Was Mary’s “Yes” Really a Yes?

To be honest, the Christian story of the virgin birth always kind of freaked me out. So much so, that when I was a kid I asked my mom if God raped Mary, which in tern freaked her out (it didn’t help that we were in a public place at the time). Despite the assurances that nothing untoward happened to Mary, the whole virgin birth affair still struck me as unsettling. As a Catholic, I dived headfirst into the Mariological aspects of the faith, even as I wondered about the wisdom of having Mary be so far removed from the experiences of “regular women.” While Catholic theology places a great deal of emphasis on how Mary’s “yes” to God canceled out Eve’s disobedience, it’s not clear to me that this “yes” was really what I would consider to be an example of enthusiastic consent.

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