“Saint Sebastian, I have many things to confess.”
Throughout history, figures in the Gospels have developed their myth, their constant shapeshifting ultimately leading to the deconstruction of their reality. Irish author Colm Tóibín, for instance, challenges the traditional perception of Virgin Mary, the Blessed Mother of God, in The Testament of Mary.
The nervous stranger, observed by 280 eyes, shuffles her feet uncomfortably and begins. “So… let’s talk about sex,” she mumbles.
“When I first met Matthew, I was very religiously confused. I was also angry and distracted, but mostly scared and woefully ignorant.”
“And although the Church sometimes seems to forget it, Christianity is a feminist religion – and without it I would be nothing.”
“For me, becoming an atheist has become an extension of my own personal feminism; I see it as an act of liberation from patriarchal traditions.”
“God created men in his image, so they say, and while attempts are sometimes made to convince us that this somehow includes women, in reality, it does not.”
“In addition to these women’s stories, the Bible recounts many more instances in which God dismantles the gender inequalities of the time. It is disappointing, therefore, that we can see greater roles attributed to women in the Bible than in churches today.”