you used the words infallible to describe both, you are welcome to take back that absolute anytime.)

It mentions the right to life and yet in the states, abortion is legal. Tell me, is this a contradiction or a perceived contradiction?

Heh, you opened up another can of worms there. Hmm how to reply w/o risking this thread going badly off topic..

Well, in short, their is no contradiction on abortion/right to life between the constitution and the states. In Roe VS Wade a fetus is not considered a human so it does not get the rights of a human. So, no contradiction on abortion being legal in the states, the supreme court interprets constitution, and the supreme court decided that a fetus is not a human life. (Just the potential for one.)

Perhaps pick a different topic to use as an analogy? But I think I get your analogy despite the fact there was no contradiction in the analogy you gave, but I think the contradiction part of it, was not important to the analogy you were trying to convey.
Additional information if you want it.

In Roe vs Wade, paraphrasing, the supreme court ruled: a fetus as not human, just the potential to be human. On top of this, rights (but not the definition of human,) were granted by 2nd and 3rd trimester to be chosen by the states.

Fetuses, based on viability and other measures are granted some special rights, just not the "human" rights because they are not considered human. (At least on a federal/state level.)

1st term abortion is fully legal in every state, (by federal law.) Some states make it impossible to get even get a 1st term legal abortion by blocking the formation of clinics, clinic admission, and methods, using their own state laws. 2nd term and 3rd term, and viability is where the states begin to differ, with nearly all states making 3rd term abortion illegal except under the most extreme conditions. We also know this because there is nothing stopping any pregnant woman crossing state lines to get an abortion except time and expensive of the travel. (Which very much unfairly burdens the poor in exercising their right compared to the rich.)

In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), the Court rejected Roe's trimester framework while affirming its central holding that a woman has a right to abortion until fetal viability. The Roe decision defined "viable" as "potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid." Justices in Casey acknowledged that viability may occur at 23 or 24 weeks, or sometimes even earlier, in light of medical advances.

Anyone, of any age can buy "the day after pills, plan b" no id required, you can grab it off the shelf anywhere in the US. All you need to sell plan b, is a licence to sell general non restricted goods. Anyone can give anyone plan b for free, states cannot block the sale of Plan B (or other day after pills) in any way. Most people consider the day after pill to a form of abortion.

jonthecatholic's picture
Let's not have the topic go

Let's not have the topic go off again. I simply brought up the abortion/right to life example as an example of "contradiction or perceived contradiction." But, there are still a bunch of people who think that there exists a contradiction so my analogy still stands. One such person who thinks the Supreme Court erred in Roe vs Wade was (oh wait!) Jane Roe!

On this topic I will speak no more as you said, the Supreme Court has spoken. It's a court with fallible people but we accept their judgement ln these issues.

LogicFTW's picture
Hey I agree with the analogy.

Hey I agree with the analogy. The constitution is fallible, the constitution relies on the supreme court for interpretation, it is also fallible. The end result is something better, but even the end result is certainly fallible.

And if I read your analogy correctly the same is true with the bible and the church. Both fallible, end result is better, but it is also fallible. RCC/pope even say they are humble and fallible.

So it would be an error for people to say the bible is perfect the church is perfect, or the end result is perfect, its all just people writing about god and interpreting god. Very prone to possible error, so we must all admit we can not take the bible/church as 100% truth. Followers just decide what parts they like and works for them, well aware that everyone's opinion of god is going to vary at least slightly. With no actual god descending down and making divine proclamations and divine, powerful writing that leave no room for interpretation, all people can do is just guess at what their supposed god wants.

jonthecatholic's picture
If the RCC is a purely human

If the RCC is a purely human institution, yes. That would be true. And if the Bible were a purely human book, that would also be true.

We believe however, that God works through the RCC to lead it into no error as Jesus promised his followers. From the RCC, we get the Bible and as such, she and only she has the authority to interpret it and as she's protected from error in her teachings, the church has infallibility (or the fullness of truth). That is not to say that the leaders of the church cannot sin. Even Peter, the first pope, sinned gravely.

