Republished © Stuart Wilde – Note from James Wild: This is a Stuart Wilde article and the views expressed in the text are not necessarily my own.
The Virgin Mary somehow got rather thin, so they made a statue of her to scare the children into behaving and so they would attend boring Bible classes without too much of a fuss.
Children don’t know about virginity. As a little boy I could never quite understand what the verging Mary was verging towards. The prayer says that she is ‘blessed amongst women’ but to a kid it sounds like ‘among swimming’, I knew I liked swimming more than church. When it got to the bit about ‘the fruit of thy womb, Jesus’, I was as gynecologically lost as it is possible to be. I didn’t know what a ‘womb-Jesus’ was, or what one was supposed to do with it if one accidentally found one. It was all rather frightening.
A pasty-faced priest in a black cassock with tea stains down the front explained that the verging Mary was Jesus’ mum and that they were very poor and Jesus was born in manger in Bethlehem. I lived in Africa; we didn’t have mangers; my dad was a diplomat. When you are little and you don’t understand, you just make up the blank bits as best you can. For a while I thought a manger was a type of car ‘cos it says in the carol ‘away in the manger’. We’d been away in my dad’s Hillman car, up the jungle to the river Volta.
The priest also said that Jesus died to save me of my sins. I felt very proud and grateful for that and I thought Jesus had done a wonderful job as I felt I didn’t have any sins. I had tried to twist my sister’s ear off in argument but I was too unsure of myself to ask about that and anyway, if it was a sin, Jesus would be along in a while to wash it all away. It was all plain sailing in those days.
I was eleven before I saw a television. I was utterly amazed at the tiny flickering black and white screen that was set in a vast wooden box with very imposing doors that clicked when you closed them. I was only allowed to watch TV for half an hour a week, it was a pop show called, the Six-Five Special. I was amazed how they knew that that was when I was watching, I didn’t at first realize that lots of people watched the show I thought it was just for me and so I was again very grateful. I had Jesus for my sins and the Six-Five Special, what else could a young lad possibly need? The Six- Five Special became a show called, Ready Steady Go and that eventually became Top of the Pops, and my sister with the sore ear danced on Top of the Pops for ten years and became rather famous.
Eventually, I graduated to watching the news and it was only then I realized what a dismal job Jesus had done in washing away the sins of the world, as there was sin left and right and all over the place. And the pasty-faced evangelicals on TV reminded me of the priest with the tea stains down the front of his cassock and I became nervous. I saw a terrible evil in them and realized humanity was being carried away.
I was still keen on the verging Mary and she became the goddess in my mind and I love her and I feel she’ll put things right. I don’t believe she’ll wash away the sin of the world, I think she’ll just wash away the world. But first the devil (people’s darkness) will be let out for all to see. That is why demonic possession is pandemic nowadays. The ghouls are being exposed.
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