Is This Picture Of Mary Disrespectful?

A church in New Zealand put up this billboard of a Virgin Mary staring at a pregnancy test, hand over her mouth in disbelief. Some folks think it’s tacky at best and downright sacrilegious at worst.

What do I think? Honestly, I look at the picture and I kinda get it. I know how Mary was feeling (minus the virgin part and the whole I’m-carrying-the-Son-of-God thing). Finding out you’re pregnant when you don’t expect to be is a life-changing event. Heck, it’s a life-changing event even when you’re planning for it.

The vicar of the church said:

“I think also Mary’s shock in finding out she’s pregnant, no matter what you think about whether she had a divine premonition or not, there is a shock and that Mary being young, as they were in those days…and she had limited means of support and there is a whole anxiety factor in there.

And I think anxiety is around for a lot of people today, not just around pregnancy but around the lack money and resources and the lack of good health.

“I’d like to encourage people to be kind and compassionate and be tolerant to those that are different to themselves.”

I can dig that.

What do you think? Does it cross the line or do you get it? 


  1. The photo is a little disrespectful and makes (for serious lack of a better word) fun of a sacred historical situation, HOWEVER, there is something to be said for the accuracy of Mary’s expression. That’s probably exactly how she felt about 2, 3,000 years ago. I’m surprised somebody didn’t take the next step and write the caption, “Oh holy sh*t…”

    In those days, you did not have sex before marriage. Worst yet, Mary had to go to her fiancee, her family and get them to believe that she was “pure,” that she really was a virgin. That took real courage. To find out you’re pregnant and you ain’t done nothing, haven’t even kissed a man yet? #FAIL.

    • @Auntie – Yeah, that’s why I think it didn’t go too far. If they had put the, “Holy s***” in there, then yeah, I would think it was over the line. But this to me, just kind of modernizes Mary’s plight and seems encouraging almost.

  2. Wait- they had pregnancy tests back then????? Kidding :)

  3. I agree with Auntie, it is a little disrespectful, but in all honesty, if I was here I would be shocked and scared at the same time too. The facial expression that was captured was accurate for any person to find out they were pregnant, especially when they didn’t messed around before.

  4. Hey Tara,

    I do not find this picture disrespectful as many may do. I do believe this is very inaccurate. I do not believe that Mary was shocked at all. I do believe many unbelievers during her time were though. God had already warned both her and Joseph about His plans and the birth of the Messiah. This is why Joseph did not take off running for the hills once her pregnancy became known.

    Below is Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel, whom God had sent to her to relay the message.

    .Luke 1:38
    “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. (NIV)

    Many scriptures are very relevant to our day and time, but this is just totally off base.