Illegal Aliens and the Virgin Miriam
Rev. Steve Schlissel - December 13, 2018
Today we are told—by every would-be authority, entertainer (same as preceding), broadcaster, twitter-tweeter, and wandering ignoramus—that the single element by which a particular sexual act can be judged acceptable or unacceptable is consent. I’d wager not one in a hundred of these proud-mouthed pundits is aware that, for most of human history, until a few short years ago, a different benchmark was routinely summoned for the first round of efforts seeking to determine such acts’ social legitimacy. The weightiest question was, “Were those engaged in the act married—to each other?”
True, though the weightiest and first touchstone, it was not ordinarily the last. But when inquiry is obsessed with consent, it is usually a sign that marital status and connection have been preemptively deemed irrelevant.
Yes, assumptions which make marriage the most pertinent matter may occasionally impede or muddle a correlative path toward clarity regarding consent—but only if treating cases of consent within marriage. Reality forbids that it be otherwise.
The word “consent,” as it pertains purely to an individual, must necessarily be modified by the fact of marriage. But if consent is a concern confined to instances occurring outside the bond of matrimony, then I submit the definition can be, indeed, has been constant, yesterday and today.
The problem, therefore, is a result of a focus on consent which leaves out of view the purpose it serves for feminists, which is as a whole cloth substitute for any organic, viable conception of marriage. Feminism is predicated upon the rejection, indeed, the eradication of any conception of marriage which retains traces of the belief that it can act transformatively on the female identity. Granting that it could (just “could”) would call for the abandonment of the entire third wave feminist project. For, among other travesties, such a concession would leave intact what these unfortunates regard as the “fairy tale that kills,” the nightmarish thought that a woman’s genuine fulfillment might really be in marriage and family. If your notion of feminism is empowering women to be wherever they wish to be, you are woefully uninformed. Wishing to be married as if that will fulfill you is myth #1, #2 and #3 for modern feminists. Would you tolerate such a view if the promise being promulgated was marriage=terminal fulfillment for men? Well then, why would you think for even a moment that marriage can provide such fulfillment for a woman? (Don’t bother offering Biblical, biological, hormonal, historical, anecdotal or rational proofs for recognizing a difference between men and women. They have no appetite for proof or rationality.)
Do you get it? Consent demands that the term be always and only applied to a woman as absolute, abstract individual. She is not allowed to be anything but. Which means there is nothing marriage can deliver to a woman other than a roommate—or a patsy. It certainly cannot alter or modify her ever-available right to be solicited for consent. Romance? It can go to hell, for all they care.
Do you see? Back to the real world, when viewed in connection with Christian marriage, it is impossible for consent to retain the identical meaning it had for singles. You see, in the act whereby two became one, explicit vows were made and accepted which really and truly transformed and redefined the two covenanting parties, incorporating each into a single new entity. Marriages begun in denial of this fundamental, ontological change are spelled a little, like d-i-v-o-r-c-e-s. When consent is the concern of an individual only, it has one meaning. When it is used of a context where two parties had conveyed, each to the other, fungible and redeemable claims upon that same consent, it cannot have the same meaning.
St. Paul addresses this matter pretty plainly, with the authority of God backing him up. “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” Wouldn’t you know, the next thing Paul talks about is consent! “Do not deprive one another (of the others rights to your body) except with consent (and that, just) for a time.” So, the consent here spoken of, in perfect keeping with the new character formed from the individuals who are now bound as one in marriage, is a compound consent, a unified consent. Husband and wife may together decide to refrain from the activity each is ordinarily entitled to.
Once cut loose from its Biblical mooring, marriage loses all its compelling character and substantive attraction. Separated from God’s definitions, marriage becomes a cultural delusion which struggles to rise to the value of items hawked on late-night TV. They are made to appear so wonderful, you wonder how you ever got along without one. But once it is yours, the item quickly finds its way into a drawer, and you quickly forget which. Similarly, consent-based demands within marriage will be found to be erstwhile substitutes for marriage. Holding on to notions of change unaffected by the marriage covenant may seem like a good idea at first. But you are messing with what God gave to be the sole circumstantial condition which legitimates and wholly justifies sexual intimacy. Wooden dreams about consent ask it to bear a weight greater than it can carry. The idea—and the marriage—will break. Change gears. The latest example of what happens to the human mind when a word is abstracted from the reality it was formed to serve comes from Eric Sprankle, a psych prof at Minnesota State University, who this week tweeted, “The virgin birth story is about an all-powerful, all-knowing deity impregnating a human teen. There is no definition of consent that would include that scenario. Happy holidays.”