But since you don't believe that God exists anyway and you'll still see the Church and the Bible as purely of human construct, you may be able to say that.

xenoview's picture
The RCC and the bible are

The RCC and the bible are just human constructs. Humans use religion to control people and promote political agendas. Can you prove sin is real? The RCC is infallible? The RCC has the fullness of truth?

jonthecatholic's picture
It takes a lot to prove all

It takes a lot to prove all of those. It starts with asking, "Is God real?" then, "If he is real, has He revealed Himself to us?" then you go to, "Did God found a church on Earth which He promised will be protected from error for all time?" and then, "Is that church still standing today?" then, "Which one is it?"

It's a long way. If I try to convince you of anything and you don't even believe that a god exists, everything will indeed sound gibberish. For now, just accept that this is what Catholics believe. You need not agree with it. But this is what we believe to be true.

LogicFTW's picture
I certainly accept that's

I certainly accept that's what followers of the RCC believes.

I am always curious how they defend their beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence that is to the contrary of their belief. The more I talk and debate with theist the more I begin to understand just how they believe. I figured out a while ago, I probably will not convince any theist that visit these boards to renounce their whole god idea, but I do enjoy debating with theist like you, I enjoy anonymous debate. I present something, I see the response, the other side presents something and I come up with my response. I rarely if ever cannot discuss these sort of things face to face in reality w/o fear of alienating possible friends of family, or some sort of repercussion.

I feel like I can finally sort of debate with family members of friends that are theist in this sort of proxy here on these boards. I can see their point of view w/o upsetting them. And simply learn about other view points.

mykcob4's picture


No, you don't. You don't get to compare the U.S.Constitution with the bible.
1) The Constitution has the Federalist Papers that explain the Constitution.
2) The bible has nothing, no substantive proof, no corroboration, nothing but wild interpretation.
3) The bible isn't "infallible". In fact, it is full of mistakes and contradictions.
4) The church, every church is fallible, as a matter of historical record.
5) The SCOTUS doesn't get to interpret the Constitution willy nilly. Precedent of law ways heavily in every court decision.

jonthecatholic's picture
Saying the Bible has no

Saying the Bible has no substantive proof, no corroboration, just interpretation is just so laughable and proves that again, you're not basing much of your statements on research. Before you say a contradiction exists shouldn't you at least check with the source? You, know, where the Bible came from? The 73-book version. It came from the Catholic Church way back in the 4th century just so you don't have to look far. It might be prudent on your part to see what the RCC says these things mean as a lot of things have been lost in translation, understandably.

Say I have this sentence,

"I never said you stole money"

There are many ways to interpret this sentence.
Putting stress on the first word could mean I'm implying someone else said it.
Stress on the third word may imply I never said it but I thought it
Stress on the fourth word may imply that someone else stole the money and so on and so forth.

The point I'm driving at here is unless you go to the source of the Bible, the RCC, you won't ever get a clear picture of what the entire book means. I mean, this is a 6 word sentence I presented and already i have 5 different meaning for it and we have the Bible which has a lot more words.

Like the old man said to Link. It's dangerous to go alone.

Nyarlathotep's picture
You'd think and all knowing,

You'd think an all knowing, all powerful deity could author a book that wouldn't be a̶m̶b̶i̶t̶i̶o̶u̶s̶ ambiguous.

LogicFTW's picture
Did you mean ambiguous?


