The other morning, on the History Channel, I saw yet another theory about the role of Mary Magdellan in the early Christian Church.
According to this interpretation Mary, as the first person to witness the resurrection of Joshua bar Joseph, was in a unique position to see to it that the new religion got off the ground.
In those first halting days, the other disciples were terrified--and rightfully so. They'd just seen their friend die an excruciating death. They wanted to run and hide--to go back to fishing, tax gathering, farming, whatever they'd been doing before their great adventure began. But, Mary was a goad. She said to them, 'He's alive! I saw him! He said he'll be back soon! We've got to tell others----'
Well, no man--particularly no man of the first century--was going to let a mere woman be seen to have more courage than he did. And so, Christianity was born. Mary Magdellan was at least as responsible for it's beginning as any of the other disciples.
Not surprisingly, the Catholic Church takes a dim view of this interpretation of the scripture.
How could their entire belief system have hinged on the actions of a woman for God's sake?
Mary couldn't possibly have been among the chosen friends of Joshua. Poor farmers, fishermen, handy-men, yes. A tax collector--one of the most reviled professions of the first century [and, arguably, today]--yes. Joshua could associate himself with thieves, lepers, prostitutes [while keeping his distance], madmen, etc. etc. But a female disciple??? NEVER! And this woman [prostitute, according to the accepted wisdom of the Church] couldn't have been a pivotal figure! Impossible!
And so the Christian Church once more sows descrimination, hate and second-class citizenship on over half its membership as a matter of policy.
I wish they would ask themselves in their heart-of-hearts: 'What would Jesus [sic] do?' and act accordingly. Of course now, as has always been the case, it's simply too much to ask most White Males to truly see other people as human beings.