Skip to comments.The Malicious Mangling of the Virgin Mary
Posted on 11/16/2012 4:47:55 AM PST by Kaslin
A Christian can be crushed gazing at the picture of Mary standing at the foot of the cross, watching her beloved son suffocate and die. But in that vision, she stands there for hours, patiently enduring her suffering. For two millennia, she has been a role model for Christians, a woman who practiced obedience in the most difficult of human circumstances, with fervent hope for what this sacrifice will offer all mankind as it struggles with sin.
This is why it seems so hard to reflect that vision of patience when black-hearted "artists" practice character assassination on the Blessed Virgin Mary to strip her of every virtue: her patience, her obedience, her courageous love and her prayerful faith in God. On Nov. 13, Simon and Schuster launched a vicious little 96-page novella titled "The Testament of Mary."
The author, an Irish ex-Catholic named Colm Toibin, presents us instead with a Bible-burning "reimagination" of an alienated Mary who fled the scene of her son's death in fear for her own life. Two decades after the Resurrection -- or was there one? -- this anti-Mary is filled with bitterness and rage. She describes herself as "unhinged" and bubbling with contempt for her son's demented followers, to the extreme that she threatens the Gospel writers with a knife. She lives as a bandit, stealing to survive.
Her son's followers must be stopped from making Jesus a god, "or else everything that happened will become a sweet story that will grow poisonous as bright berries that hang low on trees." Toibin describes the scene of the crucifixion in mercenary terms: "It was like a marketplace, but more intense somehow, the act that was about to take place was going to make a profit for both seller and buyer."
Christ's disciples are "fools, twitchers, malcontents, stammerers," while her son's preaching sounded to her "false, and his tone all stilted, and I could not bear to hear him, it was like something grinding and it set my teeth on edge."
There is no God in her father or her son. She proclaims of the death of Jesus only: "when you say that he redeemed the world, I will say that it was not worth it. It was not worth it."
Toibin's last book of literary criticism was titled "New Ways to Kill Your Mother." In this book, he murders the mother of God.
In a positive critique in The New York Times, reviewer Mary Gordon explained "The making of the Gospels is portrayed not as an act of sacred remembrance but as an invasion and a theft. The Evangelists -- which are they? Luke, perhaps, or John? -- are portrayed as menacing intruders, with the lurking shadowy presence of Stalin's secret police."
In our nation's most prestigious newspaper, an author and his feminist reviewer can conjure up the apostles of Christ as Stalinist torturers. But when a Danish newspaper published cartoons mocking the prophet Muhammad as a freedom-of-speech test in 2005, the Times would not show them as "a reasonable choice for news organizations that usually refrain from gratuitous assaults on religious symbols."
This is what Toibin's book is: a gratuitous assault on Christianity and its central drama of salvation. The Times reviewer recognized that and enjoyed it.
"Mary, the mother of Jesus, has given Christianity a good name. None of the negatives that have made Christianity a byword for tyranny, cruelty and licensed hatred have attached to her," Gordon began. "The problem with all this is that it has led to centuries of sentimentality -- blue and white Madonnas with folded hands and upturned eyes, a stick with which to beat independent women."
Washington Post book reviewer Ron Charles was less laudatory: "If you'd enjoy a tale predicated on the idea that Christian faith is a toxic collection of 'foolish anecdotes' based on a 'fierce catastrophe,' Merry Christmas!"
Charles found it refreshing this garbage bag of words "hasn't sparked outrage or boycotts -- a reassuring testament to the West's tolerance for such artistic license and Toibin's prominence. Some of us are a lot calmer nowadays about creative re-imaginings of sacred figures."
He somehow left Catholics out of the picture as he expressed relief that "Evangelicals in this country may finally have caught on to the fact that fiery condemnation plays right into the marketing plans of books that would otherwise ascend into oblivion." He notes Toibin's tome has been "widely praised in England, but Toibin is a larger presence there, and churchgoing isn't."
Somehow, he's not making the obvious connection: Toibin and other God-hating authors are consciously conspiring to empty out the churches, and Christian believers cannot always refuse to condemn them. Speaking up for Christ and his mother (and ours) is a solemn duty, not an option.
We should ask the author what he thinks of Mohammed.
He’s a gutless, clueless follower of satan who is so mad he can’t understand God that he denigrates all the good that is Catholicism and Christianity.
Christianity: Think what you may. But the United States could not have been founded without it.
I think his photo speaks volumes by itself...
There are limits.
I am one of the most peaceful people around, but if I ever see this book for sale, the table holding it gets overturned.
That publisher should be boycotted.
I think his photo speaks volumes by itself...
This says even more about his lifestyle. You’d never have guessed...
Tóibín’s work explores several main lines: the depiction of Irish society, living abroad, the process of creativity and the preservation of a personal identity, focusing especially on homosexual identities Tóibín is openly gay but also on identity when confronted with loss. The “Wexford” novels, The Heather Blazing and The Blackwater Lightship, use Enniscorthy, the town of Tóibín’s birth, as narrative material, together with the history of Ireland and the death of his father. An autobiographical account and reflection on this episode can be found in the non-fiction book, The Sign of the Cross. In 2009, he published Brooklyn, a tale of a woman emigrating to Brooklyn from Enniscorthy.
Two other novels, The Story of the Night and The Master revolve around characters who have to deal with a homosexual identity and take place outside Ireland for the most part, with a character having to cope with living abroad. His first novel, The South, seems to have ingredients of both lines of work. It can be read together with The Heather Blazing as a diptych of Protestant and Catholic heritages in County Wexford, or it can be grouped with the “living abroad” novels. A third topic that links The South and The Heather Blazing is that of creation. Of painting in the first case and of the careful wording of a judge’s verdict in the second. This third thematic line culminated in The Master, a study on identity, preceded by a non-fiction book in the same subject, Love in a Dark Time. The book of short stories “Mothers and Sons” deal with family themes, both in Ireland and Catalonia, and homosexuality.
Tóibín has written about gay sex in several novels, though Brooklyn contains a heterosexual sex scene in which the heroine loses her virginity. In his 2012 essay collection New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families he studies the biographies of James Baldwin, J. M. Synge and W. B. Yeats, among others.
The article, rightly so talks a lot about the Mary “mangling” but gives scant writing space to the denying of the divinity of Christ. - it is this issue alone that shows us the spirit that is at work here!
He needs to get the balance right!
The left is doing all it can to destroy Christianity. Trashing its icons is one of their favorite ways.
The Dung Virgin. Piss Christ.
Right after Thanksgiving they will start on Christmas trees and creches.
“Mary, my Immaculate Mother, I desire to offer you reparation for the offenses which your Immaculate Heart receives from the horrible blasphemies which are uttered against you. I offer you these praises to console you for so many ungrateful children who do not love you, and to console the Heart of your Divine Son Who is so deeply offended by the insults offered to you. Grant that I may praise you, Holy Virgin; Give me strength against your enemies.”
She proclaims of the death of Jesus only: “when you say that he redeemed the world, I will say that it was not worth it. It was not worth it.”
Well, at least the author got one thing right. It wasn’t worth it, which is why God’s choice to redeem us was so amazingly merciful.
This Catholic is going to give this book, author and newspaper what it deserves — absolutely nothing. Ignore it utterly and let it sink deeper into the mire that it (and he the author) is in
Well, I am a Catholic, and I am offended by this book. Is it time for all of us to burn cars and behead people?
As an Catholic, I am also offended
Boycott Simon and Schuster..
Wow, I agree.
As an Catholic, I am also offended.
When do we start our riot?