God works in mysterious ways, even in Norway

I rather doubt that this ad would fly in the US, but apparently it’s just funny in Norway.

I have to question the effectiveness, though. When I put something in the mail box, I expect it to be delivered to its destination, and I’m not paying postage to subsidize a swarm of traveling gigolos.

Also, I recall that Norway does have a solid conservative political and religious bent (nowhere near as bad as the US, of course) — they banned Monty Python’s Life of Brian, once upon a time. I’m sure someone somewhere was outraged about the postal service advertising heresy.


  1. says

    FOUL Skeptic. Do you dare mock the divinity of the immaculate conception? A thing that totally happened and wasn’t used to cover up a couple of teenagers fooling around and doing teenage stuff.

  2. Marcelo says

    Ray, I think you mean Jesus’ virginal birth. Immaculate Conception is a different concept about Mary and the time when she was conceived:

    «In Roman Catholic Christian theology, the Immaculate Conception is the conception of the Virgin Mary free from original sin by virtue of the merits of her son Jesus. The Catholic Church teaches that God acted upon Mary in the first moment of her conception, keeping her “immaculate”» (Wikipedia)

    Sillier and more convoluted that the virginal birth itself!

  3. brightmoon says

    You know, I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion about that and I’m not an atheist! But I always thought it was heavy petting mixed with virginal ignorance not actual sex.

  4. davidrichardson says

    The way they advertised Life of Brian in Sweden was: “This film is so funny it was banned in Norway”.

  5. blf says

    Anyone else notice how both the mother and baby were stereotypical Scandinavian in appearance (along with the post delivery person). Or to put a more direct point on it, mother and baby were both rather conveniently white / N.European in appearance, with the only nod to the peoples of the presumed time and place being the grateful peasants receiving scrolls and the baffled “father”.

  6. Owlmirror says

    I am pretty sure that regardless of whether Jesus existed or not, the virgin birth narratives that were prepended to the gospels of Matthew and Luke were complete confabulations meant to increase the mythic stature of Jesus by “fulfilling” the “prophecy” in Isaiah (based on cherry-picking and probably misunderstanding the translation of the Hebrew word “almanah” in the Greek of the Septuagint). Assuming Jesus ever lived, I doubt that there were any stories about his birth until much later.

    Or in other words, the young Mary pregnant by mysterious means was always make believe.

    Note that Matthew and Luke are also the only writers who show an explicit interest in his genealogy, which is conflicting in each gospel, just as the birth and childhood narratives conflict.

  7. robert79 says

    @5 blf “Anyone else notice how both the mother and baby were stereotypical Scandinavian in appearance (along with the post delivery person)”

    I’d think that was the whole point. Having Jesus look blond+white emphasises he’s the mailman’s son. (In Dutch there’s an expression “the milkman’s child” when a child deviates enough from his father’s look that people doubt his parentage. I’m guessing in Norway it’s the mailman?)

    And they are advertising for Norse mailmen, so obviously they’d need to look Norse and travel far abroad.

  8. KG says

    The Catholic Church teaches that God acted upon Mary in the first moment of her conception, keeping her “immaculate”

    I await with great interest the church’s explanation of why God doesn’t do the same for everyone else.

  9. blf says

    robert79@9, Yes, having a stereotypical Nordic-looking mail delivery person is indeed understandable. So please now explain away why the mother is also stereotypical Nordic in appearance when none of the other “natives” are.

    AV Club, as an example, has also pointed out this highly problematic / insensitive angle, Surely nobody will be offended by this commercial where Jesus is the son of Mary’s white mailman:

    […] A Norwegian mailman rides into a biblical-era town atop a donkey, proudly delivering the day’s messages to all the grateful peasants. (Parchment scrolls instead of envelopes? Cute!) He then arrives at a house of one Joseph of Nazareth, only to be greeted by a beautiful, snow-white Mary, and the two eye-hump the hell out of one another. Fast forward nine months to a manger outside Bethlehem, and we see Mary cradling her very white, blonde, blue-eyed baby Jesus while avoiding eye contact with Joseph, who, well, isn’t any of those things.

    So, you know, just a little problematic by 2019’s standards. […]