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University Professor’s Outrageous Claims

As Christmas approaches, the media has been bombarded with individuals who are taking their personal understanding of the Christian religion to entirely new levels.

Recently, one college professor took it upon himself to help the world understand the process in which baby Jesus was conceived.

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Professor Eric Sprankle, an associate of Clinical Psychology and Sexuality Studies at Minnesota State University Mankato, went online and shared his views of Christmas with the world — more specifically that the Virgin Mary was a teenager who was taken advantage of by God, according to The Blaze.

Sprankle attempted to help others understand how easy it is to misunderstand “consent” especially when one is dealing with an all-knowing and all-mighty deity. Needless to say, this did not go well with those who felt it necessary to educate the professor on how Mary gave her consent prior to becoming pregnant.

A lesson gone too far?

College serves as an institution for higher learning that expands one’s understanding of everyday scenarios. This is the time in a student’s life where they have the right to question things accepted as truth by the norm of society.

It’s understandable that a college professor, especially one teaching sexuality and clinical psychology, would pose a question about the birth of Jesus that would be meant to stir conversation and help bridge the gap of communication and understanding.

The question most are asking, however, is, did the professor go too far?

Did he disrespect the foundation of a certain religion by eluding that the birth of its champion was based on rape? Most felt that the professor not only overstepped his bounds, but he was also misinformed (or rather miseducated) on the actual circumstance surrounding the birth of Jesus.

“Eric, the entire story involves Mary’s consent, and would have not happened without it,” tweeted one person who found it necessary to clear the air of understanding.

“The amazing part of the story is God’s request for her consent it was required!). Part of the reason Mary is venerated is that her willing “yes” to God’s request results in our salvation,” the person continued. The comments poured in from individuals who felt it necessary to help the professor understand how Mary gave consent in her own way.

Brilliant plan indeed!

One thing is for sure in this case: the professor opened the door to active communication among strangers. If he intended to use the comments he received to further his in-class discussion with his students, then he should receive an award. With one comment on Twitter, Sprankle successfully engaged a nation on the issue of “consent” and what that might look like given the scenario.

Whether you are a Christian or not, you have to agree that this conversation would provide a lot of free publicity on the religion, as well as get people to think about something that might otherwise be ignored: Jesus.

Everyone celebrates Christmas, even if they aren’t Christians, but they rarely understand the actual reason for the season. Sprankle placed the attention back onto the core of how Christmas came to be with ease. All it took was one question on what it meant to have consent.

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About Audra L.

Audra L. is an author, columnist and community activist who's dedicated to finding truth through research and effective communication. She received her degree in Public Policy and teaches Community Development, Public Speaking and Communications Law to youth throughout the nation. She is the recipient of over 23 awards and honors for her commitment to community outreach initiatives.


  1. So, we are to infer that, had Mary simply said, “No,” none of this would exist? And, if so, what does that say about God’s supposedly all knowing all seeing persona?

  2. You rant are beliefs that maybe facts or they may be wrong. Your information is from a book that may be factual or it may well be stories as told by storytellers and contain little or no truth. As for consent think about the horror that many children on earth go through and then think about consent as you used it in your story.

  3. Perhaps the prof. and article comments are both off the mark a bit. The academic’s bible knowledge is insufficient to be using it as a source prooftext, and, Mary was never intended to be venerated. I do believe God knew what her reaction would be to the angel’s statements, but that doesn’t mean He wouldn’t ask. God’s omniscience is another topic. Choosing to base one’s life on faith in the God of the Bible, or, belief in an existence apart from a creator God will determine how you address any such issue involving morals (of which none will be solved here).

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