maryWhy is it better if she dies a virgin?

Jerome, Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and Wesley's heartfelt convictions notwithstanding (cuz, you know: whadda those guys know?), I never understood why it's so important for Mary to remain a virgin after having Jesus. I certainly need Mary to be a virgin before the birth of Jesus, so that I will have zero reasons to question Jesus' divine nature. But why on earth (har, har) would I want her to be a virgin after the birth of Christ? I hate the assumption in which insistence on the perpetual virginity of Mary is necessarily grounded, which is that it's somehow ideal for a woman to spend her entire life as a virgin. I can't escape the fact that the insistence of Mary's perpetual virginity sounds pretty exactly like good ol' fashioned misogyny.

If given a choice (and the Bible's utter ambiguity on the matter does give us that choice), I choose to insist that the married Mary died a virgin, then what does that say about how I feel about women, marriage, and sex---which is to say about the sacred value of family? Why would anyone who is pro-family values insist that Mary died a virgin? Isn't that like someone being pro-weather, but then never  stepping outside?

This post is derived from a comment I recently left at Boar's Head Tavern, the group blog run by Internet Monk.

Related post o' mine: Joseph and Mary at the Inn

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