Church Challenges Mary's Virginity With Billboard
"Is it about a spiritual male God sending down sperm so a child would be born, or is it about the power of love in our midst as seen in Jesus?" That's what Auckland's St Matthew-in-the-City Church Vicar Archdeacon Glynn Cardy told the New Zealand Press Association in response to complaints about a billboard the church erected.
The board, which shows Joseph laying in bed with Mary along with the caption, "Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow," has been labeled "inappropriate" and "disrespectful" by the Catholic Church and others.
Supporting the rationale behind the board, Cardy said, "What we're trying to do is to get people to think more about what Christmas is all about." While he claims there were supporters of the creative direction, the board was defaced by detractors shortly after it went up.
Speaking for the opposition, Auckland Catholic Diocese Spokeswoman Lyndsay Freer said, "Our Christian tradition of 2,000 years is that Mary remains a virgin and that Jesus is the son of God, not Joseph. Such a poster is inappropriate and disrespectful."
Blasphemy or call to challenge stereotype?