>Many people around the world are celebrating Christmas today. Of course, December 25th has nothing to do with the [supposed] birth of the son of God, but the early Church needed to find a way to snooker more people into joining their cult/new religion. Don’t believe me? According to All About Jesus Christ:*

It wasn't until A.D. 440 that the church officially proclaimed December 25 as the birth of Christ. This was not based on any religious evidence but on a pagan feast. Saturnalia was a tradition inherited by the Roman pagans from an earlier Babylonian priesthood. December 25 was used as a celebration of the birthday of the sun god. It was observed near the winter solstice.

I don’t think that a site “All About Jesus Christ” would make that shit up. Perhaps interpret it differently, but that’s another story.

Speaking of interpreting Bible stories, I thought today would be a good day to talk about the forced childbirth movement. People who participate in forced childbirth activities don’t like to talk about it that way, preferring innocent terms like “pro-life,” but they care about as much about people’s lives as they do about social justice.** Proponents of forced childbirth insist that women are baby-making machines, that sex is only for making babies, and nothing can interfere with this. Birth control of no kind is permissible because sex is not to be done for purposes of pleasure or mere intimacy. If you play with fire, bitch, you better be prepared to take the punishment.

Members of the forced childbirth movement like to idolize Mary, the New Testament mother of Jesus. However, I think that Mary is actually the perfect symbol for reproductive freedom. Basically, you can look at her story in two ways, and either way, there is some level of choice involved.

Interpretation 1: God thinks about who should bear His progeny. He could have chosen any number of quality, virtuous virgins, but He deliberately selects Mary, in part because he knew that she would agree to the plan. There was no coercion involved here. God didn’t want to knock up someone who would not be cool with dealing with an unexpected child.

Interpretation 2: God chooses Mary and sends the angel Gabriel to tell her. Mary asked how this would happen, and Gabriel told her, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee and the power of the most high shall overshadow thee." Mary then said: "Let it be done according to Thy will." I’m directly quoting the Anglican Parish of Camp Hill with Norman Park, part of the Diocese of Brisbane, Australia on this next part: “This one simple action of saying "Yes" to God changed everything. Mary became the mother of the Lord.” Mary made a choice. In her case, she said she’d be willing to have a child that she didn’t plan, but it was still a choice.

So this Christmas, I am making the (potentially blasphemous) argument that if Mary was allowed to make a choice as to whether she’d be willing to carry God’s baby to term, all women are allowed to determine what is best for themselves. No one has the right to force any woman to bear a child. Even God abided by that principle, and if it is good enough for God, it should be good enough for his people. Merry Christmas!

*Seriously, did you ever think a link like that would be used at CUSS? Me neither. It makes me laugh a lot to think about it.
**Meaning: some of the members of this movement really do try and make the world a better place, like the anti-choice liberation theologists, but most just like punishing women for daring to have sex and then reminding the resulting kids what worthless trash they are since they came out of sin by denying them health care, quality education, decent places to live, and adequate food.