The Bible story: holy shit

Conception through the left earhole, a 14-year-old virgin impregnated by God, and other wacky Easter tales.
 
by Dave Hallsworth
 
It's Easter again, that time which the Christian Churches claim is the anniversary of the crucifixion of Joshua Ben Joseph (aka Jesus Christ) by the Roman occupiers of Jerusalem. Maybe it's also about time some of the followers of Christianity, the remaining faithful, asked what exactly it is they're putting their faith in.

The story goes that, as was common practice in those days, a 14-year-old virgin was married to a 90-year-old carpenter (what is known as a January/December union). And because the husband was so old, God was justified in coming down to Earth and having his way with the 14-year-old – in the words of the Bible, 'covering her', presumably as a stallion is said to 'cover' a mare. The virgin girl then became pregnant, but remained a virgin, and was informed by an archangel that she would bear a son whose name would be Immanuel.

The girl then gave birth in a barn. How she must have suffered! Childbirth is painful at the best of times, never mind when you're 14, still a virgin even though pregnant, and surrounded by the smells of manure and urine, with only a 90-year-old man, a cow and a donkey as midwives. Come to think of it, how her 90-year-old husband must have suffered too.

The strangest claims are accepted by the faithful. The more ridiculous the story, the more rigorously they seem to stick to it. Take the 'virgin birth' – it was foretold by the prophet Isaiah: 'Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.' However, Isaiah went on to say: 'before the child should be able to judge between good and evil, the lands of both Syria and Israel shall have forsaken both their kings.' When this failed to happen Isaiah says, 'And I took unto me…and I went unto the prophetess, and she conceived and bare a son.'

Tom Paine in his book The Age of Reason argues that prophets are like musicians – here Isaiah suggests that prophetesses were sex for hire, or maybe they were just groupies for the musicians. (Strangely enough, the prophetess, like Mary, declined to call her offspring Immanuel.)

Even better, the Roman Catholic Church has it that Mary's mother conceived Mary by the left earhole, and that Mary retained her virginity until her death – despite the fact that the Holy Bible itself (Matthew, chapter xiii, verses 55 and 56) states that Jesus had brothers and sisters.

Mary's forefathers were, it seems, randy so-and-sos. Apparently her grandfather was told by an angel, 'Tell them all to drive their staffs into the soil outside your house'. In the morning they were astounded to see that the staff of Mary's father had sprouted leaves and flowers (perhaps an indication of a good sperm count?). However, like many of the elderly, he couldn't get it up and was forced to use exotic techniques that have been lost to us with time. Conceiving by the left earhole is certainly not mentioned anywhere else since that date.

Still, at least the Churches are no longer allowed to cut out our intestines and burn them before our eyes for not believing their childish tales. The rest of us should forget the Holy Story (or should that be "holey" story?) and stick to scoffing Easter eggs instead.

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