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There's something about Mary

 
 
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2005 07:55 pm
I wasn't raised within any religious tradition so this question is asked only out of curiosity. For the purpose of this question, let's assume that the Bible is all true and not get off on some tangent about how... you know... the usual theological arguments.

I was reading the latest issue of "Time" where they have an article about the new interest in Mary from a Protestent standpoint.

I am aware that Catholics hold Mary in much higher esteem than other factions of Christianity but I was not aware that within these other factions that Mary was mostly trotted out for a Nativity and little else.

From the outside looking in, Mary is huge and important and magnificent.

I'm really curious as to why she is so back-burnered.

Enlighten me!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,532 • Replies: 39
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boomerang
 
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Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2005 08:03 pm
Oh!

And what is "a red diaper baby"?
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littlek
 
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Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2005 08:35 pm
In cultures where christianity made inroads, but didn't fully gel, like Haiti and parts of South America, Mary becomes the most popular icon in religious faith. Or so I understand.
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roger
 
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Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2005 09:50 pm
Sounds plausible, littlek, and you and JLnobody are the anthropologists around here. Ah, that may be Acquiunk field too, though I'm pretty sure he's archeology.
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shewolfnm
 
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Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 07:51 am
I have just learned that the Catholic church is going to add more about Mary's life to the bible. Apparently there isnt enough for people to learn about when it comes to her life and what she went through. Confused

I too am curious as to why only the Catholic church puts emphasis on her and no other version of christianity does? I mean, she should be the most powerful thing for them. SHE brought the christians God to this world right?

I will hover and watch this thread.. I want to see what comes out of this..
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Bella Dea
 
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Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 07:53 am
shewolfnm wrote:
I have just learned that the Catholic church is going to add more about Mary's life to the bible. Apparently there isnt enough for people to learn about when it comes to her life and what she went through. Confused


Hm, they are adding....which means, what? They left stuff out to begin with! I love it! All my suspicions have been confirmed! Shocked Smile
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boomerang
 
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Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 07:59 am
Mary is a very popular figure in the Catholic church and it is pretty well gelled though.

The article did mention that many people from Mexico who have adoptted Protestant religions in America still elevate Mary so I can see where you're coming from.

Here is one quote from the story by someone who is upset about all the interest in Mary:

"He is most exasperated that "Mary is held forth as the maternal face of God, some dimension that is fundamentally absent from Scripture. God's love is presented in biblical terms without any need for Mary as an intermediary. To suggest that need, even as 'symbolic' instead of doctrinal" - he pauses - "this is the Reformation in reverse. It is simply profoundly unbiblical, and it leads to the worst excess of Marian devotion."

As I understand it - an all powerful God would not have to use a human intermediary but he chose Mary to carry and give birth and raise Jesus.

Is Mary considered merely a distraction to understanding God's love?
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Piffka
 
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Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 08:46 am
It is interesting that the Protestants may finally decide to allow Mary into their religion. I think for a long time she was too close (and rightfully so) to a prehistoric Goddess godhead. To acknowledge Her seemed to take away from a suitable concept of a male God. But the Virgin Mary is eminently approachable -- everybody has a mother and dreams of & wishes for a perfect mother -- full of love, understanding & grace.

I suspect Mary is also the most celebrated of any religious figures. (She don't need no stinkin' protestants to keep up her reputation. Very Happy) Check out the number of holy days & the places which claim her as their patron saint:

http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintbvm.htm

She has also appeared to many. Considering that the all the Judeo-Christian religions are based on miracles, the miracles of Mary's Apparitions make sense.
The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is amazing...

-- oops --- can't show O.L. of Guadalupe, I guess.

The Black Madonnas of Europe would amaze you.
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Derevon
 
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Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 08:49 am
The reason why Marian devotion is so much more widespread among Catholics and Orthodox I suppose has almost entirely to do with the fact that these two branches are based to a very large extent on tradition, whereas Protestantism is pretty much all about the Bible.
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Piffka
 
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Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 08:55 am
Right. Protestants don't keep traditions -- they took certain parts of the Catholic Bible and call it their own and venerate that. It's odd, really.


errrr.... that sounds mean. I don't mean to be, but honestly, it is odd. At least the early church decided to add to the Jewish texts. Of course, very few people in American follow those to the letter either. Stonings, slavery etc. are illegal, I'm pleased to say, though if every Protestant had to stay married to whomever they first married... well. Wouldn't that be odd?
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shewolfnm
 
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Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 08:56 am
I am bitting my lip so hard it will bleed here pretty soon on my opinion as to why christianity avoids acknowledging the feminine part of life .
( meaning mother hood, child birth etc....)

But, I think that ( and playing on the idea that the bible is 100% true...) maybe giving jesus a 'human' birth was a way for him to be more widely accepted by everyone. Giving him a more human beginging instead of just " POOF" here he is..
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Derevon
 
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Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 09:24 am
Piffka,

Well, "certain parts" would be a stretch. They are essentially the same, but with some books of it being considered Apocrypha in the Protestant versions.

