The Crazy Real-Life Story Of The Satanic Panic

With Sam Smith’s…demonic performance at the 2023   Grammy Awards, all things Satanic  Panic seem to be back in the news.   But this recent trend actually has a long history  that stretches back to the Reagan administration. Satanic Panic was preceded by the  rise of evangelical Christianity that,  

In some opinions, cultivated a paranoid fear  of supernatural evil. This is exemplified by   the “evil empire” speech delivered by  President Ronald Reagan on March 8,   1983. The speech was delivered to the  National Association of Evangelicals,   shortly before Reagan was re-elected to a  second term. Though Reagan was talking about  

The Soviet Union, his use of concepts like good  versus evil spoke to a sea change in Americans’   relationship with religion, especially as many  joined the evangelical Christian movement. “We will never abandon our belief in God.” Because of this change, Reagan courted  the favor of the Moral Majority. The Moral  

Majority was a political action group formed  in 1979 by Baptist minister Jerry Falwell,   Sr. It successfully aligned itself with  conservative values and the political right,   setting the stage for the conservative  Republican politics that are still active in   the U.S. government. After Reagan’s election in  1980, his ties to the Moral Majority continued.

A growing number of Americans were taking part  in conservative Christianity that pushed back   against the more liberal cultural changes of the  1960s and 1970s and new religious practices like   the Church of Satan. Though the Church of  Satan was actually atheism dressed up like  

A carnival sideshow, from the outside it was  terrifying to Bible-believing evangelicals. As the 1980s progressed, it was clear  that mental health services were going   to be a more prominent part of American life.  However, the rise of legitimate psychologists,   psychiatrists, counselors, and other health  professionals was mirrored by the rise of  

Quack practitioners as well. Dubious  therapies like hypnotic regression also   helped to set the stage for a Satanic Panic  based on concepts like “recovered memories.” According to the British Psychological Society,  recovered memories are especially controversial   because they are often difficult to prove.  Additionally, they may be generated whole-cloth  

As patients ruminate on their experiences with  the help of over-eager therapists. Adding to   the confusion was the desire for fame and fortune,  which seemed to push many professionals to ignore   concerns as they gained renown for fighting  back against evil but unseen Satanists.

The proliferation of mandatory reporting laws  and strengthened child protection services over   the course of the latter 20th century is  also tied into the story. Unfortunately,   there’s no doubt that child abuse was a  persistent problem long before the 1980s. But,  

The growing attention towards abuse, paired with  rising concerns about the very soul of the nation,   primed a powder keg. With so many Americans  worried about evil in both its temporal and   supernatural forms, it now seems that  something explosive was bound to happen.

“Michelle Remembers,” published in 1980,  was the first work to claim that Satanic   practitioners were ritually abusing children.  Written by Michelle Smith and psychiatrist   Lawrence Pazder, the book contained lurid  stories of abuse uncovered during Smith’s   therapy sessions. It was during those sessions  that Pazder began to use hypnotic regression.

At first, these were worldly horrors  like purportedly witnessing a murder,   but as the sessions continued, the  recollections took on a paranormal tinge,   with graveyard rituals, consumption of human  remains, and even the Devil himself. At one point,   Michelle claims, occultists installed  horns and a tail into her own body.

“Michelle Remembers” has now been thoroughly  debunked, both because Pazder used unproven   methods and because no corroborating evidence  was uncovered. For those who believed that   well-organized Satanists were wreaking  havoc in the world, this was a stark,   terrifying confirmation. For others, it was  a graphic, compelling story that took hold of  

Their imaginations and made the changing world  all the more terrifying. For Smith and Pazder,   it was the ticket to a highly public and  lucrative career as speakers and consultants. “The book’s already a big bestseller!” “Did you realize that?” Though the writers of “Michelle Remembers” claimed  that a well-organized Satanic cult was operating  

In Canada, it wasn’t long before the Satanic Panic  hit the U.S. In California, the McMartin preschool   case proved to be one of the most expensive and  traumatic legal affairs to stem from the panic. It began with a call made in August 1983.  Judy Johnson, whose son went to the McMartin  

Preschool in Manhattan Beach, California, told  the police that her son had been abused by a   teacher. In a letter, she also said that her  son witnessed the teacher, Raymond Buckey,   flying through the air. His mother and school  administrator Peggy McMartin Buckey supposedly  

Took Johnson’s son to an armory where a “goatman”  was present in a “ritual-type atmosphere.” “Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?” During the investigation, police sent a  letter to the parents that graphically   referred to “possible criminal  acts” and named Raymond Buckey.  

This set off a panic. When interviewed, most  children at first denied that anything happened   but questionable interview techniques  pushed them to make lurid confessions. The court case that followed dragged  on for years and cost $15 million. It   fizzled into nothing after investigators found  no evidence to support the claims. Eventually,  

Judy Johnson’s initial testimony was  brought into question. After her death,   it was revealed that she had been  diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Many of the children interviewed for the McMartin  preschool investigation spoke with Kee MacFarlane.   MacFarlane and her team, none of whom were  licensed, spoke to hundreds of children.

MacFarlane employed controversial techniques. One  assistant told children that others had already   divulged their “yucky secrets” in an effort  to defeat the teachers who were “sick in the   head.” The investigator even directly asked at  least one girl if “Mr. Ray” did the touching.  

When the girl denied this, the investigator  repeatedly asked how Mr. Ray “would have”   touched someone until the girl pointed to an  anatomically correct doll’s private parts. Could young children, who spoke of  secret tunnels beneath the school,   goatmen, and flying teachers, be trusted  when investigators like MacFarlane goaded  

Them on? In at least one exchange, quoted  by The New York Times, she told a child, “You’re just a scaredy cat.  How come you won’t tell me?” These and other dubious techniques spread  throughout the Satanic Panic. Investigators,   some of whom helped to imprison  accused people for years,  

Relied on unproven techniques like  the analysis of children’s drawings,   how they played with toys, and interviews  packed full of leading questions. As the panic grew, police departments began to  train officers for what seemed to be a rising   tide of Satanism. At least, that’s what people  like Kee MacFarlane believed. MacFarlane, the  

Unlicensed investigator who worked on the McMartin  preschool case, told California legislators that, “Preschools in this country in some  instances I think we must realize have   become a ruse of larger unthinkable  networks of crimes against children.” Police training for the Satanic Panic has  come into question. The training taught  

Police investigators to treat everything  from graffitied pentagrams to heavy metal   music as evidence of occult activity. One  document from the Chicago Police Department,   assembled by a “gang crimes and  ritual abuse specialist” in 1989,   alleged that even the innocuous peace symbol  was really an occultic “Cross of Nero.”

While paranoia grew within police departments,  practically no evidence uncovered a vast,   satanic conspiracy. Yet, people like Lawrence  Pazder, who co-wrote “Michelle Remembers” and   helped to set off the panic, remained in  high demand as a paid “expert” consultant.

