Ancient Israel had but one temple: "But you shall seek the place where the LORD your
God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling
place; and there you shall go." (Deuteronomy 12:5), and that one
temple was sacred to the one God: "But the LORD is in His holy
temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him." (Habakkuk
2:20). The visitant who appeared to Juan Diego,— on the hillside
where mother-goddess Tonantzin's temple had been ruined by the
Spaniards,— demanded a temple, too:
"How truly I wish it, how greatly I desire it,
that here they should erect Me My Temple!
Here would I show forth,
here would I lift up to view,
here would I make a gift of
all My Fondness for My Dear Ones,
all My Regard for My Needy Ones,
My Willingness to Aid them,
My Readiness to Protect them.
"For truly I Myself,
I am your Compassionate Mother,
yours, for you yourself,
for everybody here in the Land,
for each and all together,
for all others too,
for all Folk of every kind,
who do but cherish Me,
who do but raise their voices to Me,
who do but seek Me,
who do but raise their trust to Me."
Roman Catholics claim that Juan Diego's visitant was Mary a.k.a. 'Our Lady of Guadalupe'.
But does this imperious being who demands a temple be built for
herself sound like the God-fearing girl who said, "My soul magnifies
the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He
has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth
all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has
done great things for me, and holy is His name." (Luke 1:47-49)?
Pagan peoples worshipped many things: stocks, stones, celestial
objects like the sun and the moon, poetic fictions, non-entities, fire and other
constituents of the natural world. One thing they often worshipped,
in ignorance of the actual object of their devotion, was demons.
When there is two-way communication established, as here, how can
anyone be confident that the party who desires worship, here at this
place, is not the same party who was worshipped there previously? People are
often rather conservative when it comes to religion; the new alien gods do
not suit them, the old are more familiar and comfortable.
Mary in this life was a modest, unassuming soul: "Then Mary said,
'Behold the maidservant of the Lord!'" (Luke 1:38) This
makes it all the more startling to hear terroristic threats against the planet made in her name:
"The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all
the bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia
to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.
There are so many souls whom the Justice of God condemns for
sins committed against me, that I have come to ask reparation:
sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray." (Appearance
of Our Lady of Fatima to Lucia, 1929).
Perhaps these Marian apparitions, which are such a distinctive feature
of modern Roman Catholicism, are not appearances of Mary at all,
but of some other party?
According to Roman Catholics, Mary is the Queen of the Universe, by right
of conquest, no less: "Jesus is King throughout all eternity by nature
and by right of conquest: through Him, with Him, and subordinate to Him,
Mary is Queen by grace, by divine relationship, by right of conquest, and
by singular election" (Pope Pius XII, May 13, 1946, quoted p. 659,
Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6, 1965).
There is a Queen of Heaven known to the Bible, but she's not an example to emulate:
- “Mary should be honored, but the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit should
be worshipped; no one should worship Mary...Even though 'The tree is lovely'
it is not for food; and even though Mary is all fair, and is holy and held
in honor, she is not to be worshipped...And they drink impious drinks as
the word of God says, 'And the women grind flour, and their sons gather
wood to make cakes for the host of heaven.' Such women should be silenced
by Jeremiah, and not frighten the world. They must not say, 'We honor the
queen of heaven.'”
- (Epiphanius, Panarion, Section VII, 59 , 7.5-8.2).
The passage to which he refers: "The children gather wood, the fathers
kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen
of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may
provoke Me to anger." (Jeremiah 7:18).
Spouse of the Holy Spirit
One of the more alarming titles for Mary which has become popular in modern Catholicism is "spouse of the
"Mary is the sealed
fountain and the faithful spouse of the Holy Spirit
where only he may enter." (St. Louis Mary de
Montfort, 'Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin,' Introduction, Section 5).
Normally 'spouse' implies matrimony:
"spouse...One engaged or joined in wedlock; a married
person, husband, or wife." (Webster's International 1965)
Where they find any indication of matrimony in the Bible text, I
wouldn't venture to speculate. But if they are taking 'overshadow'
as if it were a sex act, then they will find themselves left alone
in the room with those Mormons faithful to Brigham Young's vision on
these matters. Those two groups can argue this out, because no one
else is talking their language.
