Sometime just over 2,000 years ago, contrary to the song, it was not a silent night. In Bethlehem, a young woman gave birth to a baby in a stable. The story went exactly as one would tell a story if one did not want the story taken seriously.
The first witnesses were shepherds, men so unreliable that their testimony was inadmissible in court. Key eyewitnesses were women, also seen as unreliable. The father of the child fell out of the historic record.
This essay is probably worth a read even though I disagree with pretty much everything in it, starting with the fact that the main reason the story can’t be taken seriously is the woman giving birth while claiming to have never been intimate with a man.
I’ve asked my dad about this. He’s a true believer. “If a young woman right now told you she was pregnant but had never been intimate with a man, would you believe that?”
He won’t even talk about it. He just believes it. I don’t even get into the fact that if God in fact fathered the child, it sounds disturbingly like a rape.
I’ve heard of this kind of thing happening in mythology, humans being impregnated by gods, but still, in all the cases I can think of, it happens via a physical act. Can the woman still claim to be a virgin?