As part of the Satanic Panic, people began to  grow wary of the imagery and culture of heavy   metal music. Tipper Gore, wife of then-Senator Al  Gore, helped to form the Parents Music Resource   Center in 1985. The PMRC was founded with  the intent to give parents greater control  

Over children’s access to music with violent  or sexual imagery, including occult themes.   It was tied to the same moral fears that gave  rise to the Satanic Panic. At the same time,   police departments and investigators were told  to be especially wary of metal music, which  

They were told contained hidden occult messages  that led teens along a dark, otherworldly path. “Well I know he and his friends  listened to devil music.” “The night Chicago died?” The paranoia surrounding the  look and sound of metal music   very nearly killed Damien Echols. Along  with Jessie Miskelley and Jason Baldwin,  

Echols was convicted of the 1993 assault  and murder of three boys in West Memphis,   Arkansas. The three young men were eventually  called the “West Memphis Three.” The evidence   linking the trio to the murder was scant and  largely circumstantial. The convictions were  

Based in part on their goth aesthetic and love of  metal music, which investigators linked to occult   elements that were supposedly identified  at the crime scene, but never confirmed. Though Echols was initially sentenced to death,   all three have now been released from prison. The  true killer of the boys has never been identified.

While people grew frantic at the prospect of  satanic groups abusing children, real people   were being convicted on little evidence. Some,  like Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three,   just barely escaped execution. Others  were imprisoned for many years,   only to be released when people questioned the  evidence presented. A few remain in prison today.

Frank and Ileana Fuster were arrested in August  1984. They were charged with committing abuse at   their home daycare in Miami, Florida. Janet Reno,  then serving as the Dade County state attorney,   prosecuted the couple based on child  testimony, a single medical test,  

And Ileana Fuster’s confession. Some argued  that the children were pushed to confess,   much like the minors in the McMartin preschool  case. Furthermore, Ileana eventually recanted,   maintaining her innocence while saying she  simply wanted the ordeal to be over. She   was imprisoned for three years and  then deported to Honduras in 1989.

A 1990 made-for-TV movie, “Unspeakable Acts,”  may have influenced public perception of the   case. Frank is still in prison today. Though the  evidence presented at the Fuster’s investigation   and trial was shaky, the truth remains that  Frank had prior convictions. This points to the  

Distinct possibility that some children, both  in the Fuster case and beyond, may be genuine   abuse victims whose stories are overshadowed  by claims of conspiracies and the supernatural. Though the U.S. seemed to be the heart of  a mysterious network of Satanic abusers,  

The panic spread outwards into other countries.  In 1992, it struck Martensville, Saskatchewan. A   local daycare was targeted after children claimed  to have been abused by the people working there.   Some claimed to have been taken to a blue shed  outside of town, which they called the “Devil  

Church.” It was there that they were supposedly  trapped in cages and made to participate in blood   rituals. The accusations went to trial  in 1993, but further scrutiny brought   police investigation techniques into question.  Though some of the accused were convicted, the  

Vast majority of their sentences were overturned  after authorities failed to produce any evidence. In 1997, Italy experienced its own Satanic Panic  with the “Devils of Lower Modena.” After a local   parent referred her child to a psychologist to  counter possible abuse, it spun into a widespread  

And paranoid investigation. Children claimed  that they were made to participate in murders,   blasphemies, and gory nighttime rituals held in  cemeteries. Sixteen children were removed from   their families and six people were convicted.  As in so many other cases of Satanic Panic,  

No one ever uncovered proof that satanic  ritual abuse or murder had taken place. Media outlets began to grow skeptical of the  moral panic beginning in the late 1980s. In 1992,   the U.S. Department of Justice published a study  written by Special Agent Kenneth Lanning that  

Debunked the whole affair. Lanning, who was a  consultant on hundreds of Satanic Panic cases,   criticized the mutable definitions  of Satanism used by law enforcement   agencies. He also noted that some of the  alarming symbols used by “Satanists” were   ultimately innocuous things like heavy  metal music and role-playing games.

By 1995, a television film  produced by HBO, “Indictment:   The McMartin Trial,” marked the  growing disbelief surrounding the   specter of satanic ritual abuse.  The movie portrayed Ray Buckey,   the accused man at the center of the McMartin  preschool trial, as a victim of moral panic.

That doesn’t mean the Satanic Panic was  entirely over. A training film called the   “Law Enforcement Guide to Satanic Cults” was  produced in 1994. Cases bearing the marks of   the panic are still in the court system. The  “Devils of Lower Modena” case that supposedly  

Centered on satanic ritual abuse in Italy was  still being argued in court as recently as 2019. Though it’s now largely derided by mental health  professionals, belief in ritual abuse committed   by a highly organized and efficient underground  group of devil worshippers is still out there. One  

Therapist practicing in Salt Lake City, Barbara  Snow, was put on probation for reportedly planting   memories of satanic ritual abuse in her patients.  Snow, who is still a practicing therapist,   at one time treated Teal Swan, a controversial  spiritual leader. Swan maintained that she had  

Been the victim of Satanists. The investigation  on her behalf stalled when Snow came under fire.

#Crazy #RealLife #Story #Satanic #Panic

The Disturbing Truth Of The Seven Princes Of Hell

The devil made you do it, but which one? There’s  more to the red guy with the horns, including   the fact that he’s actually seven guys with very  particular specialties to boot. Or cloven hoof. The Seven Princes of Hell are a collection of  fearsome foes spread across various religions  

And cultures, but they find their origins  in the writings of notorious witch hunter   and German bishop Peter Binsfeld.  Binsfeld tortured confessions out   of supposed witches that turned into what  he perceived as the chief villains behind   witchcraft — these seven princes. Each  one lorded over a specific sin and has  

Made appearances across various religious  texts, from the Bible to the book of Tobit. The demon princes have also found their way  into literature. Works such as Paradise Lost   and Dante’s Inferno feature the Princes in various  forms. And demonology experts across the centuries  

Have kept them nice and organized in encyclopedias  like the 1818 Dictionnaire Infernal or Infernal   Dictionary by Jacques Collin de Plancy.  Descriptions differ from source to source,   but a few core ideas remain the same. For  instance, each Prince is his own entity,   and each possesses significant power  that’s been seen throughout history.

For example, Lucifer presided over pride  and Satan presided over wrath. Beelzebub   represented gluttony, Belphegor symbolized  sloth, Leviathan was in charge of envy,   Asmodeus encouraged lust, and  finally, Mammon presided over greed. None of them are friendly by any means,  but here are some untold truths about them.

The name “Lucifer” has many meanings and  interpretations, including light-bearer,   giver of light, morning star, and the  super cool “lightbeard.” The story of   his name comes from his creation by God himself. “Satan at that time was Lucifer, or “the  daystar.” He was the brightest of the angels.”

Lucifer is often conflated with  Satan, and also with Beelzebub,   but they are three separate entities. And in  Lucifer’s case, his name sets him up as one of   the most interesting princes of hell, given the  power he had before his failed rebellion. This  

Failed rebellion gives another interpretation of  what his name means: “he who shuns the light.” The Book of Revelations tells the story of a  battle fought in heaven between Michael and   his angels against the rebel future-demons  and their angels. The leader of the rebels  

Was Lucifer himself. Lucifer was fed  up with the state of the universe. He   saw himself as superior to humankind and  couldn’t understand God’s love for them.   So he convinced a third of the angels to side  with him and rise up against the rule of God.

