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December 21, 2004


Ron O

When I was in Catholic high school I was fortunate to be taught religion by an open-minded PhD in theology. He said the culture of Jesus's time & place DID allow pre-marital sex between engaged couples. It was understood that the promise made the marriage, not the public ceremony. Joseph marring the pregnant Mary would not have raised any eyebrows in the community. Not that I think he is any less worthy of respect, but it might not have been an issue for him. Some Bible students think the virgin birth is a myth created to give more credence to the divinity of Jesus.


Well, Ron, the point is that in this story, Joseph clearly does consider "putting Mary away" -- and chooses not to. The problem is not that she had premarital sex -- it is that she didn't have it with him! It's one thing to have sex before marriage, another thing altogether to marry someone pregnant with a child that is not yours. The Matthew passage makes it clear that it was an issue for Joseph...

Thanks for the visit.


Woo hoo! I just loved this post, Hugo. And I never say "Woo hoo," much less write it. Wonderful. I have heard so much about Mary this season (I seek it out, to be fair). so it is great to hear some perspective on Joseph.

Jonathan Dresner

I've sometimes wondered, but nevery bothered to ask (or look it up): if Mary and Joseph never consumated their marriage, where did "Jesus' brother James" come from?

On the other hand, I don't think "got some" is really how Protestants think of that relationship, though I may be projecting.


I think that very fact that women are the ones who bear children is what horrifies the men's rights activists, but since that's out of their hands they instead focus on horror stories about women "using" that power to gain on men.


Catholics have a variety of explanations of James' status as Jesus' brother -- Joseph's with another woman? A spiritual brotherhood? And so on.

And as for the "got some" -- I recognize it isn't how all Protestants talk, but it's a widely used phrase in certain Mennoscopalian circles.

Jeff JP

the recognition and renunciation of unearned masculine privilege.

You must mean that mythical "privilege" that you and your feminist groupies never manage to identify.

Uh huh.

Jeff JP


In this case, Joseph's privilege is explicit: right of access to his wife's body, combined with the right to insist that his wife come to him a virgin. If that isn't privilege, I don't know what is!

Jeff JP

The Men's Rights movement worries about men being forced to raise kids who aren't their own, as if nothing could be a graver injustice.

Perhaps you could show us some examples of where men have complained that "nothing could be a graver injustice" that being forced to raise other men's children. Perhaps you're just giving us a straw man.

The New Testament Joseph, on the other hand, married his pregnant teenage fiancee (knowing damn well he wasn't the father), and raised the child as his own.

Perhaps you could at least be consistent and compare like entities. Joseph was visited by an angel who explained to him what was going on and, thus, he knew that Mary wasn't cheating on him. (Matthew 1:20-21)

Do you have examples to show us of modern men who think they are victims of paternity fraud, but are visited by angels who reassure them that their cheating wives or girlfriends were impregnated by the Holy Spirit?

This posting is just another example of your misandrist propaganda.

Jeff JP


What does it mean, Jeff, to be visited by an angel? We often assume it means some gal with wings (like Emma Thompson in "Angels in America"), or some rococo cherub, showing up.

We are told that Gabriel spoke to Mary, but we don't know what kind of angel spoke to Joseph in a dream. Angels, as we are often told in Scripture, may not even look like angels -- folks are always getting confused as to who is an angel and who isn't. (Ask the folks in Sodom about that!) In other words, Joseph's angel may not be what you imagine.

And don't you think it likely that Joseph had some doubts? If Thomas wondered whether Jesus could rise from the dead, I'll bet my beloved Joseph often wondered whether he could really trust his dream...

The larger point is that for at least some of us, biblical figures are meant to be emulated, Jeff. There is nothing misandrist about renouncing one's traditional sexual privileges; it is a heroic, it is pro-feminist -- and it is also deeply and profoundly Christian.

La Lubu

"Feminist groupies"? Because women can't think for ourselves without the ok of some man, in this case Hugo? My, but you have a long way to go, Jeff JP. A very long way.

La Lubu

And Jeff JP? If you go looking through the men's rights sites, you will see them advocating for a policy of universal DNA screening at birth, even if they are married. Now, I can't help but think why they would want to remain married to a partner who they so vehemently mistrusted, but hey...it takes all kinds to make this world go 'round.


If I have feminist groupies, does that mean they all have t-shirts with my name on them? Or do they carry pictures of Matilde around with them? When I go on my world tour, will they accompany me?

My chinchilla is my only groupie, and she is sleeping at the moment.

La Lubu

You know, Hugo, I think you should start a cottage industry to raise money for your favorite charities that you listed in that other post---T-Shirts, complete with Matilde's picture, that read: "I'm one of Hugo's feminist groupies!"

