Kim Kardashian and the Immaculate Conception: A PSA

Kim Kardashian and the Immaculate Conception: A PSA November 13, 2014

public serviceThe internet is abuzz today about some racy photos of Kim Kardashian that recently came out. With any such monumental news the intellectual elite are sure to weigh in with their comments about what this means for us culturally and what it means for the future of human existence.  Along with this commentary, is an article highlighting the artistic heritage of the images of Kim posted over at “The Grio” which highlights how the depictions of Kim are directly related to old racial stereotypes and exploitation.

Normally I let cultural conversations related to Mrs. Kardashian and her ilk pass without comment but my friend Adam Plomaritas pointed out a theological faux pas included in the article and I wanted to make a comment on it. The author of the article, a certain Blue Telusma, makes a very common mistake. She writes:

“[The antiquated] idea that mothers are not allowed to celebrate their sexuality is ridiculous and naive. How exactly do you think women become mothers? Immaculate conception? I’ve never been a fan of policing other women’s bodies, and I’m not about to start now. Ya’ll can have that”

I will leave the conversation about whether or not Kim Kardashian’s photo shoot would qualify as a celebration of sexuality to others. The thing that my friend Adam pointed out what the use of the term “Immaculate conception.”

I don't think it meansMs. Telusma seems to think that “Immaculate conception” is a referent to the virginal conception of Christ rather than the Catholic theological position that Mary herself was conceived without the stain or original sin. She wants to point out that motherhood, in its very nature, implies sexual activity. I think this is a great point to make. I personally believe that our society has dangerously divorced our sexual activity from its natural procreative outcomes. But please, if you are going to use theological language, please use it correctly.

I don’t want to single Ms. Telusma out too much. Her sin is a common one. She isn’t even the first one to commit it about Ms. Kardashian. TMZ made the same mistake last year when they broke a headline that North West was conceived near the Vatican (Source).

The mistake has also been made by TMZ about Kendra Wilkinson’s pregnancy (source) as well as countless other examples by others. This is the main reason I bring it up. It’s become something of a pet peeve. People keep using the phrase, but no one seems to know what it means. So I write this article as a public service announcement:

The immaculate conception = The conception of Mary through the sexual congress of her mother and father, and the affirmation that through the Grace of God through Christ Mary was free from the stain of original sin.

The Virgin Birth = That Jesus was conceived miraculously without Mary engaging in sexual congress herself.

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

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