The war lasted for years. Lucifer turned  himself into a dragon. Fellow demons   Leviathan and Behemoth showed up to help, but  in the end, Lucifer lost the fight and was cast   out. This is where there are several versions  of the story. It’s possible that Lucifer’s  

Rebellion continued after his exile. Perhaps,  knowing how much God loved his humans, it was   Lucifer who corrupted Adam and Eve to stick it  to God out of pride — his deadly sin — and envy. There’s a lot of overlap between historical  accounts of witches and warlocks and the  

Power of demons. Binsfeld himself was a notorious  witch hunter who used confessions obtained through   torture to build out his seven princes of hell.  That being the case, it makes sense that outbreaks   of witchcraft, if you will, are often attributed  to the intervention of a demon or evil entity.

According to Puritan Cotton Mather in Of Beelzebub  and His Plot, Beelzebub was behind the witchcraft   in his backyard. Mather was a prominent figure  in the notorious Salem witch trials. And it’s   interesting that he chose to write about Beelzebub  out of all the other princes of hell. It could  

Be a conflation of the devil and his various  monikers, but throughout history, specific demons   are chosen for specific instances that back up  Binsfeld’s demonic descriptions. For instance, in   the Encyclopedia of Demons in World Religions and  Cultures by Theresa Bane, Beelzebub is linked to  

Divination and possession, traits that Mather and  his contemporaries piled on the accused witches. On top of that, in Arabic, Beelzebub  means “the patron god of witches.” Beelzebub is often conflated with Satan and  Lucifer, along with the more generic “devil,”   but Binsfeld identified unique characteristics in  each. For instance, Beelzebub has a very specific  

Connection to flies. Flies tend to show up  at demonic events — they were out in force   at the Amityville horror house, for example.  Beelzebub is the demon most often hailed as   the “Lord of the Flies.” So much so that he’s  often depicted as a giant fly himself, though  

There are variations on his appearance including  horns, tails, goose feet, and other delights. However, it’s the connection to flies that  separates Beelzebub from his contemporaries.   According to the Infernal Dictionary, he  has complete power over flies on earth  

And uses them to ruin harvests. And he’s  also the leader of the Order of the Flies,   a specific entourage in hell made up of  all Beelzebub’s lieutenants and underlings. And there’s a third reason he’s known as  the Lord of Flies. Beelzebub, himself, was  

Capable of flying. In fact, his title is sometimes  translated as “Lord of Fliers” for that reason. In what has to be one of the strangest tidbits  surrounding a Prince of Hell, the patron prince of   sloth, Belphegor, has a curious preference when it  comes to sacrifices. According to various demonic  

Grimoires, Belphegor accepts human excrement as  an offering. According to the Infernal Dictionary, “One renders homage to him  on a toilet and […] offers   him the ignoble residue of ones’ digestion.” Or, as the Encyclopedia of Demons puts it, “Belphegor accepts offerings of excrement.” Mm. Mm mm mm.”

What this has to do with his status as  the nefarious figurehead of sloth is a   bit befuddling, but it explains his  frequent representation on a toilet   himself. One such illustration appears  in the Infernal Dictionary, but there are   memes galore depicting the goat-horned  deity in deep contemplation on the can.

While Belphegor was assigned to the sin of sloth,  his abilities actually go much deeper. He was   inventive enough to create devices to do his work,  and even tricked humans into doing his work then   claimed credit for himself. So, in a sense,  sloth gave way to ingenuity. He’s slippery,  

Too. Belphegor’s able to take whatever form  is most beneficial for him in the moment. That meant that Belphegor could appear as anything  from a young girl to a giant phallus — whatever   was necessary to get the job done. When we trace  Belphegor back to his origins as Baal-Peor,  

He was both a sun god and a moon goddess  to the Moabites who worshiped him. Again,   whatever got people to do what he  wanted. Call him a crowd pleaser. Leviathan is the figurehead of envy.  While Beelzebub, Lucifer, Satan,   and the like are often conflated, Leviathan  has always been a separate creature who was,  

Quite literally, a monster. More specifically,  a monster of the sea. In the Bible, Leviathan   is the female counterpart to Behemoth, the  male beast on land. If you want specifics,   Leviathan is described in the  Encyclopedia of Demons as: “a monstrous female sea creature  three hundred miles long with  

Eyes glowing as brightly as twin suns.” Although she isn’t named, Leviathan makes an  appearance in Revelations 12:3, when a great   red dragon with seven heads emerges from the  sea. According to Howard Wallace’s article,   “Leviathan and the Beast in Revelation,” this  is the sea monstress fighting the war between  

Good and evil, since Leviathan  was known to have seven heads. Since Leviathan was a sea monster, it makes  sense that the rulers of hell found a use for   her monstrous size — as the gates of hell itself.  Along with swallowing all those guilty of envy,  

Leviathan’s gullet also served as the  general entry point into eternal damnation. This concept arises through Anglo-Saxon  art depicting the fires of hell spewing   forth from a massive mouth.  In the artistic renditions,   and as a concept dating back to the middle  ages, this maw is known as “hellmouth.”

The hellmouth motif can be seen in  various works of Renaissance art,   for instance “The Last Judgment” by Giacomo  Rossignolo, as well as a slew of other examples. Asmodeus is the prince that presides over the  sin of lust. There are many interpretations  

And variations of this dark prince, but  most agree that he looked terrifying. You may think the prince of lust would be sexier,  or, if nothing else, human-like. But Asmodeus is   a three-headed creature. The first head is a  bull, the second is a ram or sheep, and the  

Third is a fire-breathing man. Infernal Dictionary  also adds that he has the foot of a goose and,   because apparently all that isn’t enough already,  he rides a dragon and carries a lance with a flag. Pick and choose which physical traits  from which compendium, you’ve still  

Got a monstrous visage that is understandably  feared throughout his appearances in the Talmud. The Talmud offers one of the best  stories about a prince of hell,   and it occurs in the book of Tobit. As the story  goes, King Solomon asked God for wisdom. Then he  

Made a stupendously unwise decision. Solomon  needed guidance about building the temple,   so he took a rabbi’s advice and bound some  demons to find the instructions given by God. There are multiple versions of this story. In one,  the demon is helpful and friendly. In another,  

The demon is used to build the temple. And in  the third, he deposes Solomon and takes his   place on the throne. In this version, Solomon  unbound the demon as a sort of challenge,   at which point Asmodeus literally punted Solomon  across the world. This left the unwise ex-king  

With the task of retaking his throne, which  — spoiler alert — he does in the end. Still,   for a while there, the temple  was ruled by a prince of hell. It may not seem like a prince of hell thing  to fall in love, but if ever one was going to,  

Surely it would be the prince of  lust, the three-headed Asmodeus. “My dream is of eternity with you.” According to the book of Tobit, Asmodeus  fell in love with a woman named Sarah,   but given that he was a horrid three-headed  demon, he watched from afar, only coming  

Close enough to kill her would-be husband every  time she attempted to marry an actual human man. This happened seven times. Then Sarah met  a man named Tobias and, ever optimistic,   planned to marry for the eighth time. And this  time, with the help of the Archangel Raphael,  

