The Virgin Palin

Oct 14, 2008 by


The Virgin Palin

WHEN JOHN MCCAIN announced Sarah Palin as his running mate, a number of Doubting Thomases within the ranks questioned his judgment. But the ensuing surge of blood into the Republican Party’s worryingly flaccid and impotent apparatus (a process referred to in politer circles as “energizing the base”), quickly brought these skeptics to their senses. They welcomed the “former” beauty queen (pfff, former!) and aerial wolf hunter with a zeal of outstretched arms that was surpassed only by the engorged manhood of the Pakistan President.

Unfortunately a few Katie Couric interviews, an ethical misconduct investigation, and recent geospatial revelations that neither Russia nor Putin’s head is visible from Wasilla or Anchorage have resurfaced the murmurs of doubt over McCain’s choice, but skeptics should heed the advice of Jesus—In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world—a sanguinity that was reflected in Palin’s Straight Talk Express response when asked if she was ready to be President: “Absolutely. Yup. Yup.”

Critics of McCain from the unpatriotic terrorist-palling left have called his choice of Sarah Palin as disingenuous, cynical, and opportunistic, asserting that the McCain camp has been sheltering her from the media (MILF Hunter and Bang Bros were both allegedly refused interviews) because her public exposure would reveal their naked political motivations. Father, forgive them for they know not what they say. If there were any motivations, they were divine in origin. Sarah Palin is to the Republican Party what the Virgin Mary is to Christianity. If this analogy seems farfetched, one needs only to glance into the latter history of Byzantium to appreciate how neo-Christian the G.O.P. really is. Let us be attentive.

In the first three centuries of its history, Christianity was a persecuted minority religion tolerated by emperors only for providing lion fodder at gladiator shows. Only in the fourth century, after Emperor Constantine’s Edict of Milan, was Christianity given legal equality with the pagan cults and eventually supremacy, thereby acquiring the privilege to wield the whip rather than suffer it.

Over the next century the Virgin Mary controversially made her admission into the theological limelight and into the hearts and, to a lesser extent, minds of the Christian flock. Although Mary is only peripherally mentioned in the Bible, the cult of Mary had entrenched itself by the time of the Council of Ephesus in 431, where a number of monks made it dogmatically official that Mary was indeed Theotokos, God-Bearer, or to put it more simplistically, the Mother of God.

The monks’ decision proved a professional blow to the fourth century patriarch of Constantinople, Nestorius, who vocally objected to calling Mary the Mother of God, as he felt the title carried blasphemous associations with the mother deities of paganism. “That God passed through the Virgin Christostokos, I am taught by the divine Scriptures,” Nestorius declared, “but that God was born from her I have not been taught anywhere.” Alas for Nestorius, education mattered in the intrigues of higher office no more back then as it does today, and the monks of Ephesus sided in the theological debate with his political opponent Pope Cyril of Alexandria. Nestorius was eventually dethroned for his heretical views, exiled to a desert monastery, attacked by raiding bandits, and his writings burned wherever they were found, Amen.

Theological squabbles aside, this status upgrade of the Virgin Mary was mostly a means of absorbing other groups into the Christian throng. It remains unresolved just how widespread the cult of Mary had been before the fourth century: many like the cultural historian Geoffrey Ashe claim there was a widespread Marian church existing separate from the Christian one, while others like the sociologist Michael Carroll, claim the cult of Mary fully emerged only in the fifth century. Regardless, most scholars agree that the new ecclesiastical relish for the Madonna was a bait and hook effort to expand the tribe, whether that involved assimilating the Marian Church into the Christian church, attracting pagan worshippers of mother goddesses to their persecution-free religion, or simply appealing to the urban and rural proletariat who found security and Freudian relief in a mother goddess during a time of upheaval and barbarian invasions.

Now fast forward a millennium-and-a-half or so, to another time of political upheaval and of new barackbarian invasions into the declining Republican Empire. Sarah Palin makes her apparition-like world debut (it’s a miracle!) in the new holy site of Dayton, Ohio beside a visibly uncomfortable hand-wringing John McCain, who was such a maverick that he did not even listen to himself when it came to his preferred VP choice, renegade Joe “Bush-Kissed” Lieberman. Palin at once set to praising the wounded angel Hillary Clinton, who had been felled from her deserving heights by another angel, the Fallen One, Barack Obama, whose middle name, lest they accuse us of not providing all the facts, beloved brethren, is Hussein

In an admirable love-thy-enemy gesture, Palin praised St. Clinton for leaving 18 million cracks in the “highest, hardest glass ceiling” separating America and that special place where righteous dead Americans await to join us on Judgment Day, and then called upon women across America to join her in hastening the End of Days by “shatter[ing] that glass ceiling once and for all,” presumably with high-powered hunting rifles.

Just as the Virgin Mary brought around worshippers of pagan mother goddesses into the folds of Christianity, so too has it been written that Palin will bring around those spiritually eviscerated Clinton supporters into her loving embrace. As for those naysayers who obsess over how Palin’s opposition to abortion even in cases of rape and incest and her support of guns and drilling are not positions appealing to most women, it should be remembered that pagan devotees flocked to Christianity even though the chaste Virgin Mary was devoid of the sexuality of the mother goddesses (including the virgin ones like Astarte, Inanna and Ishtar who had intact hymens but were still promiscuous, thanks to a biological deus ex machina); therefore, why should Palin not attract the stray orphaned Clinton supporters even if they vote for her, as Jon Stewart has noted, “purely on gynecological reasons?”

