Okay, I am reneging on my concession to my proofreader. I am partly reinserting Mary's imaginary talk-back to the angel. I'm not afraid of my proofreader. No. Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah! it is enough that she has made me back off on some of my favorite words.
Here is how it reads as revised: "Enough already! Everything is challenged! Everything is hurled back in God’s face. Just for kicks, turn the page. Find yourself in the gospels. What if Mary had answered the angel that way when he announced that she would carry the Child: “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you?” What if she had shot back: “In what way is he with me?” Had she talked back like that to the angel it might not be Mary remembered as the mother of our Lord. It might be Olga or Tatiana."
I just like it too much and I decided that my audience will not primarily be deeply religious people who would be offended at the mere hint that Mary might say something untoward. Her remark in Matthew follows too close on the heels of the book of Malacai, where the surly Israelites taunt God constantly.
Still, I didn't entirely put it back. I clarified it so that it can be seen it is my irreligious imagination at work and not something that actually would ever happen. I am willing to take the arrows on this one, as a pioneer unconcerned about his time.
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