In the age of the Me, Too Movement, many women have claimed their right to tell the truth about their lives. Without the sting of shame or stigma, women, men and non-binary folk alike are stepping into the light and giving voice to the violence against their bodies perpetrated, in particular, by White, Cisgender, Heterosexual Men. Targets of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape refuse to be silent any longer. Thanks to this platform, created by Tarana Burke, they are and will continue to call all men to account—past, present and future.
Quick question: What about God?
Shouldn’t God be listed among those who have defiled the bodies of women, men and children for their own sexual pleasure, ego boost and/or need and desire to exert power over another?
Who’s going to hold God accountable?
Is there one willing to speak up for Mary, to make sure she is recognized, acknowledged, celebrated and honored as a survivor?
No worries; I’ll do it.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was impregnated by God (Matthew 1:18-22). This God—who Western Christianity has painted as White, Cisgender, Christian, Heterosexual and Male—violated Mary’s body. Mary did not grant God consent to use her body to deliver a King, or to justify Jesus or to birth a faith tradition other than the one to which Jesus belonged.
Mary was 12-14 years old. She wasn’t old enough to consent.
That’s the definition of rape.
Yes, you read that right—God raped Mary.
When is God going to atone for this?
When does Mary get her day in court?
Where are the reparations for Mary’s family?
Undoubtedly, many people—particularly those who label themselves Evangelical Christians—will take extreme offense to this audacious claim that God not only raped Mary but gang-raped her.
In the Trinitarian view of Western Christianity taught in almost every modern, mainstream Protestant church through the United States of America, God does not merely represent God’s Self. God is Three in One: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. That means three people raped Mary at the same time.
Today, we call that gang rape.
Some people are enraged reading this.
I’m okay with that.
People have the right to their personal thoughts and feelings, ideas and attitudes. I don’t question that at all. The one question I have is: Why are you mad…at me? I’ve done nothing more than follow the lead of today’s Evangelical Christians.
I read the Bible.
Not only do I read it; I study it.
I’ve been to church consistently.
I’ve been baptized by immersion.
I’ve paid my tithes.
I’ve made disciples of Christ.
I’ve gone on mission trips to feed someone else’s hungry children.
I’ve not only attended but taught both Bible study and Sunday school.
I’ve labeled myself an Evangelical Christian.
Doesn’t that give me the same power to interpret the Bible according to my own understanding?
Why can’t I cherry pick Bible verses to justify every claim I make about God?
What makes me different from you?
Is your understanding of God deeper than mine?
Yes? Please explain.
If your argument is that I don’t have the right to talk about God in this way—that I’m a blasphemous heretic who should never again be given a platform, right back atcha.
That’s my argument, too.
You don’t get to use my God’s name to condemn to hell people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer.
You don’t get to legislate—in the name of Jesus—how parents should care for their child who is Transgender.
You don’t get to deny funding for the same abortion your wives, sisters, daughters and nieces got that your primary care physicians coded differently to aide and abet the hate you spew.
Not in the name of my God!
Where does that leave us—at an impasse?
No, not at all!
It leaves us facing a most wonderful opportunity to stop playing my Leviticus is better than your Leviticus (as my friend, Sharon once said) and begin to think about what is good and worthy of praise…what is true, honorable, right, pure, respected (Philippians 4:8)—to not only think about it but be about it.
Let’s grant informed, quality healthcare to all.
Let’s eradicate poverty rather than punish the poor.
Let’s reform the criminal justice system.
Let’s provide equitable education to every child.
Let’s not create food deserts.
Let’s be real Christians. You know, the ones so motivated by God’s love for us that we live our lives giving and receiving the grace that fosters community.
We can turn this world upside down.
That’s what Jesus would do.
Rev. Dr. Denise Donnell
Owner, Poised PLLC
Little Rock, Arkansas