So will you go to see "The Nativity" (the feature film about Jesus's parents)? Critics hate it. The story outside the film is more interesting that the film itself, apparently. Keisha (who plays Mary) is living a wayward, updated version of the virgin in real life: she's 16 and pregnant out of wedlock. Chief differences between the two: Keisha had sex to get pregnant and the father is her 19-year-old boyfriend. Oh, and I think we're short a couple of angelic visitations as well.
There's a bit of a bru-ha-ha over why the Pope didn't go to the Vatican's premiere showing. Some "eager to spread gossip" bloggers are saying he didn't attend because of the unwed teen playing the part of Mary. You know, not wanting to support the idea of pregnancy outside of marriage and all.
Ah, but I think that reasoning is too predictable, too cliched. What if he had more artistic concerns in mind and thought: typecast. Okay, I'll knock it off. Just a bit punch drunk after all the debate over on jesuscreed.org.
The whole story got under my skin today. Thing of it is, I just don't know how any of us can speak with such authority about what happened to Mary. Maybe a better title for this film would have been, "There's Something About Mary."
Our perpetual virgin is so shrouded in dogma, layers of narrative, veneration, doctrinal development (and deconstruction), mythology, reported appearances, and thousands of years of devotion (as well as equally passionate and devoted repudiation by hardcore Protestants) that no one can think straight about her.
Talk about a taboo topic! Who can challenge the nativity?
So I'm curious. What do you, my esteemed readers, believe about Mary? Was she a virgin? Ever after as well? Did she really ride a donkey into Bethlehem and give birth in a stable? Did she and Joseph receive angelic visitations?
And will you see the film?