Tobias defeated Asmodeus with a fish heart and  a liver placed over burning coals. Apparently,   Asmodeus couldn’t stand the smell  and fled the scene in horror. While nothing explicitly says that Jesus  had a specific rivalry with Mammon,   it was the Christian Messiah who mentioned  this particular prince by name in Matthew 6:24:

“You cannot serve both God and Mammon.” “You can’t serve God and Mammon  both. Mammon being money.” The simplest interpretation is  that Mammon is the figurehead   of greed. There are countless references  to Mammon in conjunction with capitalism,  

Including links to the British empire and whether  or not it was in service of Mammon. Of course,   this would refer to the figurative Mammon,  being the face of greed and empire,   but the usage of the specific demonic entity  can be seen in the Infernal Dictionary,  

Which states how Mammon taught humanity to  “wrest away” the treasures of the earth. Satan is by far the most common of the seven  princes of Hell to be associated with the   devil in general, but Binsfeld sorted him as the  patron prince of the deadly sin of wrath. He was  

Supposedly the primary opponent of Jesus  in the battle for humanity, but Satan was   so prevalent in the realm of man that his name  became a common noun. In the Hebrew scripture,   there was a difference between the Satan  and a satan. The latter referred to a human  

Adversary or obstacle, while the former  was the actual prince of Hell himself. According to The Devil Made David Do  It… or ‘Did’ He? by Ryan E. Stokes,   early Hebrew writings didn’t necessarily subscribe  to a belief in malevolent beings such as demons,  

Let alone the seven princes. So when  it came time to reprint the Bible,   they used satan as a general term. The word  often took on supernatural connotations,   but the Bible doesn’t commit to  Satan being a specific entity. Elaine Pagels digs even deeper  in The Social History of Satan,  

The “Intimate Enemy”: A Preliminary  Sketch, highlighting how, at the time,   Jews didn’t believe that a satan operated  on his own volition, and that all of these   supernatural beings were of Godly nature  and therefore working according to his will.

#Disturbing #Truth #Princes #Hell

The Darker Side Of Mary And Joseph’s Story

The Jewish province of Judea in Ancient Rome was an exceptionally conservative, religious place. Gender roles were strictly defined, as were expectations when it came to sex and marriage. Deuteronomy, as a part of traditional Jewish law, pronounced a brutal and strict punishment for women who fornicated:

“Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel.” So, it makes sense why a teenage Mary, after visiting her husband-to-be Joseph for several

Months and then becoming pregnant, would have not been merely in a lot of trouble with society, but facing death as a result of her supposed indiscretion. It also makes sense that if Joseph wasn’t the father, he would have wanted to dust off his hands and say bye-bye to his

Bride-to-be. That is, unless Joseph turned out to be precisely the kind of understanding, stand-up guy that he needed to be. The Bible uses a Greek word meaning “pledged to be married” to describe Mary and Joseph’s relationship in the time leading up to the birth of Jesus. Something between engaged

And married, and similar to “betrothed” this meant that Mary had passed along to Joseph’s rule from her father’s, but they were not yet allowed to have a sexual relationship. So, if Joseph noticed she was pregnant, whether he was the father or not, he could have exposed

Her and had her executed, even if only because he didn’t want to bear the shame of being implicated in a pre-wedlock pregnancy. Before they were betrothed, this right would have fallen to Mary’s father. Overall, the Bible doesn’t have much to say about Joseph, but his response to Mary’s unexpected

Pregnancy might be all we need to know about him and his character. Joseph didn’t rat Mary out, and in fact kept things hush-hush, planning at first to divorce her quietly, according to the book of Matthew. At this point Joseph hadn’t yet come around to accepting his divine fatherly duties, and

It’s understandable why he would have felt this way. Joseph also didn’t want to expose her to public disgrace, which is a nice way of saying that he didn’t want Mary murdered by rocks. Maybe not a high bar to clear, but it was still exceptional for the time.

Before Joseph could leave Mary, however, the book of Matthew states that an angel appeared to him, saying, “Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he

Shall save his people from their sins.” The passage goes on to say that this occurred as prophecy foretold. This heavenly intercession, similar to Mary’s visit by Gabriel recounted in the book of Luke, was all it took to make

Joseph a believer. The Bible says he was a God-fearing guy who, we presume, must have been acquainted with the prophecy. The next morning, Joseph woke up and did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him to

Do, and took Mary home as his wife. Easy-peasy. And just to be extra clear about the whole premarital sex issue, the passage in question goes on to say that Mary and Joseph didn’t have intercourse before they were officially, formally married. In the end, it seems that

The Almighty did a good job of choosing a couple to act as wards for His earthly incarnation. “The baby’s kicking. He’s strong.” “Like his mother.” Despite cinematic depictions to the contrary, this is all supposed to have happened when

Mary and Joseph were teenagers. We know this because only legal adults of ages 18 or higher were required to take part in censuses to pay taxes, which is why Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem around the time of Jesus’ birth. And as the Bible goes on to say, this is around

The time when Emperor Augustus called for the aforementioned census, which more or less forced Mary and Joseph to stick together and not backpedal from their celestial commitment. It would have certainly been a scandalous affair for a young, pregnant, betrothed couple

To take to the road in those days, but Mary and Joseph did it, nonetheless. Mary accepted her role, and Joseph stuck by her side, claiming Jesus as his own child. They set off towards Bethlehem, and the rest of the well-known story unfolds: they find no room at the inn,

Settle into a nice nativity scene, get a visit from three wise men, and chill with some livestock. Despite a challenging, mystical start, Mary and Joseph stayed together, raising Jesus prior to him setting off to preach at age 30.

Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about the dark side of religion and history are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the bell so you don’t miss a single one.

#Darker #Side #Mary #Josephs #Story

The Untold Truth Of Fallen Angels

Pop culture is filled with depictions of fallen angels, once holy beings that have succumbed to sin. But how and why did the idea of fallen angels even come about in the first place? Here’s the untold truth of fallen angels.

Fallen angels are basically angels that have given up on the good and righteous path and turned to evil, right? Well, not necessarily. It’s true that Jewish and Christian traditions believe that fallen angels were originally just as holy as any of the other angels, but fell when the most beautiful of them – Lucifer

– decided to rebel and enticed others to go with him. But in Hindu traditions, it’s a little different. They believe that the creator god, Brahma, actually made some angelic beings good and some evil from the very beginning. Why? Because it’s meant to illustrate the natural order of things, and balance in the universe.

And fallen angels don’t even exist in Islam, where traditions says that all angels are good, including the ones tasked with overseeing those whose evil souls have landed them in hell. These angels are lording over hell, yes, but they aren’t fallen, as they are still doing divine work.

There’s another explanation for Satan there, too, and it basically says he’s not an angel, he’s a jinn: a creature made from fire and free will. Put a pin in that, because there will be more about this pesky “free will” stuff later.

Historically, those who believe in fallen angels typically have believed them to be responsible for things like tempting mortals into sin. And fallen angels are tricky about it, too, sometimes masquerading as good angels as they torment and tempt. How do believers know all this?

Well, these days, most of it comes from the non-canonical Book of Enoch, which was written about 350 B.C. The text claims to be the revelations of Enoch, who was taken up to heaven and told the universe’s deepest secrets, then shown just what would happen during mankind’s ultimate judgment.

