A progressive Anglican church in New Zealand posted a holiday billboard featuring the Virgin Mary reacting, with horror, to an at-home pregnancy test. Brouhaha ensues: protests, anger, outrage on the Internet… The main complaint is that it’s inappropriate and sacrilegious. Some lighter reactions include suggestions for captions such as, “HOLY MOTHER OF GOD… oh… that’s right… it’s me…”
OK so this is exactly what I thought when I saw it:
‘Oh no, I am pregnant, I’ll have to have an abortion.’
But wait, this is a Christian church, so it must mean, ‘Don’t have an abortion because you could be aborting Jesus Christ Our Savior.’
But then Mary seems so unhappy!
So I read a little bit about it. On their website, the church Vicar Glynn Cardy and priest Clay Nelson say this image is about reality: “Regardless of any premonition, that discovery would have been shocking. Mary was unmarried, young, and poor. This pregnancy would shape her future.”
A media release states, “Although the make-believe of Christmas is enjoyable – with tinsel, Santa, reindeer, and carols – there are also some realities. Many in our society are suffering: some through the lack of money, some through poor health, some through violence, and some through other hardships. The joy of Christmas is muted by anxiety.”
So this message is about how hard it is for single moms facing an unplanned pregnancy? And how we should think about moms at a time like Christmas, not just the kids? Progressive indeed. Or at least provocative. But what about Plan B? Still no answers there.