According to this author, the Trinity might very well be a Quaternity, were it not for a voluntary act of
'birth control' on the part of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes up for this and vindicates His
'fruitfulness' via His relationship with Mary:
"God the Holy Spirit, who does
not produce any divine person, became fruitful through
Mary whom he espoused. It was with her, in her and of
her that he produced his masterpiece, God-made-man...This does not mean that the Blessed Virgin confers
on the Holy Spirit a fruitfulness which he does not
already possess. Being God, he has the ability to
produce just like the Father and the Son, although he
does not use this power and so does not produce another
divine person. But it does mean that the Holy Spirit
chose to make use of our Blessed Lady, although he had
no absolute need of her, in order to become actively
fruitful in producing Jesus Christ and his members in
her and by her." (St. Louis Mary de Montfort, 'Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin,'
Part I: True Devotion to our Lady in General, Chapter One, Sections 20-21).
Where the author is going with this is anybody's guess. Normally 'fruit' refers to offspring:
"The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the
fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne." (Psalm 132:11).
But if this author means to say Jesus is the Holy Spirit's offspring, he is wandering far off the reservation:
"It would, furthermore, be productive of error to say that Christ
is the son of the Holy Spirit. Plainly, God's Word has a distinct Person in that He is
the Son of God the Father. If, then, He were in His human nature
called the son of the Holy Spirit, one would have to understand
Christ as being two sons...It would be unsuitable, also, to transfer
the name and the authority of the Father to another. Yet this
happens if the Holy Spirit is called the father of Christ." (Thomas
Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Book Four: Salvation, Chapter 47).
Like the rest of us, Thomas does well when he hews to the Bible
line; he does poorly when he innovates. There is no Bible basis for
describing Jesus as the son of the Holy Spirit, rather,
"Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but
go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."
In the glorious year of 1950, the infallible pope made up his infallible
mind that Mary had been assumed, bodily, into heaven, in a manner similar
to that recorded of her more famous son. He gained confidence in this decision
by...taking a poll:
"Questions to Bishops. On May 1, 1946, Pope Pius XII sent an encyclical letter, Deiparae
Virginis Mariae ('Of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God'), to all the bishops of the world...Finally,
he asked two questions: (1) 'Do you, venerable Brethren, consider that
the bodily Assumption of the Immaculate Virgin can be proposed and defined
as a dogma of faith?' (2) 'Is this, in addition to your own wishes, desired
by your clergy and people?'
"Decisive Reply. The answers overwhelmingly favored a definition, 98 per cent of them replying
affirmatively to both questions. For Piux XII, the manifestation of belief
was decisive. It confirmed that the Assumption was beyond all doubt a truth
committed by God to the Church." (Catholic Encyclopedia, 1965, Article
'The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin.')
One looks in vain for documentation of this event in scripture or in the
writings of the early church authors: "There is nothing about this
in Scripture or even in the tradition of the first five centures."
(Hans Kung, On Being a Christian, p. 461).
We expect science to advance with the advancing ages. But there is a problem
when revealed religion increases in knowledge as the years go by. Paul
cursed those who preach another gospel: "But though we, or an angel
from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached
unto you, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8). Thus it is difficult
to find room for improvement over the faith of the apostles.
My own Baptist church also likes to vote on everything, even
inconsequential matters like the shrubbery. The theory behind church
democracy is that the way to query the Holy Spirit is to poll those
in whom He dwells. Surely there are wolves amongst the sheep, but it
is the rare wildlife community that can support a higher population
of predators than of prey. But as should be apparent, the success of
this approach depends upon what spirit is setting the population in
motion. Quite a lot of momentum has built up in the Catholic
community toward awarding ever higher titles to Mary. This does not
strike everyone as the Holy Spirit at work, though presumably those
who think Mary is the Holy Spirit's spouse see it as natural
Jesus on Mariolatry
"While he was saying this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and
said to him, 'Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed
you!' But he said, 'Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and
obey it!'" (Luke 11:27-28).
Instead of encouraging this woman to go further in the direction
she was headed, the Lord called her back.
Practice What You Preach
Those who magnify Mary's power say that, as Jesus is bound to
follow the ten commandments, He must honor His mother and do as she
says. But is it just barely possible that Jesus practices what He preaches?:
"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."
"While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."
(Matthew 12:46-50, Mark 3:32-35).
If Jesus shared any of the assumptions of modern-day Mariolatry,
it is far from obvious why He would answer in this way. Why not say
instead, 'Oh, you must meet my mother, she is the second most
important ruler of the universe?'
