Uncommon Sense

December 25, 2019

A Christmas Missive: Mystery or Not?

Filed under: Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 9:57 am

An article in The Guardian addresses the issues Christianity has had, since it inception, with sex in “Why Christianity has been struggling with sex ever since the Nativity” by Diarmaid MacCulloch (Subtitle: Was Mary a virgin? Did she stay a virgin? The confusion goes back to Christ’s early followers, who turned a biological necessity into a vice)

The article focuses upon the fictional birth narratives of Jesus and whether Mary was still a virgin after she fictionally gave birth. (This question could be answered very simply at the time. Ask any first century Palestinian Jew, “Was Mary, the mother of Jesus over there, a virgin?” and they would look at you as if you had two heads.)

Christianity didn’t have a problem with sexuality, at least no more than its parent religion Judaism which used sexual mutilation as an initiation rite into their religion, it had leverage.

If you accept or even just consider my premise that religions exist (or continue to exist or grow and prosper) because of their ability to coerce the labor of the masses to serve the interests of the secular and religious elites. They are all large social control constructs.

What better way to exert your control of the “masses” that through regulating their sexuality. Not only is this an exercise of great power, but when believers fail to conform, which they all must, they feel guilty and wanting to make amends to the religion (sacrifices, founding of convents/monasteries, etc.) especially increased zeal to be “better” at their religion.

Jews wanted to restrict their religion to “family/tribe” by forbidding marriage outside of the faith as part of a purity campaign. This has the unfortunate consequence of keeping Judaism small. Consider the following numbers:
Christianity (2.1 billion)
Islam (1.3 billion)
Nonreligious (Secular/Agnostic/Atheist) (1.1 billion)
Hinduism (900 million)
Chinese traditional religion (394 million)
Buddhism 376 million
Primal-indigenous (300 million)
African traditional and Diasporic (100 million)
Sikhism (23 million)
Juche (19 million)
Spiritism (15 million)
Judaism (14 million)

Even adjusting for the holocaust and other persecutions, the numbers of Jews is almost tiny compared to the numbers of Christians and Muslims, which religions accept converts gladly (or sorta gladly).

So, sexual control in Judaism worked counter to any “global domination” schemes they might have had.

No matter how, most religions have something to say about sex because it is a major driving force in human society. It is a powerful lever by which you can move people. Taken to an extreme, you end up like the Shakers, however. (The Apostle Paul came close.)

So there is no mystery why Christianity has had a “problem” with sex. It hasn’t. There was no problem. There was, however, power to be wielded.

Postscript I cannot leave out the rather extraordinary aspect of this birth narrative business and that is “Why did Yahweh go about creating a baby when he was quite adept at creating fully formed adults?” Why consign Jesus to the indignities of being a child? Why delay Jesus’ mission, the supposed important thing, another 30 years?


  1. Most of “mysteries” – virgin birth, rising from the dead, water into wine story – are embellishments that were common in other mystery religions of the time.

    To compete with the other cults Christianity needed to check most of boxes. So we might think of them as a form of advertising and promotion

    I imagine you are familiar with The Jesus Mysteries.


    Most of the critics cited in the Wikipedia piece seem to be historical Jesus kind of people.


    Comment by James Cross — December 25, 2019 @ 11:23 am | Reply

    • Embellishments and proof that scribes had no compunctions about redacting these documents. It is becoming clear to me that these documents had other than a religious motivation in their writing.

      On Wed, Dec 25, 2019 at 11:23 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — December 25, 2019 @ 12:12 pm | Reply

  2. Don’t ask questions, Steve. You might lose your faith if you do.


    Comment by john zande — December 25, 2019 @ 4:03 pm | Reply

    • What? Why? What do you mean? Mom!!!!

      On Wed, Dec 25, 2019 at 4:03 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — December 26, 2019 @ 11:13 am | Reply

  3. Well Steve, your final post script questions have me—a very able and above-average intelligent Gentleman—utterly bewildered, barely bothered, and stumped as wide and as a cut-n-befallen Giant Sycamore Tree. I just CANNOT riddle out this Virginity Rubic’s Cube tale! It escapes all my faculties… not least of which ALL OF HUMANITY’S TOO… that aren’t beset by Bedeviling Grand Delusions!!!


    Comment by Professor Taboo — December 25, 2019 @ 4:09 pm | Reply

    • Gadzooks, methinks I have befuddled the Professor! Help!

      On Wed, Dec 25, 2019 at 4:09 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — December 26, 2019 @ 11:14 am | Reply

      • Maybe… perhaps I am unable to equate BLIND faith (i.e. no rationale of any kind or depth) and relate the word “faith” with trust? But then how does one develop and give or receive trust?

        When I was playing my early footballing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I had young Brazilian ladies/fans, complete strangers, lavishing me with compliments and offers of marriage! 😆 One or two wanted to have my children! LOL Was I to freely give them (or one of them?) my hand in matrimony within only hours or days of proposing to me… in “trust”!? 😲 In faith or blind faith? HAH!!! Let everyone say “AHHHH, men.” 🐵😇

        Things would be enormously complicated if she were immaculately impregnated and said I was the father! Should I trust her… have faith? 🤣😈


        Comment by Professor Taboo — December 26, 2019 @ 2:27 pm | Reply

  4. The number of Jews (by faith) is small not because Judaism, unlike Christianity and Islam, discourages, if not outright prohibits, converting others into the faith. And, of course, Jews, unlike Christians and Muslims, haven’t done any continent-sized conquests (which, between them, have invaded and converted almost the entire habitable surface of the planet (some places more than once) except for some parts of Eastern Asia.


    Comment by List of X — December 25, 2019 @ 4:48 pm | Reply

    • As in “we had the land and they had the Bibles and now we have the Bibles and they have the land.” That apparently was said more than once around the world.

      On Wed, Dec 25, 2019 at 4:48 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — December 26, 2019 @ 11:15 am | Reply

  5. I think your postscript is probably the most important paragraph in this essay. Your questions are ones that the apologists have been struggling to answer for, well, since all of this started. There was no reason for any of this to happen. None. God is, well, god, and as such he himself was the cause of all the problems he found in the people he created because he made them. And if he wanted to fix the problem, there was no need to go through his convoluted process. And the ultimate question is this – what, exactly, did Jesus “save” us from? Nothing changes! Absolutely nothing changes following the death and resurrection. There is still war, there is still plague, there is still greed and lust and sin and damnation and heresy and all of the problems that existed before Jesus are still there. All of the problems, both secular and religious, that existed before Jesus, continued to exist afterwards. So what were we “saved” from?

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by grouchyfarmer — December 25, 2019 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

    • Yep, a simple “My bad; you are off the hook” which we could all hear would have sufficed. Which, again, speaks to this not being god wrought. What god would be so effing incompetent?

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — December 26, 2019 @ 11:16 am | Reply

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