Consider the following view on the Virgin Mary by another feminist, though not nearly as famous, Simone de Beauvoir: “For the first time in history, the mother kneels before her son; she freely accepts her inferiority. This is the supreme masculine victory, consummated in the cult of the Virgin—it is the rehabilitation of woman through the accomplishment of her defeat.” Geez. Well guess what folks, if you listen to that gotcha media and think Palin is bad for women, then you obviously think the Virgin Mary was bad for women, and Christians too, which means you think America is bad for the American people too which is what the bad guys want you to believe, and that’s darned scary, but you know what, not Dr. Henry Kissinger and not the great Ronal
d Reagan.

In his 1969 article “Virgin Birth” the anthropologist Edmund Leach suggests that the underlying idea in the Virgin Birth is the vast disparity between an omnipotent male and the mere mortal he chooses to impregnate, thereby symbolically reflecting the concentration of wealth and power that characterized Byzantium. Collins expands upon Leach’s ideas in Origins of the Mary Cult to develop a theory that sheds some interesting light on the inspired devotion that the vice presidential candidate provokes, even if his conclusions rely upon some suspiciously unverifiable Freudianizing.

Collins points out that the cult of the Virgin flourished in places like Spain and Italy, countries that were both heavily reliant upon agriculture—not surprisingly since agrarian regions are traditional strongholds of mother goddess worship—as well as characterized by a vast disparity between rich and poor. Unlike Ashe, Collins finds no evidence of a significant Mary cult during the first four centuries. In his view the cult emerged when the Church, which he claims was primarily constituted of the middle-class, spread outwards to incorporate the rural and urban poor. Such families, he claims, were ‘father-ineffective,’ meaning power was concentrated in the mother due to the economic enfeeblement of the males. In such families, the sons will initially identify strongly with their mothers but then realize as they mature that they must behave like men, which generates insecurity that in turn leads to the machismo complex.

All sons, Collins agrees with Freud, develop oedipal sexual urges for their mother that must later be repressed. In the ‘father-ineffective’ families these urges are even more exaggerated. How to discharge this sexual energy? Enter the Virgin Mother, whose worship allows for the acceptable dissipation of their repressed sexual tension. As for women, the Virgin Mary permits them to vicariously enjoy the fulfillment of their desire to not only have sex with their father, but also—bonus!—to have a child by him (after all, ladies, if you can’t have a penis, you may as well have a baby). The church grew in scope, the men exhaled with relief, the women sighed with satisfaction, and the Virgin Mary gazed out with beatific chastity from statuettes the world over, occasionally weeping tears of joy at the win-win situation.

In light of Mr. Collins’ blasphemy, let us redirect our attention to Sarah Palin, that twinkly-eyed, rouge-cheeked, nose-wrinkling, lipsticked-winking loin-igniter, that ravishing librarian who can just go ahead and permanently remove any books that she feels like removing, preferably one-by-one and slowly, that Drillmate Polar Bear of the Year whose mantra ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ is sending adolescents from sea to oil-rich sea into nocturnal frenzies of terrestrial penetrations that often end with the G.O.P. promise of an ecstatic spurt of black gold, that protectress of family values and patron saint of hockey MILFs who has at last united and Viagrized the base of the Grand Old Party (newly energized as the Grand Old Prostate), consisting of evangelical Christians who uphold the virtues of chastity and abstinence, most of whom reside in the Southern and Midwestern states, a poorer region and more heavily reliant on agriculture than other parts of the U.S. like Sodom and Gomorrah.

So to those of you establishment types who have “better” ideas on what the McCain ticket should look like: thanks but no thanks. You can keep your pork barrel Candidates to Nowhere. God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get a Palin and McCain administration in place so that this peace-seeking nation can stage a surge in our neighboring country of Afghanistan and lead us to victory there as it has proven to have done in Iraq, and it’s got to be all about job creation, too, so pray for that. It’s business time, guys and gals, so let’s get down to gettin’ business done.

How long has Palin been at this, like six weeks? That’s how doggone mavericky she is. Was the Virgin Mary, who helped to save all of humanity, an elite Washington insider who wanted to raise your taxes and take away your freedoms? Nope, you betcha she wasn’t. So stay thee away, Barack, God Bless Joe Six-Pack and Hail Palin! xo

Constantine Markides

To read about Mother Palin, click here

*makismakis is available for freelance work. Anyone interested should email him at:

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  1. Julia

    Thank you for this. Drawing the parallel btwn. Palin and the Virgin Mary is a stunner – unexpected and fitting. It just works. At a point in this presidential race when November 4th can’t come quickly enough, when I am jeopordizing family ties with my political rants on Facebook, it is a boost to read your essay which pushes the proverbial envelope to the edge and then some. Thank you again for your always instigating, stimulating thoughts.

  2. craig

    I’ve been behind on the 4th nights. This is a great piece, progressive topical choice, and useful.
    I’m commenting because (personally) I appreciate the end of the thing, where Cons gets Gonzo. It’s not too much, but it is refreshing and – I guess to my simple mind – fun.

  3. When Cons gets Gonzo… Thanks, I take that as a great compliment. Shame the Doctor wasn’t around to give us the fear and loathing lowdown on the 2008 campaign trail.

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