Enoch shows up in other texts as well, which claim he lived to be 365 years old, and eventually told his tales to his son, Methuselah, who lived to be an impressive 969 years old. Strangely, even though the stories of Enoch were influenced by the mythology of places

Like Babylon and, in turn, influenced Judaism and Christianity, the only place that all 100 chapters of the book survived was Ethiopia. And among those chapters was a fascinating explanation on fallen angels. One of the most widely told tales of fallen angels says it was Lucifer who rebelled against

God and brought a bunch of angels down with him, but the story told in the Book of Enoch is very, very different. It tells a story of lust. According to the Book of Enoch, long before the Great Flood, angels and humans met and mingled pretty commonly, and the inevitable happened: children.

Those sons and daughters of angels were a race of 450-foot-tall giants. The angels started teaching their giant offspring evil ways, and God not only imprisoned them, but subjected them to judgment and sent the flood to hit the reset button on his creations.

Enoch, the story says, tried to speak on behalf of the angels and their giant children, but sadly, a lot of the texts are missing. We do know that Enoch was the one God selected to act as an intermediary to the fallen angels,

Instructing him to tell them what their punishment would be for their transgressions. They were to be condemned to the ends of the earth, with an eternity of punishment to follow. Early Jewish writers considered Enoch to be a prophet, but when Christianity started to

Adopt his teachings, he largely fell out of favor with Judaism. Christian writers then took the Book of Enoch with them when they converted isolated areas of Ethiopia in the fourth and fifth centuries. Though the Book of Enoch was lost to the rest of the world, it was preserved in Ethiopia,

And was finally brought back to Europe in 1773. In the meantime, though, with the Book of Enoch to guide them, Christian scholars and writers had centuries to let their imaginations go wild, leading them to the really convoluted origin of Satan as a fallen angel. See, that’s not actually in the Bible.

But theologians turned themselves into pretzels trying to explain how Satan exists in the first place. The reasoning went like this: God created everything in the universe, and therefore, God created Satan. But the only things God creates are good things, so therefore, Satan must have been good at one point.

He also needed to have the free will to turn bad. But since he clearly wasn’t human, he must therefore have been a fallen angel. Clearly, these scholars went to the Princess Bride school of logic and reasoning. “You must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you

Would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me!” Oh, and once more, there’s that free will thing. Don’t worry, it’ll come up again! According to the Book of Enoch, the first batch of fallen angels was each responsible

For teaching humanity about a specific sin. Asbeel, for example, was repsonsible for teaching humanity about sex, so thanks very much for that. Tamiel, on the other hand, taught humanity about demons and spirits. And then there’s Shernihaza, who is apparently responsible for that race of giant half-angels.

Those giants, if you remember, led to the imprisonment and punishment of the fallen, as well as the Great Flood, which was brought to cleanse Earth of their gigantic sins. Perhaps the strangest fallen angel of all, though, was Penemue, who was credited with

Giving mankind something that led to all kinds of evil: the written language. With writing came knowledge, and that, of course, is really really bad, because it might lead to…free will. The big lesson you’re apparently supposed to learn from fallen angels?

That knowledge and free will are bad and will get you killed, so the only way to remain safe is to choose ignorance and obedience. Funny how that works. Maybe the biggest diversion The Book of Enoch takes from the regular Bible is its depiction of the Garden of Eden and the fall of mankind.

Everyone knows the traditional story from the Bible: a serpent, usually associated with Satan, tempts Eve into eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (there’s that whole knowledge is bad thing again) and then, boom, goodbye, paradise!

In the Book of Enoch, though, it’s not Satan who tempts Eve, it’s a fallen angel named Gadreel. And then this jerk also went on to give humanity weapons and armor and teach us all how to kill each other. Sounds like Gadreel has a lot to answer for! Quick, describe a fallen angel!

There are probably some scowly faces, bat-like wings, maybe even some horns or cloven hooves, right? Maybe a double chin…who knows. But it wasn’t always like that. In early Christian art, fallen angels looked pretty much the same as their holier counterparts.

One of the earliest representations of the idea that there were angels and fallen angels opposing each other in an otherworldly battle is featured in an ancient mosaic in Italy. Jesus is in the middle, and on one side is an angel in red with some sheep, representing the home team.

On the other side are the bad guys, a figure thought to be Lucifer or Satan, standing with some goats. He’s wearing blue, which is the color of the damned, plus he has goats, so we know he’s the bad guy, but otherwise he doesn’t seem all that bad.

The mosaic even suggests fallen angels kept their iconic halos, which at the time were a symbol of power, not holiness. It wasn’t until the middle ages that images of fallen angels started turning more grotesque. During that time, something weird happened: Creatures from ancient Babylonian texts, called

Lilitu, began to be associated with Adam’s non-canonical first wife, Lilith. At the same time, parallels were drawn between Satan and the ancient Canaanite deity Beelzebub, and the ancient Roman half-goat, half-man god of nature, Pan. In the 14th Century, these pop culture influences led Dante to describe Satan as lording over

The depths of hell while sporting bat wings. And that in turn influenced the 17th century author John Milton to describe fallen angels in his work Paradise Lost as the sort of grody monsters we think of today. Remember those theologians who turned themselves inside out trying to explain how Satan existed?

Well, they faced the same issue with the rest of the fallen angels, and came up with some typically convoluted explanations. Until the 12th century, “pride” was the typical answer as to why fallen angels fell. But that meant God would have had to create something with a crippling, all-powerful amount

Of pride, and that didn’t fly. So scholars came up with the idea that angels had been created with a natural love that allowed them to love God, themselves, and each other. It’s the last part that scholars in the Middle Ages believe caused the fall of the angels.

After Lucifer fell because his love was a selfish love of power, the other angels who fell did so because they loved Lucifer. God was largely an absent, distant figure, after all, and Lucifer was their friend. Rather than condemning themselves to struggle for the acceptance of an unreachable father,

Perhaps they followed their brother into exile. It’s kind of heartbreaking, when you think about it, especially once you add love to free will and knowledge as things too dangerous for mortals to contemplate. According to the Mirabilia Journal, one of the most convoluted bits of theology that

Grew up around the legend of fallen angels is the way Christian writers used it to excuse and promote the persecution of the LGBTQ community. Scholars have long debated about whether fallen angels and demons are capable of love, with many believing that instead, fallen angels are consumed with lust, a desire to use others

For their own ends. Indeed, Christian writers as far back as the apostle Paul himself warned women about the danger of attracting the attention of a lusty fallen angel. But since they didn’t write anything about fallen angels having lust for members of their

Own gender, early scholars decided that meant that there was something so fundamentally wrong about the idea that even fallen angels wouldn’t do it. This kind of self-satisfied circular logic was used as an excuse for centuries of persecution, which still continues today.

Our contemporary view of fallen angels might suggest that they kind of got off easy. After all, though they might be in hell, they aren’t exactly at the mercy of the demons there, because they…kind of are those demons, right? Well, not exactly.

