In my work as a freelance editor, I often get religious papers. Right now I’m editing something that has a reference to the Virgin Mary – who was predestined to receive the honor of becoming ‘Mother of God’ because of her willingness to submit to the Will of God.
As with any paper I edit, I leave comments on the side for passages that don’t seem to bear up under scrutiny, that are conflicting, incongruous, poorly reasoned. I pointed out that if Mary was predetermined to be Jesus’ mother, then it wasn’t a choice and the strength of her character had nothing to do with it. Unless God made her into the meek and humble servant required of the Mother of Jesus, in which case all honor and glory belongs to God, not to Mary, who had no freedom in the matter.
On the other hand, if Mary is praised as the best of all human beings because of her complete lack of self and willingness to submit herself to God, so that he could use his vessel to plant the seed of Jesus (and no matter how we look at this, it is hardly different from Zeus raping the Swan or any other myth of God impregnating humans except for the fact that Mary just lay down and took it without a fight) – if she was rewarded with the glory of being the mother of God for her noble nature and character, presuming some element of personal choice, then she was in no way predetermined to become the mother of God.
This isn’t a matter of opinion, it’s simply the result product of reasoning and logic. However I’m wondering, as I edit, if I will lose the customer for ‘crossing a boundary’. At which point does a mistake, and error in writing involving poor logic, of the ilk that we all make sometimes, become a mystery, a matter of faith and dogma which is True and Unquestionable?