Tuesday, December 14, 2004


In the previous post, I quoted The Anchoress, who had linked to this article by Emil Guillermo, inside of which I find:
I'm even in the easy part of parenting a teenager. My daughter hasn't started couples dating yet. So I know the rough years are ahead -- when I may have to say yes to things I may not want to. Inevitably, I know I will be forced to deal with all the tough subjects. Not just birds and the bees -- how do I explain her Catholic school's contradictory teachings of virgin birth and physics?

Uhhh, Emil. The Virgin Birth is this thing called a "miracle". It would not be expected to obey the laws of physics. There is no contradiction.

I've never understood the "criticism" that Scripture is unreliable because it talks about things like The Virgin Birth, which unlike those rubes 2000 years ago, we now know to be against science. If those rubes 2000 years ago didn't know it was against the natural order of things, then why did they consider it a miracle and make a big deal out of it?

This ought to be a pretty "duh" point, I should think. However, it is employed by modernist "scholars" like the Jesus Seminar guys (beloved of Time and Newsweek, who like to trot out cover stories every Christmas and Easter to help the poor uninformed folks getting all excited about those holidays see that God is as real as the Tooth Fairy). It's very circular. We know that miracles don't happen. Why? They would disobey physics (non sequitor!). Therefore, we must try to figure out how the New Testament came to be. Originally, (it seems, because miracles are fairy tales!) Jesus was some kind of leftist college professor, whose core teachings were simple socialist and feminist moral and ethical maxims. There were no miracles. But over time, various "interpretive communities" embellished the story (you know, like the way, in the third decade of the 20th century, a "world war" narrative emerged, reporting on purported events between 1914-1918--I mean, I can believe the Archduke assassination but the whole 8 million dead thing is just poppycock--or the way that in the 1880's a "savior of the nation" narrative emerged which claimed great things for the alleged Abraham Lincoln), giving us the myth we have today. Unfortunately, all documentation of this earlier, purer, miracle-free version of Christianity has since been lost, and can only be reconstructed by these enlightened scholars and their enlightened physics-informed assumption.

If anyone says, "But there is evidence for miracles. What about what Jesus did?" The answer is, "You naive fool. Modern scholarship has shown that the miracle stories in the bible are just myths added later." And modern scholarship "showed" this only by assuming (that assumption resting on a non-sequitor) that there were no miracles. Which are known to be scientifically impossible both because they are, uhh, scientifically impossible and because there is no evidence for them!

And the fever dream chases its tail...


Frances said...

Very Chestertonian, Matt!

The Anchoress said...

Indeed, Matt, well done. I was so angry at the article, I'd totally missed the "virgin birth" remark. There is an excellent, really excellent discussion on Mariology in this month's issue of Crisis, if you can get your hands on it...what a lot of it comes down to, for me, is simply this: if you can comprehend Mary's role as the Ark of the New Covenant, with all the understanding of how the OT Jews revered and humbled themselves before that vessel, then you begin to understand a great deal about Catholic Marian dogma. Good job!