According to the Jewish Virtual Library, the seven archangels (those are the leaders of the good angels who stayed loyal to God) count the punishing of the fallen angels among their heavenly duties. Each one of the archangels was in charge of particular facets of the otherworldly life:

Jeremiel, for example, keeps watch over the souls in the underworld, while Michael protects Israel, Gabriel is the overseer of Paradise, and Uriel leads the host. They’re the ones with direct access to God, and they’re also in charge of punishing the fallen. Punish how?

Take Azazel, who according to some sources was the one who taught mankind how to make weapons rather than Gadreel. According to the Watkins Dictionary of Angels, Azazel was punished by Raphael, who put him in chains, threw him in a pit full of sharp rocks in the middle of the desert, and brought

The darkness down on him while he waited for his condemnation after the final judgment. That doesn’t sound so great after all. And it’s a pretty steep price to pay for expressing love and free will! Better luck next time, fallen angels. Check out one of our newest videos right here!

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#Untold #Truth #Fallen #Angels

Times Musicians Have Been Accused Of Devil Worship

From a hip-hop power couple to  an iconic ’60s band of mop-tops,   many musicians have been accused of  worshiping Satan. But were they just   trying to sell records? Or is there  some truth buried within the fiction? Now that Lady   Gaga is considered a veteran and darling of  the 21st-century pop firmament, it is perhaps  

Easy to forget that the clean-cut lead of “A  Star is Born” was considered a particularly   risque performer at the start of her career.  Cultivating a freak-art image that culminated   in Gaga donning a dress purportedly crafted from  raw meat to the MTV Video Music Awards in 2010,  

The “Poker Face” singer made a claim for being  one of the strangest pop stars out there. So perhaps it was no surprise that in 2012,   rumors spread that Gaga’s coordinated public  eccentricities had roots in something darker:   blood-thirsty satanism. As reported at the  time by NME, it was rumored that while on  

Tour in the U.K., the pop star had stayed  at London’s Intercontinental Hotel and left   behind evidence of satanic rituals — namely, a  “bath full of blood.” The story was originally   spread by a website called Truthquake,  with a hotel worker reportedly stating:

“Lady Gaga left large amounts of blood in  the suite during a stay this summer. The   incident was reported to the concierge,  who was told to put it out of her mind.” No evidence of Gaga’s occult  leanings was ever presented,   however, and her team quickly refuted  the allegation, which went no further.

In recent years,   it seems the biggest pop stars in the world  have made the conscious choice to adopt satanic   imagery in their live performances. British  singer-songwriter Sam Smith, for example,   drew plenty of attention in 2023 when they  took to the stage at the Grammys to perform  

Their new single “Unholy,” dressed as Satan  with horns emerging from their red top hat. When described in such terms, such a  performance doesn’t sound particularly   shocking. But it seems that the combined effect of  the sexualized performance from the queer singer,   as well as cage dancing from their  co-star, Kim Petras, a trans woman,  

Saw Smith draw an angry response from many  prominent online commentators. Conservative   senator and 2016 presidential hopeful Ted  Cruz tweeted: “This…is…evil.” Meanwhile,   other Twitter users described the devilish  show as “satanic” and “a tribute to Satan.”   Such tweets generated thousands of likes  and retweets from horrified viewers. The furor around  

Sam Smith’s 2023 Grammys performance was  reminiscent of that which emerged after   the adoption of Devil imagery by another  chart-topping queer performer: Lil Nas X.   Lil Nas X has a skill when it comes to getting  people talking, with his 2019 smash single,  

“Old Town Road,” generating a huge amount  of discourse from commentators across the   political and cultural spectrum for its catchy  merging of trap and country music. But in 2021,   Lil Nas took things up a level with the release  of “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” the video for  

Which involves the viral rapper descending to hell  on a stripper pole to give a lapdance to Satan. While the blending of erotic, queer, and satanic  imagery drew condemnation from conservatives,   the tension was ratcheted up when the accompanying  merch was announced: 666 pairs of limited edition  

Nike sneakers, each made with a single drop of  human blood. But even those who sought to praise   Lil Nas X for his incredible success in the first  act of his stellar career were seemingly taken   aback by the devil imagery he employed in this  video. Per Rolling Stone, later that year Lil  

Nas began a public feud with the BET Awards after  his team was forced to confirm that the rapper was   not, in fact, a “satanist or devil worshiper”  before his performance at the awards ceremony. “You know I’m keeping the energy positive.” Even veteran pop superstars  

Can sometimes be accused of having an unholy  relationship with the devil himself. In the   last two decades, there has been no bigger  celebrity couple than Jay-Z and Beyoncé,   whose dominance over the world of popular  culture shows no sign of abating. Nevertheless,  

This has not stopped fanciful theories emerging  of a supposed Faustian pact between the ultimate   pop power couple and Lucifer himself … or maybe  it is their incredible success that attracts it? The Carters have long been fodder for Illuminati  conspiracy theorists, with some claiming online  

That the pair exhibit symbols on stage to show  their allegiance to a shadowy cabal, and others   accusing the pair of witchcraft and devil worship.  One example given by music writer Peter Bebergal   is the symbology featured in Jay-Z’s “On To The  Next One” video, which Illuminati hunters have  

Claimed shows the rapper has entered into  a pact with the Masonic demon god Baphomet. The most bizarre piece of “evidence”  circulating on the internet that   supposedly confirms the couple’s links  to hell came with the announcement in   2011 that they were to call their newborn  baby girl “Blue Ivy,” after which rumors  

Spread that the name spelled backward is Latin  for “Lucifer’s Daughter.” The rumor persists   on platforms such as Twitter, though Latin  dictionaries show that this is not the case. It is no surprise that, over the course of a  career spanning more than 50 years, Ozzy Osbourne,  

As frontman of proto-heavy metal rockers Black  Sabbath, has perpetually been associated with   satanism and devil worship. The Birmingham, U.K.  band caused controversy right from the start,   with references to the devil, horror-inspired  riffs, and dark cover art featuring ghostly   figures — all of which earned the band an  audience that included many real-life occultists.

Though he was the vocalist, it wasn’t Ozzy  who had penned the lyrics recounting a   devil encounter for their debut’s opening  track, “Black Sabbath.” They were actually   the work of bassist Geezer Butler, who  had at one time been interested in the  

Occult but had abandoned it after reportedly  encountering a ghostly figure in his bedroom. Nevertheless, Ozzy became the poster boy for rock  and roll devil worship during the decades that   followed, an image that proved marketable for  future classic albums such as 1970’s Paranoid.  

He was interviewed during the so-called “satanic  panic” of the 1980s, though his devilish image   has become more ironic in recent years, with  the metal legend jokingly claiming that his   affiliation with Satan was responsible for his  avoiding infection during the Covid-19 pandemic. “I don’t, I don’t want to make anybody to start  

Doing all of this devil worship crap  because that’s not my intention.” Heavy metal is a musical genre   that has long been accused of devil worship, an  association that many bands working in the style   have sought to amplify and capitalize on. The  classic London heavy metal outfit Iron Maiden has  

Been plying their trade for almost half a century  — and, as it turns out, their devilish imagery is   still enough to cause an uproar. Another band that  got caught up in the satanic panic of the 1980s,   Iron Maiden drew much attention from concerned  parents the world over with the release of  

Their breakthrough album, the commercial  smash-hit The Number of the Beast in 1982. “Back in the early 80s there  was a bit of a problems,   especially in the States,  with, uh, devil worship.” As recounted in a recent interview  with the Miami New Times, founder and  

Bandleader Steve Harris found the accusations  of satanism “absolutely hilarious,” adding: “It was so ridiculous we thought  we’d do something ridiculous back.” In response, the band inserted a joke  satanic message on their following record,   Piece of Mind, which could only  be heard when played backward.

