Sydney ”Shock Jock” Kyle Sandilands has upset Christians and Muslims by wrongly claiming on air that Jesus’ mother Mary lied about her pregnancy and told everyone, ‘I got pregnant by a magical ghost’.
There is no evidence that this is the case. The story of Jesus “virgin birth” was not even known to Jesus’ mother Mary. It was made up later by others. The earliest known Christian writings, the Epistles of Paul and the Gospel of Mark, do not mention it. This is a very telling omission. It is obviously a concoction by later Christians in an attempt to validate the evolving myth that the man Jesus was God and therefore could not have had a human father.
Sandilands’ co-host Jackie O’Henderson also got it wrong when she claimed in Jesus’ defence that his virgin birth was unique. On the contrary, the history of religious myth abounds with stories of virgin births. For example, the Roman god Mars was conceived when his mother, Juno, touched a magic flower; the Chinese god Qi was conceived when his mother Jiang Yuan stepped in a giant footprint left by the supreme deity Shangdi; and the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli was conceived when his mother Coatlicue found a ball of feathers that fell from the sky and placed it in her waistband.
Moreover, one of Sandilands detractors got it wrong when he complained forlornly “you have accused her [Mary] of having sex”. Leaving aside the implied slur on the sexual act, it is clear that Mary must have had sex sometime, even on the Biblical account, since Jesus had a number of siblings, and unless they were all the offspring of the Holy Ghost, they must have been conceived via sexual intercourse.
Finally, his critics got it wrong. Sandilands comments were ill-informed and expressed in intemperate language, but, although he misplaced the blame, he was within his rights to question the plausibility of the virgin birth story. That religious leaders didn’t grant him that right is concerning. It exposes their one-sided view of the idea of freedom of religious expression.