The traffic on the Marian phone line is intense; millions around the world pray to her daily. The anti-pope Novatian offered Christ's ability to hear prayers as proof of His deity:
"If Christ is only man, how is He present wherever He is called upon; when it is not the nature of man, but of God, that it can be present in every place?" (Novatian, Treatise on the Trinity, Chapter 14).
Mary is not God; she is but a woman. In life, she could not keep track
of her son's whereabouts: "When they had finished the days, as they
returned, the boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His
mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company,
they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances."
(Luke 2:43-44). How has Mary made the transition from her finite, limited
mind here on display, to her present infinite awareness? Where is it promised
the creature will become omnipresent, just like God?
In Mayor Richard J. Daly's Chicago, promotion wasn't based on what you knew, but who you knew. The
administration of justice hinged on similar concerns. One citizen
had to go downtown and pay all his parking tickets, while his
neighbor, who knew the Mayor's mother, saw hers deposited in the
waste-basket. Chicago was not an isolated case. Back in those days,
many of America's cities saw justice done in a similar manner. This
made a lot of people angry. They used to call them 'goo-goo's':
short for 'good government.' People agitated for 'good government'
to replace the blatant corruption and favoritism they saw around
them. This was a fundamental political divide of the day. The
'goo-goo's' railed against the horse-trading that was politics in
the big cities, while many others saw the building of personal
relationships through exchange of favors as the way
of the world. The 'goo-goo's' won in the end, though young people
today may find that hard to believe; politicians still do the 'perp
walk' in front of the cameras and will till kingdom come. But the
blatant, open and unapologetic favor-trading of those days is a
thing of the past. Which of these two contesting political visions
holds the Biblical high ground?
Championing Bathsheba as fore-runner, Roman Catholics make a
Biblical argument in favor of Mary's claims. They advance a political claim
about how business is done in the heavenly court, and it turns out
to be that perennial favorite, favor-trading. The devotee of Mary
wins her favor by his ardent devotion, then she in turn pleads her friend's
case before her Son, who, won over by His mother,
shows mercy. They see a precedent for this in the petition of
Bathsheba, who tried to win Solomon's favor:
"In the monarchy of King
David, as well as in other ancient kingdoms of the Near
East, the mother of the ruling king held an important
office in the royal court and played a key part in the
process of dynastic succession. In fact, the king’s
mother ruled as queen, not his wife. [. . .]
"Probably the clearest example of the queen
mother’s role is that of Bathsheba, wife of David and mother of
Solomon. . .As spouse of the king, Bathsheba bows with her face to the ground and
does obeisance to her husband, David, upon entering his
royal chamber. In striking contrast, after her son
Solomon assumed the throne and she became queen mother,
Bathsheba receives a glorious reception upon meeting
with her royal son:
"So Bathsheba went to King Solomon, to speak to him on
behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her, and
bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne and had a
seat brought for the king’s mother; and she sat on his
right. Then she said, ‘I have one small request to make
of you; do not refuse me.’ And the king said to her,
‘Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse
you’" (1 Kgs. 2:19–20).
"This account reveals the sovereign prerogatives of the
queen mother. Note how the king rises and bows as she
enters. Bathsheba’s seat at the king’s right hand has
the greatest significance. In the Bible, the right hand
is the place of ultimate honor. This is seen in
particular in the messianic Psalm 110 ("Sit at my right
hand until I make your enemies your footstool"). In fact, many New
Testament passages refer to the right-hand imagery of Psalm 110
to show Christ’s divinity and his reign with the Father over the
whole universe (e.g., Hebrews 1:13)."
(Is Mary's Queenship Biblical?
by Edward P. Sri, at Catholic
This isolated instance had an unhappy outcome, resulting in the
death of the one for whom Bathsheba pled. Nevertheless, Roman
Catholics think it shows the way business is done in the heavenly
courts. They believe it leaves room for Mary doing what the
understand her to be doing: pleading for mercy and preferment for
those who are her favored friends.
This is one political paradigm; there is another. The fourteenth
amendment to the U.S. Constitution promises that "No State shall make
or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens
of the United States...nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Carved on the U.S. Supreme Court building is the motto, "Equal
Justice Under Law." This is not a new thing; Pericles expressed the
same ideal in his Funeral Oration: "If we look to the laws, they
afford equal justice to all in their private differences; if no
social standing, advancement in public life falls to reputation for
capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with
merit; nor again does poverty bar the way, if a man is able to serve
the state, he is not hindered by the obscurity of his condition."
(Pericles, Funeral Oration, as reported in Thucydides, Peloponnesian War (Book 2.34-46).)
