The Christmas story is full of surprises. This year near Bethlehem, a parable occurred to me. Like many parables, it raises questions. A question for all you men out there: when’s the last time you were pregnant? Was it because some woman—who can’t be responsible for her urges—didn’t take proper precautions? Isn’t this the way God punishes people for having the sexual intercourse he created? Since God gave you an anatomy just like his, you certainly have priority in the cosmic scheme of things, but this pregnancy of yours—what are you going to do with it? Oh, and don’t look to Onan for answers to your own urges; God stuck him dead for that kind of thing. But that troubling “what if”… What if Mary had had a choice? According to the Good Book she did. “Be it unto me,” Mary said. She could’ve said “No.” Many men in your *ahem* delicate condition did not. The problem with virginal conceptions is that people will talk.
Many people don’t remember at this time of year that Mary and Joseph were immigrants to Egypt. Had the Nativity occurred today in these States that follow God’s word, Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus would’ve ended up in separate cages. Wasn’t he born in a cage? Oh, cave! That’s definitely an improvement. One wonders how the Gospel might’ve gone from there. And what of those annoying buzzing creatures overhead calling for peace on earth? Shoo! Trade wars! Tariffs! Nuclear threats! These were the gifts of the three wise men, were they not? Or perhaps we should get biblical and follow Herod’s mandate. Killing two-year-old boys isn’t abortion, after all. After giving birth they’re your problem, not God’s. You’ve got to get them born—that’s the most important thing. And since women can’t possibly know what it’s like to be pregnant what are you going to say when they walk out and tell you, “It’s not my problem”? “Be it unto me,” said Mary.
Shepherds, it should be noted, were the poor. Ironically that first Christmas the good news was first revealed to them. Herod, half-insane, kept shifting members of his government around. He had put away his previous wives—perhaps because they made him pregnant—and assassinated all his rivals. Unless that’s fake news—the old fox was known for that. So the immigrant family thought it was safe to return after Herod was removed from office. Jesus grew to espouse the message of love and acceptance—extending it even to foreigners. The state, believing itself established by divine right, had him put to death. It’s Christmas, and we’ve seen all this before. If only those with eyes would see. But parables, it seems, have gone out of style.