You cannot detach the resurrection from Christianity; it is key to the faith. Jesus came, Jesus died, Jesus rose again. We would not know about Christ’s resurrection were it not for the women who witnessed it. Every single Gospel, when describing Jesus’ life and ministry, puts Mary Magdalene at the tomb. Now, one would think after breaking one of the biggest news stories in history, that the testimony of women would have gained a modicum of respect. Mary Magdalene and Stormy Daniels and countless women in between show us we haven’t moved far in the direction of believing women—particularly when their presupposed sexuality is involved.
I’ve written at length here about Mary Magdalene here, here, and here, but one thing I want to reiterate about her is that the decision to depict her as a prostitute was imposed upon her by Pope Gregory the Great of the sixth century. He decided that was her sin, with no actual evidence (and by evidence, I mean the actual words in the Bible) to back up his claim.
Yet, Christianity is dependent upon the words of a so-called messy woman that even the male disciples weren’t quick to believe. Which brings me to Stormy Daniels. I watched her interview on “60 Minutes” last weekend.
(Here is the entire transcript of her interview: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/stormy-daniels-describes-her-alleged-affair-with-donald-trump-60-minutes-interview/)
If you saw it, maybe it stood out to you that Stormy Daniels said she was not attracted to him, and she did not want to have sex with him. So why did she? This is pure conjecture on my part, but I suspect that a woman who earns a living starring in, writing, and directing adult films might feel (and especially, be made to feel) as though she could not say no to sex. Take a moment to wrestle with the implications of this. Between the space of two thousand years, the question about what a woman does or doesn’t do with her own body is still an issue. Whether or not you believe her, the fact that she earns money through the adult film industry does not obligate her to engage any random guy who wants to have sex with her. And that is true no matter what happened in that room.
The bigger issue is how we treat women, and how we regard the things that they say. Believing the testimony of women is still an issue. The impositions of purity and respectability serve a single purpose: enforcing patriarchy. And both Mary Magdalene and Stormy Daniels have had purity and respectability imposed upon them by men who wanted to ignore what they were saying. Jesus listened to women, protected women, was willing to receive instruction from women, confided in women, and women were with him at his birth, his death, and his resurrection. The first post-resurrection conversation Jesus has is with Mary Magdalene (John 20). And he entrusts her with the first apostleship he conferred: “Go, and tell.” Jesus valued women without prerequisite or disclaimer. Go, and do likewise.