A Thought Experiment

2 February, 2009

regarding teenage girls and pregnancy.

(((Wife))) and I were discussing the acceptance of miracles by modern Christians.  The earth was made in seven days?  Miracle.  The parting of the Red Sea?  Miracle.  Feed a mob without Hamburger Helper?  Miracle.   Virgin birth?  Miracle.  Even modern miracles are accepted without question.  Survive a car wreck?  Miracle.  The surgery is successful?  Miracle.  Christ on a taco?  Miracle.  Virgin birth?  Problem.

Back in my freshman year of high school, my biology partner was the daughter of a local minister.  Her dad had dropped out of the Southern Baptist Convention because they were ‘too liberal.’  Her dad’s church was one of those holy-roller evangelical right-wing batshit crazy fundamentalist biblical literalist churches.  The kind of church that High Episcopalians try to ignore.

She knew that I was a Unitarian (I was stupid and, when she asked, I answered).  This meant, in her mind, that I was a satan worshipper who wanted to  destroy God’s creation, corrupt the Christians, create mayhem and chaos, kill puppies and barbecue babies.  And she told me.  Every day that we had lab.

One day I asked her what Bible her church used.  She replied, “The Bible.”

“Yeah,” I persisted, “but which version?”

“We use The Bible.”  I could here the peevishness creeping into her voice.

“Which translation of the Bible?”

“The Word of God does not need to be translated.”

“Wow.  You can read Greek, Hebrew and Latin?”  This was getting fun.

She freaked.  She stood up in the lab and began screaming at me, calling me the spawn of satan, follower of the antichrist, you name it, she said it.  She was sent to the office by our long-suffering bio teacher (who retired at the end of the year).  She was suspended for a week.  She had a baby nine months later.

Now for the thought experiment.  Her father, the minister, believed strongly in Biblical literalism. The Bible contained no allegory (allegories were for Papists).  He Believed in the miracles of the Bible.  Capital ‘B’ Belief.

Suppose that his daughter, upon realizing that she had missed a couple of periods and was, therefore, a little bit pregnant, had told her father, “I never had sex.  I’m still a virgin.”  Suppose, further, that she showed no sign of penetration and her hymen was still intact.  Suppose that she denied engaging in frottage (dry-humping) and all evidence backed her up.  And suppose that she remembered a dream in which an angel came to her and told her she would bear a new messiah.

Would her father, a man fighting the good fight against the moral degredation and moral relativism of liberal American, a firm believer in abstinence until marriage (and no comprehensive sex-education), have believed her and accepted the miracle of virgin birth?  Or would he have, in good conservative tradition, tried to beat the truth out of his daughter?

I don’t gamble, but if I did, I know which one I would bet upon.



  1. Frottage?

    Damn, there’s a fancy French word for everything sexual! It sounds so much more enjoyable than “dry-humping.”

  2. And of course, there are those who insist if the Greek and Hebrew differ from the KJV, the Greek and Hebrew must be wrong.

  3. Pregnancy is a divine gift that only women are endowed with, and one must accept it.

  4. Well, at least she put that one week suspension to good use.

  5. Chappie: That one (actually, the idea for the whole post, but that word especially (and I corrected the spelling)) was courtesy of (((Wife))).

    Kate: I know. Weird doesnt cover it.

    Pregnancy: Thanks for stopping by. ???

    Nan: Or did she? Maybe it really was immaculate? (our bet was her second cousin)

  6. Pregnancy: Is shooting semen into another’s eye a divine gift that only men are endowed with, too? I suppose the ability to shtuck another guy in the butt must be too, right?

    Now I’ll bet you’ll say those things are wrong, that just because you can, because you’re “endowed” with the ability, doesn’t mean you should do it. Well likewise for getting pregnant. Juno was a cute movie and all, but seriously, pregnancy and teenagers are a bad mix.

  7. Philly: I missed the point of ‘Pregnancy’s’ comment. Odd, though. I made no comment at all on whether the girl should have gotten pregnant. I made only a passing reference to the ineffectualness of abstinence-only-sex-education, or even sex-education at all. Yet she decides to ignore the point of the post (would an immaculate conception today be considered a miracle or a lie) and inserts a religiously motivated non-sequitor. I’ve known girls who have hit menarche as early as nine or ten years old (great modern nutrition). Do you suppose that ‘Pregnancy’ is suggesting that, because their bodies are capable of pregnancy, that it should be done? This is weird.

    And as for you, Philly — where the hell do you come up with some of this stuff?

  8. Maybe it’s a divine gift that I’m endowed with. 😉

  9. I’m sure her dad would not believe the virgin birth story.

    So in a similar vein, and something I’ve thought about before, how would the religious know their messiah has returned?

    If even a super religious person wouldn’t believe a virgin birth story, then who would? If someone started wandering around calling themselves Jesus, who would believe them? Even if they performed numerous ‘miracles’ a lot of people would just think they are good magic tricks.

  10. Funny double standards isn’t it. I often ask christians if they would kill their child if god commanded it. Its a good way to get them thinking about what evidence they would require to believe god was asking them to do something. Not suprisingly, they require a lot more evidnence that it takes to believe that god miraculously put a picture of Jesus on some dog’s bottom.

  11. Philly: But is it marketable?

    Oz: A man I know has spent time inside long term mental health facility (both voluntarily and involuntarily). His theory is that Christ did return and he’s in a home for the insane.

    Billy: Thanks for stopping by. Maybe he showed up in the dog’s ass during his frat days. He really got shitfaced and didnt realize someone had a camera. Near as I can make out, the only miracles are in places so remote that it takes months for the story (in a highly modified form) to reach the real world by which time it is unverifiable.

  12. @’Pregnancy’…wtf? Anyways, I always found that the girls with the most uptight, uber-religious families and most ardent convictions were the easiest to, um, “know”, as they say in the KJV Bible, especially in college.

  13. Saddlebacking, people. That’s the answer for all of today’s current crop of religious teens. Keeps them virgins until marriage — of course, if their technique is sloppy and the santorum oozes in the wrong direction, there could be a not-so-immaculate conception anyway.

  14. DB: Didn’t work that way in the Bible (or Chastity?) Belt.

    Nan: Yeah. It seems that, among the more religious, the unfit orifices have made a comeback. Saddlebacking (with, of course, no protection (because you can only learn about protection from either parents or in sex-ed)) has become quite popular. In my dad’s day, they called them technical virgins, or VINOs.

  15. And since abstinence-only teaches that condoms are unreliable the religious kids are more likely to get knocked up or get an STD than the rest of them when they do have sex.

  16. Mark 16: 16 He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.


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