The classic rock group Led Zeppelin is famous  for its devoted and cult-like fanbase, who pore   over the symbols on albums such as Led Zeppelin  IV for added clues to the meaning of the music.   As noted by The New Yorker writer James Wood,  worried parents in the 1970s often considered the  

Sound of Zeppelin’s music to be demonic, with the  intensity of the guitar sounds and the frenzied,   pained vocals being a far cry from much of the  music that was heard on the radio at the time. Concern over the true meaning of the band’s  music later mutated into rumors about hellish  

Messages in their most famous songs, notably that  their 1971 classic “Stairway to Heaven” contained   secret satanic messages, such as “my sweet  Satan,” that emerged when the song is played   backward. Though the existence of such messages  is a myth, the truth is that Zeppelin guitarist  

Jimmy Page was certainly interested in the  occult for many years, according to Wood,   so much so that he purchased the home of Golden  Dawn leader Aleister Crowley. Some saw this as   evidence that Page would be attempting to  include satanic utterances in his records,  

But as Page himself argued in an  appearance at the Oxford Union, “It’s hard enough writing the music  one way round, [let alone] backward.” In 1966, a claim by The Beatles star John Lennon  that the band was “more popular than Jesus” caused  

An enormous rift between the Fab Four and  millions of offended Christians. As a result,   many people boycotted the band and publicly  burned their records, forcing Lennon to apologize. “I just said what I said and it  was wrong, or it was taken wrong.”

However, in 2010 news broke that the Liverpool  rockers may finally have earned the forgiveness   of at least one denomination of Christianity. Per  The Guardian, it was announced in the Vatican’s   L’Osservatore Romano newspaper that the  Catholic Church officially excused The  

Beatles for anti-religious comments made by  John Lennon at the height of the band’s fame. More recently, an image has circulated  online that purportedly shows the Fab   Four carrying inverted crosses,  accompanied by a quote said to be   from their press agent which describes the  musicians as openly “Anti-Christ.” However,  

The fact-checking website Snopes has decisively  demonstrated this to be a forgery, doctored   from a photo of the band proudly holding their  Member of the Order of the British Empire medals. Fellow ’60s superstars The Rolling Stones  were some of the earliest musicians to  

Actively encourage their association with  Satan. As described in Far Out magazine,   Stones frontman and lyricist Mick Jagger  reportedly became infatuated with the   devil after reading the satirical Soviet novel The  Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, in which  

A rather charming version of Satan returns to a  corrupt Moscow and plays havoc with the locals. Jagger incorporated Bulgakov’s version of  Satan into his lyrics for the Stones’ hit   “Sympathy For The Devil,” which,  though a timeless classic now,   drew some criticism for the band, not least  from prominent Christian musicians such as  

Carlos Santana. Santana reacted to the  song by telling NME in an interview: “I don’t have no sympathy for the Devil …  The Devil is not Santa Claus. He’s for real.” Some have even suggested that the song is  cursed, and have blamed it for technical  

Failures encountered by the band and their  entourage at the time of composition,   as well as for the fatal disaster at the  Altamont Festival in 1969. While Jagger   has since dropped the satanist imagery that  he continued to turn to during the decade for  

Titles such as 1967’s Their Satanic Majesties  Request, Stones guitarist Keith Richards has   continued to playfully invoke his links to  the underworld, telling Rolling Stone in 2002: “I’ve had very close contact with  Lucifer — I’ve met him several times.” It is perhaps unsurprising that the  much-missed starman David Bowie,  

Who plunged into all kinds of esoteric  subjects to furnish his songwriting,   had several brushes with the occult over the  course of his career. Like many musicians of   his generation, Bowie was keenly interested  in mysticism, with the Kabbalah and the work   of Alistair Crowley featuring in his album  artwork, videos, and lyricism for years,  

As noted by his biographer Peter Doggett in The  Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s. Unfortunately, Bowie’s long-term interest in the  occult coincided with his growing use of cocaine,   which developed into an obsession. According  to the memoirs of his first wife, Angie,  

At one point Bowie was becoming so paranoid  that he had grown certain that Satan himself   was living in his swimming pool. The  addled rock star demanded an exorcism,   which Angie helped to organize. Strangely, Angie  claims that during the ritual, the pool did indeed  

Bubble with no explanation, and a shadow in  the shape of a demon was left on the bottom   of the pool thereafter. She admits, however,  that she too was taking cocaine at the time.

#Times #Musicians #Accused #Devil #Worship

Here’s What Nobody Told You About Mary And Joseph

You’re probably familiar with the Nativity story. But the truth about Mary and Joseph, the two parents at the heart of the story, is often brushed aside when talking about Christianity’s main man, Jesus. But Mary and Joseph are interesting characters. Here’s the untold truth of Mary and Joseph.

In Mary and Joseph’s time, women’s purity was valued as a currency, something that would sweeten the deal between marriage negotiations in family. There were no paternity tests back then, if you wanted kids that you were sure were yours, the best insurance was marrying a virgin.

So imagine your girlfriend shows up after visiting her cousin for three months with a big ol’ baby bump. You can probably picture the reactions. “Pregnant? Holy crap!” Everyone, not just Joseph, was freaking out. Mary would have been considered damaged goods and not marriage material.

It didn’t help that she was claiming this was God’s baby. So Joseph planned to end their engagement. According to National Geographic, Joseph was just trying to not make the situation worse. But don’t think Joseph was insensitive for wanting to dump Mary because she was unexpectedly pregnant.

Breaking up was actually the classiest move Joseph could have made at that time. Think about the story of the Nativity as if it happened today: A teenage girl from an extremely conservative society gets engaged, visits her cousin, and comes back visibly pregnant.

Mary was an OG and kept to her story that the Holy Spirit had gotten her pregnant, but people were as skeptical of the idea back then as they would have been today. “I am the virgin Mary. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”

Joseph tried to be nice about it, Matthew 1:19 describes how he planned to separate from her quietly so the public wouldn’t shame her. But “shame her” is a nice way to say “stone her to death.” Deuteronomy 22:21 and the surrounding verses lay down the law that if a girl got intimate

While unmarried, she would be stoned to death for bringing shame upon her family. But Joseph didn’t want this to happen to her. Later on, the angel Gabriel visited him in a dream and reassured him that yes, Mary actually was going to have God’s kid.

So Joseph doubled down on his Good Guy stance and took on Mary as his wife even though she was pregnant. Tablet describes how Joseph has taken on newfound popularity in modern times as people have realized just how important he was to keeping Mary safe.

People have realized that without him, the birth of Jesus definitely wouldn’t have happened. Shocking! “Sweet baby Jesus.” Once the angel visited Joseph and confirmed that Mary was really going to have God’s kid, Joseph got on board immediately. But this also extended to after the birth of Jesus.

