Church’s Irreverent Billboard Shows Virgin Mary Like You’ve Never Seen Her (PHOTO)

Virgin Mary BillboardI'm starting to think the sense of humor has gone the way of chivalry. An Anglican church known for its over-the-top billboards is at it again, and people are predictably up in arms. This time St. Matthews-in-the-City Church in New Zealand put up a giant picture of the Virgin Mary holding a pregnancy test in her hand. With her hand clamped over her mouth, the mother of Jesus Christ looks shocked.

A pregnant virgin has every right to be shocked. People looking at this billboard and creating controversy, on the other hand, need to loosen up a little.

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Is the billboard a little irreverent? Sure! We all know there were no little pee sticks back in the days of Jesus Christ. Thinking about Mary with one put a grin on my face. But if making people laugh makes this billboard inappropriate, we might as well ban all those mid-sermon jokes by priests and pastors who are just trying to keep their congregations awake. I can picture the pews of snorers now.

I think most of us are laughing at the billboard in an "aww, gee, that's cute, I remember those days" sense. It's the classic case of "I'm laughing with you, not at you."

After all, it's not like the picture is telling us anything we didn't know already. It's been awhile since I saw the inside of a church, but if memory serves, the basic premise of the Christian faith is a virgin woman not yet married to her husband, Joseph, got pregnant and, come Christmas time, out popped little baby Jesus. Just about everything I remember about the Blessed Mother from my Catholic upbringing indicates she was pretty darn surprised when she learned she was carrying the Christ child.

St. Matthews' vicar, for his part, says all the billboard was intended to do was get people talking:

I don't think it is particularly controversial. I think it is focusing and wanting to encourage people to think about the real meaning of Christmas. It isn't about Santa and tinsel, it's about a real baby.

So this church is driving that message home with humor instead of a hammer over the head. Is that really such a problem?

 

Image via St. Matthews-in-the-City

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