I'm myself a member of the former Swedish state church (Evangelical Lutheran) since birth. In our tradition, Mary is unfortunately pretty much only seen as the mother of Jesus and nothing else. Sermons here are exclusively based on the Bible as far as doctrine is concerned. You would never hear a priest speak of Mary being an Advocate, Mediatrix, Co-redemptrix for sinners or the like here, since the Bible doesn't say anything about this, so it isn't particularly strange that Marian devotion isn't very widespread here.
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shewolfnm
 
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Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 09:26 am
I wonder why that is?
I mean, in the story of the bible, TRUE ENOUGH, she wasnt a goddess or anything LIKE that, but it is strange to me that she is only given a passing glance as just the woman who gave birth.. and nothing more.
Last time I checked.. a woman who gave birth to someone was a pretty powerful thing. ;-)
Why do you think that Mary is next to ignored? Has your church/preacher ever covered that topic?
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boomerang
 
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Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 09:46 am
I really encourage all of you to read the "Time" article: http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101050321/story.html

Mary is a central figure in the Bible - the only person that was there through the "conception", birth, life and death of Jesus.

Mary certainly is an approachable figure - no matter whether you belive the Bible is literature or history. To ignore her role in the life of Jesus seems very strange to me. I understand that people don't want to give her the status of Jesus but to ignore her seems..... strange.

This new scholorship on Mary shows that she was there during many of the very important events of the Bible. If Protestanism is "all about the Bible" why is Mary's role so neglected?

Throughout the history of art the image of Virgin and Child are among the most beautiful, without doubt, Piffka.

I understand that there were/are socio-political reasons to keep Mary under wraps too.
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Piffka
 
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Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 09:49 am
Well, to get back to Mary... and -- full disclosure -- I have witnessed many Marian devotions... She is nice. She is, in fact, perfect. She never does anything wrong.

Here's her life:
She is born (the Immaculate Conception).
She is young, a beautiful innocent who immediately acquieses to God's will.
Angels venerate her.
St. Joseph loves her & she respects him all her life;
Together they raise Jesus to be a good man
He is deified by her from the moment of his conception. In a way, she is the first Christian.
She lives through the sorrows of this vale of tears.
She dies quietly.

Sometimes she is sighted by people who are young, poor, innocent... and this sightings and their apparent proofs amaze people.


Plus, whenever something goes horribly wrong, nobody ever says "Why did Mother Mary do this to me?"

It is weird that Protestants don't like her.


(As an aside, in the same way, it is strange that Protestants believe in heaven but don't believe in saints. Either people die and go to heaven and are still alive and can be talked to and themselves talk to God... or else there is no life after death with God, right?)
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boomerang
 
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Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 09:53 am
Don't bite your tounge, shewolf, maybe just use a little restraint! I want to hear your thoughts but I want everyone to feel comfortable to participate on this thread.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 09:58 am
As a non-Christian who occassionally finds myself muttering a little something to St. Jude, I find your comment about Saints very interesting, Piffka.

I wish I could address it but this in one area where I will have to sit back and learn.

And it doesn't appear to me that Protesetants don't like her -- it's more like they just don't know her.
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Derevon
 
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Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 10:39 am
Piffka wrote:
Well, to get back to Mary... and -- full disclosure -- I have witnessed many Marian devotions... She is nice. She is, in fact, perfect. She never does anything wrong.

Here's her life:
She is born (the Immaculate Conception).
She is young, a beautiful innocent who immediately acquieses to God's will.
Angels venerate her.
St. Joseph loves her & she respects him all her life;
Together they raise Jesus to be a good man
He is deified by her from the moment of his conception. In a way, she is the first Christian.
She lives through the sorrows of this vale of tears.
She dies quietly.


Unfortunately, not much of the above is mentioned in the Bible, it's a part of Catholic church tradition.

Quote:
Sometimes she is sighted by people who are young, poor, innocent... and this sightings and their apparent proofs amaze people.


Yes, the sheer bulk of Marian apparitions should be enough for any Protestant to reconsider her role.

Quote:
Plus, whenever something goes horribly wrong, nobody ever says "Why did Mother Mary do this to me?"


I'm not sure what you mean by this.

Quote:
It is weird that Protestants don't like her.


As Boomerang said, it's not that they don't like her, they just don't know her.

Quote:
(As an aside, in the same way, it is strange that Protestants believe in heaven but don't believe in saints. Either people die and go to heaven and are still alive and can be talked to and themselves talk to God... or else there is no life after death with God, right?)


The question is not about there being saints so much as it is about saintly intervention I'd say. Protestants are taught to put all their hopes in Jesus, the saviour, and not in people who've died, as nothing is really known about their ability to intervene/intercede for us.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 01:40 pm
I could just be showing my ignorance here but doesn't God use angles as messangers/intermediaries/interveners (like in the Annunciation) periodically throughout the Bible?

How is that so different from the Saints?

Does the difference lie in the fact that some believe there are many ways and paths to God and in others believe the only way/path is through Jesus?
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2005 01:56 pm
Derevon wrote:

Piffka wrote:
Plus, whenever something goes horribly wrong, nobody ever says "Why did Mother Mary do this to me?"


I'm not sure what you mean by this.


I mean, as opposed to someone saying "Oh God, why have you allowed this (something bad) to happen?" or "Why has God done this?" Mary is always blameless, She is full of sympathy for the world, someone you can tell your troubles to. That is a very handy sort of intercessionary agent to have.

Rather than decide the traditions are of no use, it should be remembered that they bound the early Christians together well before there was a Bible. Early Christians were told in letters that were later added to the Bible to ask the saints to intercede... for example, in James 5:14 where Christians are told: Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. Asking for intercessions by the saints are nothing more than that. They are venerated but not worshipped.

There is a lot of entrenched antagonism towards Mary from the Protestants -- it began in the 1500's when they destroyed all shrines to her in England. It is still quite common for protestants to shrink from any interest in her and consider such interest idolatrous.

I'll have to read the article you mention, Boomerang, to find out what this new wave of Marian appreciation is about.
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