The "equal protection" paradigm is well illustrated by the statues
of blind-folded women holding scales in their hand, representing
justice, found in front of court-houses. To what are they
blind? To those factors which might unduly influence their verdict,
including personal acquaintance or relation to the accused.
The other paradigm, 'unequal protection,' a web of personal
relationships solidified by favor-trading, reached its zenith in the
medieval period. A good example of this mind-set is found in Thomas
Aquinas' letter to Margaret of Flanders. Margaret had a problem: the
Jews in her realm were rumored to have money, and she wanted it.
What is striking about Thomas' acquiescence to her sordid scheme is
their shared innocence of any concept of "equal protection;" for
instance, "...it also seems to me that the Jew should be punished
with a greater fine (or anyone else who practices usury) than anyone
else in a similar case, to make the point that the money taken from
him be known to be less his entitlement." (Letter of Thomas Aquinas
to Margaret of
Flanders). Neither Thomas nor Margaret think her subjects are
equal before the law; what happens to them depends on
who they are, and whether the monarch is favorably disposed towards
them. Politics in the medieval period was very personal; society is
held together by a web of personal relationships, cemented with the
affectionate exchange of mutual benefits, or aversion and plunder as
in this case.
Who is on the Bible bus: the 'goo-goo's' who subscribe to
Pericles' equality before the law, or Thomas, an undoubted Catholic?
There can be no doubt on this point: Moses was a 'goo-goo.' Is it
possible after all that the King of Israel shows favor to His
mother's friends? No, that is not lawful.
The King must do justice: "The God of Israel said, the Rock of
Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in
the fear of God." (2 Samuel 23:3). "Blessed be the LORD thy God,
which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel:
because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king,
to do judgment and justice." (1 Kings 10:9).
The criterion for justice is the law of Moses, and Moses allows
no favoritism for family members: "Thou shalt not consent unto him,
nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither
shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:..." (Deuteronomy
13:8). Moses praised the Levites because they never noticed their
own mothers: "And of Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be
with thy holy one. . .Who said unto his father and to his mother, I
have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew
his own children: for they have observed thy word, and kept thy
covenant." (Deuteronomy 33:8-9). What does this mean, that the judge
has not seen his father or his mother? Mom is standing there,
accused of shop-lifting. 'Mom? Mom Who? Guilty!' That's what the
judge must do, under the law of Moses. What Roman Catholics want to
see: the people win Mary's favor by acts of devotion, and she in
turn influences her Son to 'go easy' on them, counts as corruption
under Israel's monarchy.
A judge must not show respect of persons, which includes
favoritism toward familiars and intimates:
"But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors."
"Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour."
"Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous."
"Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it."
"These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment."
"To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that
man will transgress." (Proverbs 28:21).
"Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and
do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts."
(2 Chronicles 19:7).
"Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless,
and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen."
By Mosaic standards, favoring your mother's friends is a serious crime.
Yet the Roman Catholics base all of their hopes upon this behavior, which is harshly condemned
as a deviation from justice! They do not see what is wrong with their
system, just as the medievals saw nothing wrong with it;
but the 'goo-goo's' see what is wrong, and so did Moses. No doubt
Richard J. Daly never could figure what all those people were so
angry about. What is wrong with it? It shows 'respect of persons.' The
'restored Davidic Kingdom' does not function like this; justice
under the Mosaic law is not 'different strokes for different folks.'
They are wandering away from the Bible in the delusion that they can
rig the system, when rigging the system counts as a crime.
To set forth a "role" of the "queen mother" as a desideratum for
the Davidic Kingdom, the least that is required would be that the
'queen-mothers' advanced as models are praised in scripture: no
Jezebels, no Maacah's, no Athaliah's, no Egyptians. Merely to point
out that queens, queen-mothers, and mistresses exist establishes no
requirement for such a 'role.' How to get over the hurdle of
establishing this 'role' as a desideratum, indeed a requirement for
a restored Davidic Kingdom, when what the Catholics want Mary to do
is against the law of Moses?
No sane person should demand justice from the King of Israel, nor
does He intend to mete out to His own what we deserve. Instead He has
graciously borne on His own person the scars we have merited. This Marian
system of personal favoritism and undue influence is equally foreign to the
Christian system as it is to the Israelite system of impartial law. Catholic
apologists have confused it with the Israelite system, which they hope to
'restore,' through failure to weigh the importance attached to non-respect of persons
in Biblical law.