I certainly see no divine work in the bible as well, it feels a lot more like it was written by people over 1000 years ago and heavily edited since then, then some sort of divine special book from a supposed "all powerful" being.

mykcob4's picture

I HAVE researched where the bible came from. There wasn't a "catholic" church in 400 ADE. The "bible" came from Emporer Constantine. And all that guff that a sentence can be interpreted many ways is bullshit and just YOU apologizing for the fact that there is NO consistent idea of christianity.
The point I am driving at is that IF there is a god and only one god then every law every rule and the authority would be consistent, not convoluted or speculative. That isn't the case. There are millions of versions of christianity. There are thousands of versions of "the bible". There is no consistent word. There are only political narratives.
You and other believers claim that the inconsistencies arise from translations. Well, that throws out the idea of divine inspiration and infallibility.
The fact is that you and every believer has to move the goal posts to fit YOUR narrative. We call them apologists.
BTW I know what the actual meaning of "catholic" means, do you?

jonthecatholic's picture
It seems you're holding very

It seems you're holding very stubbornly to your idea that the Bible came from Constantine even with no way to back it up with reliable sources. Anyway, I'll go along.

What does Catholic mean? I do know what it means. I'm actually curious to see if you get it right.

mykcob4's picture
"Catholic" means universal as

"Catholic" means universal as in whole. It means that the religion is the entirety of the human story which by definition is a boastful lie. The church didn't know that the earth revolved around the sun. They had no idea of the new world or native Americans. They were completely ignorant of the dinosaurs or early humans and Neanderthals. They had no concept of germs, viruses, bacteria. They didn't even know the entire animal world. They didn't have a clue about Australia or any of the Pacific Islands. They had no real concept about any sciences. They were awash in myths, folklore, and campfire stories.
You say that the written bible was compiled from oral history. The truth is that the written bible was compiled from myths and folklore. History had nothing to do with it. Also at the time, when it was compiled it was politically edited to fit an emporers agenda. Everything in the first written text of the bible is designed for blind obedience to one person. That person being a person that has "divine" power.
The whole purpose of the bible is to force BLIND OBEDIENCE. The stories are allegory, fable, myth. Some things in the bible are true to the time it was written, not before or after. The reason for that is to gain credibility. Things like a geological reference. Beyond those facts, the bible is pure myth. And, over the years, especially within the catholic hierarchy, the bible has been heavily edited to fit new political agendas of the popes that came after Constantine. So don't hand me any of this sanctimonious garbage that the church or the bible is infallible. If it was, it would have never needed to be altered. There would have never needed to be ecumenical counsels to determine what are truths and what should be excluded. There would not be contradictions, additions (like everything past Mark 13).
I am holding stubbornly to the truth. You are holding stubbornly to a bible that has zero credibility.
You want so badly for the bible to be true and yet you and every believer have failed to produce one shred of evidence that a god was anything more than pure imagination.
Let's take the bible out of it. Without the bible can you prove your god? At some point, you have to hazard a guess to bridge a glaring gap in evidence.
Like saying that everything in the universe appears to be "by design" that it is too organized to be by accident. It may appear to be organized, but you can't prove that a god organized it.
Or the things are in motion crap. Saying that things are in motion so there has to be a first cause, that a god was the first cause. You can't prove that a god was the first cause or even that there needed to be a first cause.
And the worst evidence of all, the "I have a personal experience that a god exists" bullshit. There is no way to confirm that so it isn't reliable or factual.
And the NDE crap. People that have a near death experience may truly believe that they have seen their god, but that isn't proof at all. Peoples brains are filled from the moment that they are born that there is a god, and continuously told that when they die they will meet this god. Their minds are conditioned to have that experience. They are even told what that experience will be like, hence the many testimonies that are similar. It's called suggestive reasoning. Magicians use it all of the time. People that think that they have been abducted or have seen aliens have the same type of experience.
You keep saying that I don't have good research, yet you don't apply the same scrutiny to your own belief. Your faith gets a free pass on logic, fact, and reason. Even though it isn't reasonable at all.
If as you say that the bible was derived from oral history, just think about that. How ambiguous and erroneous must it be if that were the case? Even in a court of law, eye witness testimony is considered unreliable. It must be and has to be corroborated by an independent source to be accepted.
There is no independent source for anything that christianity professes. No concrete evidence, nothing.
You can make excuses about the ambiguities in the bible as being from mistakes in translation, but if there is a god and the bible is the word of this god, and the bible is divinely inspired, and the bible is infallible, there would only be one bible, with no errors redrafts, additions or exclusions, no contradictions, no misinterpretations, no problems with translations, nothing would be wrong.
I know it is hard for you to swallow, to realize that what you hold sacred is nothing more than a big fucking mistake, but that is what it is, a big fat lie. Yet YOU want all of us to accept YOUR god, YOUR faith YOUR bible, on face value on faith, because you have NO fucking proof that any of it is true!

