Hail Mary! No Matter What You Say, We’re Full of Grace
Have you heard the news, ladies? We’ve finally been cleared of thousands of years worth of guilt-laden finger wagging at the hands of patriarchal Christianity. When I read this NY Times article on the small scrap of papyrus that had been discovered as containing the passage “And Jesus said to them, my wife”, and was currently being evaluated for authenticity by a team of scholars including scholar, Dr. Karen L. King, from Harvard, I breathed a sigh of relief. After years of growing up and into adulthood with the notion that women and sexuality, inextricably intertwined as this troublesome duo and fraught with the blame for everything that is wrong with the world, had finally been (hopefully) absolved of their sins.
We’ve gotten blamed for just about everything since that first supposed Garden of Eden apple incident. We “tempted” man with our feminine wiles, and with just one bite, suddenly we all had to stop, drop, and roll that fire out of our naughty bits, and cover ourselves. Now it’s been suspected for ages that Mary Magdalene was indeed more than just bosom buddies with our pal, Jesus, but the church rears at the very notion that they were anything other than “prostitute” and “celibate” holy man. And throughout history, here we have remained, denizens of the beast that is womanhood; a succubus holding the reins of humanity and riding it into sin.
Still, I have believed it to be true all along that there was a bond there; a partnership, a love affair of some kind that not even thousands of years of dictated patriarchal dogma could undo or bury. Here in the year 2012, maybe we will finally unveil proof of its existence that not even the church can deny. There’s a lot of testing to still be done, and plenty of Vatican and other churchly scholars are already pronouncing it a forgery, but whatever the case turns out to be, I’m content in my heart with my belief that there was a bond beyond the realm of mere friendship between them.
I suppose the men of the time were threatened by a woman being seen as a “disciple” of Jesus; an equal, a partner in reliable counsel, and trusted confidante. That’s the other controversial phrase contained on the papyrus: “She will be able to be my disciple”. In those times that was just unheard of, so I imagine that this societal “blasphemy” might be worthy in their eyes of such name calling as “prostitute” or “whore”. It certainly is telling of their insecurity, and of their threatened masculinity. No wonder they put a hit out on him!
It’s almost as if it was easier to denounce him as the son of God, rather than as a traitor to the comforts of their male dominated society. To that culture, he was akin to a Goddess worshipping Pagan. He became, in their eyes, something to be purged from the earth to achieve purification from the devious nectar of women.
It would be cleansing of the soul to have all of that women-hate abolished by this one scrap of thousand-year old paper, but it will probably go the way that authentication of the possible Shroud of Turin went in the late 80’s; nowhere fast. We might be doomed to be scapegoat for all the supposed evils of sexuality for some time to come, or we could choose to embrace our femme fatale personas and take control of it. We can stand together and reclaim ourselves and our sexuality as our own; unabashedly and without apology.
Can I get a “Hail Mary”?
Photo Courtesy of Ex Urbe