Roy Moore, Saint Joseph, Vasari, and Dana Milbank

I revert to the remarks of Jim Ziegler, Alabama state auditor:

He’s clean as a hound’s tooth. Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist. Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.

Based on his years attending Southern Baptist Sunday school and on his expertise as an art historian, Vasari explains that Mr. Ziegler is incorrect, and that, as Vasari puts it,

Joseph was not the father of Jesus, at least according to western church dogma. I do not have a song but I do have this little ditty:

As a ray of the sun
Through a window can pass,
And yet no hurt is done
The translucent glass,
So, but more subtly,
Of a mother untried,
God, the son of God,Comes forth from his bride.

It seems that several versions of this verse, likely sung, made the rounds in medieval Flanders.

In short, pace Mr. Ziegler, Mary conceived by the Word, not intercourse.

A telling illustration of the idea can be seen in alternatively, Robert Campin/Workshop of Robert Campin under the title alternatively The Merode Altarpiece/The Annunciation Triptych.

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Forgetting the fascinating side panels, let’s look at a detail of the central panel. The angel announces. Simultaneously the complex baby slides down a light beam toward Mary,  and if you want to use a straightedge you will see that the path is to Mary’s head, even, I think, her ear. Notice that the light beams and the baby have passed through the glass of the window without breaking it. And by the way the path takes them past a pot of water, water=clean.

Should there be any doubt about the conception, Joseph, on the right panel, is busy making mouse traps while his wife conceives.

Now, in the discussions since the Washington Post revelations, we have heard from thumpers that there was nothing unusual in Moore taking a fourteen-year old–that was a long time ago and they did things differently then and Moore is just being biblical.

Might the thumpers arrange for a demonstration of Moore sticking his beam through a window without breaking the glass?

All this needs to be laid before McConnell. A sticky wicket. Can McConnell grasp the distinction between oral sex and aural sex?

And may we assume that the thumpers will miss the detail of the morning report that Moore spoke to the mother and suddenly had possession of the child?

Here endeth the lesson from Vasari.

Dana Milbank also contributes greatly to the discussion, identifying a number of biblican practices highly approved in Alabama Republican circles:

Sacrificing as a burnt offering your young son (Genesis 22:2) or your daughter, if she comes out of the doors of your house to meet you (Judges 11:30-1, 34-5).

Having rebellious children stoned to death by all the men of the city (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).

Purchasing slaves (Leviticus 25:44-46), selling your daughter as a slave (Exodus 21:7-8) and making sure they submit to their masters, even cruel ones (1 Peter 2:18).

Executing pagan priests on their own altars and burning their bones (2 Kings 23:20-25).

Cutting off the hand of a woman if she grabs the penis of a man who is fighting with her husband (Deuteronomy 25:11-12).

Committing incest (Genesis 19:31-36) and cannibalism (2 Kings 6:28-29).

And having the military do all sorts of things to the enemy that would violate the Geneva accords:

Kill all boys and women but spare the girls who have not known man intimately for yourself (Numbers 31:17-18).

Destroy all that they have, killing man, woman, child, infant, ox, sheep, camel and donkey (1 Samuel 15:3).