At 10:02 AM 12/2/98 -0800, Hal wrote heretically:
>Immaculate Conception refers not to the conception of Jesus, but to the
>conception of Mary. That is, Mary herself was conceived miraculously,
>not through sexual relations, and her conception (the moment when
>Mary's mother became pregnant) is called the Immaculate Conception.
Close, but no cigar (as Dr Freud might say). For behold,
>Although Mary was conceived miraculously, the miracle was such that
>she was the biological child of both her father and her mother.
It's not that Mary was *conceived* miraculously. As you note, she had two human parents, unlike Jesus. It's that she was conceived *free of the Stain of Original Sin* - and you know you just *can't* wash that out without Blood of the Lamb, which did not yet exist - passed down to the rest of us from Adam (or perhaps Eve; maybe it's mitochondrial). That is, from the moment of conception Mary affirmed a baptism of faith, due to the special metaphysical aperture granted to her by her future, um, Polygamous Husband.