Jeff JP

"Feminist groupies"?

I call 'em like I see 'em. Would you prefer "mindless ideologues"?

Because women can't think for ourselves without the ok of some man, in this case Hugo?

Merely spouting and repeating feminist dogma is not really "thinking for yourselves." It might be that in your book, but it surely isn't in mine.

Pretty much anything anti-male goes here. Hugo whines about how "privileged" he is because he happens to be a man and mindless feminist ideologues eat it up. That doesn't seem like thinking for yourselves.

My, but you have a long way to go, Jeff JP. A very long way.

So you say, but I don't buy it.

Jeff JP

La Lubu

Just because you don't agree with us does not make our positions "mindless"; I call 'em like I see 'em too. I don't experience male privilege, in fact throughout much of my life, in various scenarios, I've experienced quite the opposite: discrimination because of gender. This is not a book, it's my life. It is your privilege to disregard the experiences of those different from you.

Now, I disagree with the conservatives around here practically all the time, but I don't consider them "mindless ideologues". I think they come to their conclusions because they have had a different life experience. I have respect for those of them that have respect for me. This is a big world; I'll debate, and I'd love to change their minds, but if not I can agree to disagree, if they "don't tread on me".

So far, I haven't seen you offer up any cogent argument on anything, just bop in every now and then to fling some accusation or another about Hugo's supposed hatred of men. So, why bother to come here, then? I come here because it's a civil place to opine and debate. I have yet to see you do that.


Guys, it doesn't matter what you say to Jeff. Anything that isn't boys-against-girls-and-boys-win is going to be misandrist, in his book. The concept of a game that isn't zero sum is beyond him.

Protestants tend to think he finally "got some" after Jesus was born.

Crudity aside, under Jewish law, Mary would have been entitled to sex as part of the contract.


Jeff, you haven't had the pleasure of arguing with men's rights activists who want mandatory paternity testing put into law, under what I suppose is the belief that unwarranted search and seizure is only a right for men, who after all aren't a bunch of natural lying women.

We can list hundreds of male privileges until we're blue in the face, but you'll dismiss them, no doubt, as propaganda that we made up even though it, say, happened to us.


A few months ago, I went to a retreat facilitated by benedictine's. We were given a stone, that we were meant to lay on the altar, in front of the host being used for the adoration, when we could let go of weighty sin. I laid mine by the statue of the holy family outside, in a cold wind, and intermittent rain. Families of choice, and of sacrificial love, I can relate to. These two Joseph's have been much in my meditation lately. Thanks for helping to put flesh of a different substance on them today. And for helping me to appreciate my husband's care and concern for his three step-sons, my sons from a previous marriage. It is restful to see the beauty in a mans goodness.


Hugo don't be a womanly man. Other things the Bible says are that women were made for man and not the other way around. Enjoy your many wives/sextoys.


Don't try to ban me again.

NOTE: This is the "other Hugo"; should he make further appearances, I am confident my readers shall be able to distinguish us.


Womanly man? heh. Troll, have you see Hugo's picture, specially the one running shirtless?

Sorry Hugo I couldn't resist. another feminist groupie.... :-)

Seriously, there is nothing non-masculine or man-hating about Hugo's posts. He celebrates the attributes of men! And, he celebrates the attributes of women, and the differences in between the sexes, without lessening either one. Partnerships between the sexes. He doesn't have to be afraid of homosexuality, because he is secure in his own masculinity, and in who he is. So he can be pro-gay as well.

Jeff and troll-Hugo represent the sort of men who fear women, so seek to denigrate them rather than raise them up. This is their weakness. They probabily fear gays through the same insecurity. Hugo's strength is that he doesn't need to use his strength. He is stronger for his gentleness.

And, guys? Most straight women *I* know find Hugo and men like him much more attractive than troglodytes trying to maintain male superiority.

Okay, enough of that....


Notice that Hugo is a father of a chinchilla rather than a father of a human child? Pehapse he is not as sucessfull with the ladies as you would tell him he would be. Perhapse you are a lying harlot.

Hugo, see these women, they lie and entice you with sex. They are whores. "Nice guys finish last" by design, they wish to keep you begging and on the hook for as long as possible.


This is an interesting thread,LOL. Great post, Hugo. I am so touched by these two stories of the Josephs. I wish these healing verses had been emphasized more when I was a kid.


I see Nauga-Hugo forgot to put in the URL for his ribbon candle thing in the last post.


Another interesting thing about these "men's rights" folks is they seem intent on resuscitating antiquated terms of gender discourse. When was the last time you heard the word "harlot" used outside of period literature?

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