jonthecatholic's picture
You surprise me by getting

You surprise me by getting the meaning of "Catholic" right. I applaud you for that. But then you go and misinterpret it then base your entire argument on that.

You say it's the entirety of human story but that's just not the case. It means something closer to universal. We believe that Christ came to save all from sin. And he loves all. Even followers of all other religions. and surprise! Even you.

You then go on to hold on to your belief about how the Bible was created by Contrantine without so much as a reliable source. Then you throw away the non-biblical proofs for god that most theists might use. Then go on to say that I can only prove that God exists thru the Bible (a reasoning I'm not willing to accept by the way as it's circular).

I haven't mentioned any NDE. Maybe other people have. Just because it's a personal experience, doesn't mean it's not real.

I think you cling onto so many ideas so tighty that that can't possibly be wrong. But what if they were? What if the Bible wasn't just a contruct of Constantine? What if NDEs are real experiences? What if God does exist?

I'm on my side asking the opposite versions of these questions. Why do think I'm hanging out in atheist forums?

LogicFTW's picture
I know you were not talking

I know you were not talking to me, but I wanted to jump in and ask 1 simple question.

How do you dismiss the possibility that were are all living in a "matrix" like construct. Or maybe even just you are, and the rest of us are just machines to fool you into thinking you are not alone?

jonthecatholic's picture
That's an interesting thought

That's an interesting thought and I actually had to ponder over it some time.

There exists a relationship between a creator and a creation. I'm not talking about anything divine here. I'm talking about artist-painting, programmer-program. Where the creator is not the creation and the the creation is always less than the creator.

If all we lived in was a matrix (or a computer program), I'd expect to find some kinks in maybe the rendering of the sky in the morning, or some other incosistencies in the world like a certain area taking too much time to load. I actually decided that it was highly impossible after meeting people from different cultures. They were too intricate to be made up. New born babies would also introduce a strange inconsistency. What if it was just me? Yeah, it's all too intricate the things I've seen so far. And I'm still 27!

Nyarlathotep's picture
Jon the Catholic - They were

Jon the Catholic - They were too intricate to be made up.

What dimensions/units are intricacies measured in; and how many is too many to be "made up"? I know, it sounds like a silly question; but I'm serious.

mykcob4's picture
I say the first real bible

I say the first real bible was written in 324ade because that is when it was written.
"Overall, by the end of the fourth century C.E. there was general agreement about which books should have scriptural status. Although early Christians wrote quite a few letters and books, only a few became widely accepted. For a work to be considered sacred in the fourth century and beyond, it seems that it had to claim apostolic authority: the work had to be written or authorized by one of the earliest Christian leaders, especially Paul and the twelve apostles. Apostolic authority required that the books be consistent with the teachings about Jesus and the Trinity that were found in other accepted books and that were current in fourth-century Christianity. As a result, books such as the Gospel of Peter were rejected from most Christian canon lists, and some of the writings deemed noncanonical were lost and only rediscovered in the 19th and 20th centuries."

The oldest bible:

I didn't misinterpret shit. You just don't want to believe it.

When I wrote about NDE's and such, I was writing about the usual excuses made by believers.

Real experiences are not credible because they are subjective and cannot be confirmed, and even more likely the people that claim them are imagining them for all sorts of reasons.

Constantine didn't create the bible. He commissioned it and dictated how it would be edited for political reasons....the same reasons for his conversion....consolidation of power!


What IF god exists? What if grasshoppers had guns? Birds wouldn't fuck with them!
You live in the world of what if, and I live in the world of proven fact.


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