God, perhaps impressed by how cool Joseph had been throughout this whole ordeal, sent another angel to Joseph telling him that they had to pick up and leave immediately. He obeyed, and they fled what turned out to be a massacre of all kids in Bethlehem younger than two years old.

King Herod, whose name you may remember as one of the more popular Sunday School villains, had sent people out to kill any child who might be the Messiah after running into the three kings on their way to visit Jesus.

Apparently he was worried about another king trying to take his place, and you know how kings are about being kings. “I am the KING!” Joseph has been shoved aside in favor of the Virgin Mary in the eyes of a lot of believers,

Since she had to carry Jesus and bear the social stigma of the pregnancy. But that’s beginning to change. In 2003, Pope John Paull II spoke about Joseph setting an example as someone who believed in the messages he received from God but also stayed humble and didn’t seek attention as God’s stepdad.

The National Catholic Register sang his praises in 2011, recommending him as someone Catholics could go to for divine help in parenting. It’s explicitly stated in the Bible that Joseph and Mary didn’t consummate their marriage until after Jesus was born and they bailed to Egypt.

Which makes sense, since Mary was pregnant most of the time they were initially together. But even this viewpoint is pretty revolutionary in terms of how believers view Mary. There’s a healthy group of people, mostly Catholic, who believe that Mary never lost her virginity. Ever.

The “perpetual virgin” view of Mary is used as a way to honor her alleged holiness and purity as the mother of God. National Catholic Register points out that people who believe this theory do so partly because of the lexicon surrounding families at the time.

Whenever men are referred to as Jesus’s “brothers” in the Bible, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re Jesus’s brothers by blood. They could be his cousins or other family members, or maybe even just his friends. This is another story about the life of Jesus that may have been altered through the lens

Of pop culture. It’s quaint to picture Jesus learning how to build things out of wood with his dad. It’s like they’re alluding the imagery of the stable of his birth and his future death on a cross. It also fits the idea of Jesus’s beginnings being humble.

The Bible even tells a story of when Jesus was roasted in his hometown of Nazareth when he came back as an adult to perform miracles. They said things to the effect of, “Wait, how does the son of a carpenter know all these things?”

In the Ancient Greek that the Bible was translated from, Joseph is referred to as a tekton. According to A Greek-English Lexicon, tekton can mean a carpenter or wood-joiner but is commonly used to describe any craftsman or woodworker. Some theories allege that this means Joseph may have actually worked with stones or larger materials.

An author cited in the Telegraph claimed that Joseph may have even been a master architect who provided Jesus a comfortable upbringing. Sorry to disturb anyone’s assumptions, but Christ was not white. Jesus may have been played by white actors in a lot of films, but that’s definitely not

How it went down in real life. A breakdown from Live Science suggests that if Jesus took after Mary at all, he would have had olive skin and was probably of average height for the time. Mary probably looked like other Israeli Jews, or maybe with a slightly darker complexion.

She also would have been pretty average looking, since the Bible goes out of its way to specifically mention whenever someone is particularly attractive, and it didn’t do that with Mary. “I’m painting the birth of Jesus, as it was and always will be.” “Uh, no. Here’s how you’re going to paint me.

Serene, and gorgeous.” James Martin wrote in Slate that we can’t forget that Mary was probably 14 years old at the time when she gave birth to Jesus, something that was common for the time. She probably would have been arranged to be married around the time of her first period.

Just in case you needed your Nativity scene to be even more awkward. Mary had it harder than most women when it came to childbirth, even when you consider the time period. She presumably had Joseph to help her. But she had no experienced midwives, which were available to expecting mothers back then,

According to The Jewish Woman. Mary also, thanks to circumstances, had to give birth in a smelly place outside of her own town away from her family. That would be hard on anyone. But add on a difficult labor and it becomes a whole other story: In the Quran, Mary has

To give birth with her back against a palm tree for support. She says out loud, quote, “Oh, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten.” “Congratulations Mary, it’s a boy.” “And you didn’t die during childbirth like most women during this time. It’s a miracle.”

Mary has a whole chapter about her in the Quran and is the only woman mentioned by name, according to the BBC. Her chapter talks about the birth of Jesus and the immediate aftermath. According to PRI, it also features a story about baby Jesus speaking up in his mom’s

Defense when people said she wasn’t a virgin. Guess if you have all the knowledge in the world, you really have all the knowledge. In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of paintings of Mary. The young mom of Jesus has been featured in probably more paintings than anyone who ever lived.

In a lot of these paintings, Mary’s portrayed wearing a light blue shawl or hijab. It’s a light, airy color, not unlike the robe worn by her son in the most expensive painting on earth, Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi. But is Mary’s blue covering accurate to history? Probably not.

The Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge confirms that clothing for women Israelites was lighter and more brightly colored than men’s clothing. Assyrians of the time wore blue tunics as undergarments, but that was relatively far from Mary’s ‘hood. Aleteia describes how Mary’s blue covering is really an allusion to her purity and closeness to God.

She doesn’t wear the white of a saint or the red of a Jesus-killing emperor. Blue is the color of special woven tassels worn by Jews in that time to remind them to follow the Commandments. In short, Mary wears blue in paintings to symbolize that she is just that much holier

Than anyone else painted with her. In Catholicism, there are lots of books beside the Bible that people debate over in terms of authenticity. Some people dismiss them outright. Other people take them in consideration alongside the Bible. Some of these extra texts for Catholicism are called the apocrypha writings.

Catholic Culture describes them as documents that didn’t make it to the Bible compiled by people who wanted to know more about Jesus. Even if they’re not true, they say a lot about what people thought about Jesus and his place in the culture not long after he was alive.

If these writings can be believed, Joseph had a first wife named Melcha. According to The Catholic Dictionary, the apocrypha states that Joseph was a widower with six children, who asked to marry Mary after his wife died. This fits the pop culture image of Mary being much younger than him.

It also fits with the idea of Mary being a perpetual virgin but Jesus still having brothers and sisters. They could have been step brothers and sisters. If it’s true, it provides a very different image of Joseph: An older guy who’s already

Done the marriage and babies thing who has this new wife who’s pregnant somehow. But he still steps up to be stepdad of the year. One of the most consistent parts of the Nativity story is that Mary had to give birth to Jesus in a stable full of animals.

The town was full of people coming to Bethlehem, and apparently no one was nice enough to let a heavily pregnant woman take their adjoining suite. So they took the only space available. Now, people of that region at this time didn’t keep animals in stables the way we do today.

Think of a home in biblical times as the ultimate open concept home: People would sleep up in what was essentially the second floor while doing chores and other everyday work on the base floor. The base floor was also where the animals were brought in at night.

Newsweek reported that this was likely where Jesus was born, not in an entirely separate structure built outside of a house. What most likely happened was that Joseph showed up at his extended family’s house, was told that there wasn’t enough room in the sleeping quarters for Mary to give birth,

And so they had to make do with the gross basement where the animals hung out. It wasn’t so much people being monsters to a pregnant woman as much as Joseph’s cousin Fred arrived early and scored the last couch. Check out one of our newest videos right here!

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