When the crowd asks Mary, “Are you a virgin?” she mutters in embarrassment, “None of your business,” and so they nudge one another knowingly: “She is.”  On the subject of Christians’ wishful thinking, Monty Python’s Life of Brian isn’t so far from the mark: There is no surviving testimony from the young Jewish woman Mary herself about the ultimate in-vitro fertilization — or anything else, for that matter.  Even her name is a matter of confusion: In some gospels she is called Mariám (a version of Miriam) more often than Maria.  The details of Mary’s miraculous pregnancy were actually added to the gospels of Matthew and Luke around 80 A.D., some decades after Mary’s death and based on oral traditions that had perhaps blended with fantasy.  In fact, the whole virginity business was not considered terribly important for… More…