Reaction has been swift and widespread. I don’t understand why. First, it comes from a college professor. Are you still capable of surprise at what those clowns believe and teach? Second, he’s a psych prof, pegging his starting point three notches below the minimum prof-level credibility. Jordan Petersen is surprising, not Eric Sprankle. Third, it could be said that at least he refrains from directly challenging the essential elements of the virgin birth story, even though he makes a shambles of them. Fourth, his tweet comes with the sense that the guy is just testing how great an offense he could generate within the letter limit. Fifth and last, that he’s essentially a dumdum is suggested by his ostensible charge regarding the alleged absence of consent. But the bill of particulars he cites belong to an abuse of power complaint. It’s kind of the same brain defect running through Me Too-ism, where any kind of regret following a consensual encounter has them switching all gears to “unequal power distribution,” which becomes a factor which magically forbade real consent. Oh, shut up.
Regardless, any way you look at it, the tweet, like the prof who penned it, isn’t worth much. Everyone who has actually read the accounts he alludes to know perfectly well that the story reveals the all-knowing, all-powerful God sending an emissary to the Virgin Miriam with what may fairly be called a proposal. His “all-knowing” knowledge included certitude of a pervasive eagerness among Israelite females of child-bearing age at the time to be the one chosen to bear the Messiah. He also knew of Miriam’s particular suitability and matching propensity. Furthermore, and finally, the entire referenced narrative is only fairly read if it retains its character as proposal.
(Note for the prof: That means, the all-powerful deity authorized the angel to seek consent—the consent He knew would be forthcoming. Get it? Duh?!)
How could anyone fail to notice that the impregnation is clearly set forth in that story as still future. See Luke 1:31: “You will, you shall.” Thus, the authorized agent was seeking consent. Did he gain it? You tell me, Freud. Miriam answered, “Let it be to me according to your word.”
Therefore, the story as it was actually given (and lived) is exactly opposite to Professor Bubble Brain’s version at every key point. Could college profs be that blind and irresponsible? Hey, some are even feminists. Prof. Noodle-head may have deliberately “missed” the fact that the impregnation was subsequent to the Virgin’s consent, but however it is, Dear Doctor, shut your tweets.
To the rest: There’s so much more going on among us that should arouse your indignation—and action. This stuff is the perfect sort to ignore. Like me.
Be that as it may, there remains in this mess a different story worth telling, worth pointing out.
What is the left’s obsession with consent in the Me-Too age? Isn’t it this?
That a whole entity with integrity is intrinsically and inalienably in possession of the God-given right to regulate who and what may enter her body, and she certainly has the right to determines who must not enter her body.
Go no further. Before proceeding: Is any spin on the consent demand immune to the description just provided? Is it not inescapably part of the demand for consent?
Okay. Then let’s apply the same to America. Is America a whole entity with integrity? If so, is it not among America’s God-given rights of sovereignty to have and to exercise the lawful power of regulating who may, and who may not enter the sphere of her sovereignty? Extending one step only: May not a woman who has been victimized by someone who presumed to themselves a right to enter her, and who, without right or her consent, did enter her, does she not then have and retain a right to punish that violation of her sovereignty, and ought not such sanctions include (minimally), the full and complete extrication of the violator from her life and walk? You know you think so. Believe so.
Then how do you deny to America that identical right? There is only one way for you to be delivered from hypocrisy, and that would be to DENY that America really is a whole entity with integrity (not moral integrity, but compositional integrity). And before you wander down the dead end of listing America’s alleged violations of her obligations or even God’s Laws, do you hold that any woman who may have lived wrongly has, as a fruit of that wrongdoing, lost all right to protection from abuse by others? Then silence! Do you insist that abusers and violators can be made immune from punishment or consequences? I didn’t think so.
Well, I see all feminists are for a border wall. Hmm. Thanks for bringing it up, Professor Prankster.