Virtual Voices

Confronting blasphemy

Religion

Dorothy Sayers said more than once that before a person rejects Christian dogma, he ought to at least understand what it is. This came to mind when I ran across a story about a sophomoric effort at antagonistic blasphemy by an undetermined number of dimwits in Canada. For those of you more easily scandalized, I'll summarize it as follows: The pagans allege that the Lord violated Mary, the God-bearer, and depict Joseph leading her on a donkey to an abortion facility.

Their ostensible goal is to make some kind of statement about the necessity of maintaining an adult's right to snuff out a child whose impending birth is inconvenient. Their real goal, of course, is to outrage Christians. Unfortunately, the spokesman for the Christian group seemingly targeted by the blasphemers muffs his response, at least in the press coverage, noting weakly that their attack is unfair because not all Christians are pro-life.

A response by someone acquainted with Christian dogma, on the other hand, might go as follows: First, we must regretfully but directly note that the people responsible for this blasphemy will go, like all of us, before the Judgment Seat of Christ. The difference is that we sinners who embrace the grace of God will find mercy on that day.

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Second, though there is neither excuse nor use for such vileness, it is worth noting that these people, though they appear to favor the execution and extraction of unborn children from their mothers' wombs, have made an astoundingly pro-life point, namely, that even the most seemingly insignificant life-the child of a Nazarene carpenter, for example ("Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" the people of Christ's time asked)-can be enormously important in the destiny of mankind.

Which leads to the third point, namely that the pagans responsible for this sacrilege are not only uncouth, but also ill-educated. It was the understanding from the earliest days of the Church that Mary was in no way forced to bear the Son of God. Where she replies to Gabriel's announcement, "Behold I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word," the Church has always read assent and obedience.

You are attacking, in short, a god who does not exist, which is to say a god who abuses his creation. At the same time, you are blaspheming the name of the Living God, Who will come with glory to judge the living and the dead, which will include each and every one of you. For this we pray you will repent. Should you muster the courage to show yourselves, we would be more than happy to sit down with you and explain the Christian dogma so that at the very least you have an opportunity to know what it is you so passionately disbelieve.

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