Sister Martha Mary, I have been talking with an atheist online and he asked me this question: When did the virgin Mary die and what happened at her death? Why isn't it in the bible?
What do you think? All I have found out is that some German nun said she died at the age of 64 in Turkey when I googled it. Can you say anything more about it?
Melanie, you should just talk with your coffee table about the Virgin Mary. Your discussion will be just as fruitful. Why would you talk about THEOlogy with an atheist?
Here is the silly part that you're missing here, Melanie:
Let's say that I think the Easter Bunny is real. I have a book written by the Easter Bunny and I show you the things the Easter Bunny has to say about life taken from his book.
In his book the Easter Bunny tells the story of his life. How he is born to a litter of little bunnies and one day he takes it upon himself to make the world a brighter place. He hatches a plot to dye eggs and leave them for children on Easter.
"Why does he dye the eggs?" you want to know, thinking I'll realize how absurd the story is if I try to picture a rabbit with a bunch of tea cups with dye in them laid out on the rabbit's kitchen table, there in his rabbit hole.
"To make them pretty in the basket," I tell you. "He talks about that right in the book! The Easter Bunny says he decided to give everyone eggs as a sign of spring, since eggs are a sign of new life. He didn't have Easter grass, way back then, because colored shredded plastic hadn't been invented yet. He just had his basket and the eggs, so he had to decorate the eggs themselves."
"Why Easter?" you ask me. "If he was trying to spread cheer, why not do it all the time, or a couple of times a year?"
"I don't know," I say. "Maybe the Easter bunny was a Catholic. A lot of people think that the Easter Bunny wouldn't want to leave his eggs on the cold snowy ground so he waits until spring and Easter is the first spring holiday. That makes sense doesn't it?"
"Well," you ask me, "what does the Easter Bunny say about it in his book?
At this point, as you listen to me prattle on about all the things the Easter Bunny says about his plans, you want to scream, "there is no Easter Bunny so he couldn't have written a book in the first place!"
So here you are. You're atheist friend is asking you to show him where the Easter Bunny says how Mary died. He wants to see where in the Easter Bunny book it says what happened to Mary after the Pentecost.
But he doesn't believe the Easter Bunny wrote a book. So what possible difference does it make what the book says or doesn't say?
In order to believe anything about Jesus, or Mary, you have to believe that God wrote the book. If you believe that, we can talk about what we think did happen, what is metaphor, what is passed on through Tradition. Oh, so much to discuss!
But if you don't believe God wrote the book, you might just as well argue about the autobiography of the Easter Bunny and whether or not his book makes any sense.
Jack wrote a great book about his life after he chopped down the beanstalk, too. I'm hoping someone can tell me if the Wolf in the Three Pigs is the same Wolf that Red Riding Hood eventually killed. Pigs everywhere owe Red Riding Hood a debt of thanks, as they could go back to making cheap houses out of sticks. Finally, an explanation for the housing boom in my neighborhood!