Virgin Mary Appears in Chicago Water Stain

So, if exposure to TV makes you smart, it would have to follow that avoidance of TV makes you dumb. Proof of which is given by the fact that I, who shun most TV programming, only heard recently about the image of the Virgin Mary that has appeared in a water stain beneath a bridge in Chicago: ‘Mary’ image still drawing crowds.

Blessed mother of the water stain

That people actually go out of their way to visit such sites, praying and leaving offerings, is a challenge to my view of the world. These are functioning adults, not children. And yet their childlike faith in divine magic forces me to realize that one of two things must be true: Either they are profoundly different than me (in which case I inhabit a world filled with large numbers of pod people who appear outwardly human but actually constitute a silent army that might as well be a different species), or (and this is the more likely explanation, I think) they are not profoundly different than me, and their ludicrous belief in the magical significance of a random water stain is no different than any number of sincere, but equally ludicrous, beliefs of my own. I just lack the perspective to see how ludicrous those beliefs of mine are.

Either way, scary.

Thanks to subversive pope-domain-registering Rogers Cadenhead of Workbench for bringing the story to my belated attention.

10 Responses to “Virgin Mary Appears in Chicago Water Stain”

  1. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Thats they way it is with a lot of beliefs you can’t see them as dumb. I guess you should look for a logical basis for them and strive for emotional detachement if you don’t want to feel your beliefs are ridiculous.

    However, this is kinda nuts. Thats a really shitty image (the stain, not the photo). I mean that could be the BVM or it could be Cousin It or a relative of Chewbacca. If it had some little points on top, it could be Batman. I think thats what makes this specific incident nutty to me. Faith is one thing, but attempting to manufacture miracles out of a stain underneath a bridge is completely nuts. In a way I feel bad for the religous. Part of the entire thing was based on this really bitchin’ miracles like bringing the dead back to life, really spectacular Jerry Bruckheimer type stuff. Now they get stains under bridges.

  2. ethan-p Says:

    I think that this is just another attempt to grasp onto some kind of validation of their beliefs in a world that consistently debunks their ideals. I mean, there is just so much scientific evidence debunking so many Christian ideals, it’s no wonder that so many point to a Cousin It-shaped water stain as evidence of the divine spirit.

    I fear that these are the same kind of people who would throw us into the water and drown us to prove that we’re not witches (and if we can swim, we’re definitely witches and must be burned).

    All I can think is that those people all deserve a royal bitchlapping, starting with this woman.

  3. ethan-p Says:

    More related to, it looks like last Thursday, Voctpr Gonzales someone scrawled “Big Lie” over the stain with shoe polish. After being ‘defaced’, it was painted over by the city. It has since been restored to its original state of being a salt stain by two nutcases.

  4. Rise Against Says:

    I have an old pair of boxer shorts with a shit stain that closely resembles Jesus on the cross. We’ll start the bidding at $100.00 dollars.

  5. ethan-p Says:

    I have an old pair of boxer shorts with a shit stain that closely resembles Jesus on the cross. We’ll start the bidding at $100.00 dollars.

    I would normally ask for jpg’s, but in your case, Rise Against, I’ll have to take your word for it.

  6. Craig Says:

    It amazes me how the topics and comments around religious issues (or more specifically Christians) on this site are given such simplistic, cartoonish characterizations as being equal parts looney, feeble-minded, and violently dangerous. As a Christian, I can tell you that we come in all shapes, sizes, denominations, and forms of core beliefs. But it appears the image of Christians here is one of robotic mutants throwing molotov cocktails at abortion clinics with one hand, and holding up “God Hates Fags” signs with the other! Yes, there are such people who create these images, just as there are extremes in any group or ideology. We all use labels to identify groups of people in simple terms, and sometimes the uglier we can characterize the “other side” in our definitions of what we believe or hold as true as a person, the easier it is to feel more comfortable in our own belief or moral system.

    A little understanding of some degree of differentiation when it comes to Christians would go a long way toward a healthier, realistic view of Christian faith. Not unlike the passioned arguments made about how some people’s view of Muslims tends to lump them all as terrorists.

  7. jbc Says:

    Yeah, not unlike at all. More like exactly like.

    I apologize to the extent I come off as being bigoted against Christians. I spend a lot of time (too much time, I’m sure) stewing about the religious right, and their use by people like Karl Rove to advance a political agenda that I believe to be fundamentally incompatible with the teachings of Jesus. But I realize that not all Christians are like that. Also, to the extent I fail to disambiguate between sinner and sin when complaining about those who are like that, I’m sorry. I’ll work on not doing that in the future.

  8. ethan-p Says:


    I read your comment and was sympathetic at first…then realized that many Christians have made themselves easy targets, and cries of discrimination fall largely on deaf ears (since it’s difficult for the majority to be discriminated against). Not, it’s definitely not all Christians. And of course you’re not all robotic mutants.

    Here’s my take on it. I have a problem with organized religion in general. I think that it’s total bullshit. These problems manifest themselves across all organized religions, but for me they’re most apparent in Christianity simply because in my country (USA), Christians enjoy a majority.

    Now, when it comes to organized religions, the belief is in a divine spirit, but the organizations are run by mortal men (and by men, I mean people with penises, not humans). These men have long records of using the vast power that they hold in order to control women, to control sexuality in general, to push their dogmatic ideals on people (or kill them trying), and to push their moralistic views on others who do not share their beliefs.

    Part of my problem is the belief in an afterlife. Our life here is short, and according to most Abrahamic folks, it’s relatively meaningless except for the importance of the worship of Gods who tend to be angry and vengeful God (at least, in the recorded Abrahamic religions respective books or worship). So all that’s important in this life is worshipping gods. The really important part is the afterlife, which is eternal where the religious get to be with their Gods. If all that’s important in this life is worshipping Gods and converting people to the respective belief. What of the people who don’t believe in any gods? Since this life is not important, and it’s an established view that they will burn in hell, are non-believers’ lives essentially meaningless? So if my life is meaningless to most religious folk, isn’t some disdain for the attitude warranted? (Yeah, Jesus would probably freak out if he heard that his message has been so widely distorted, but again — this is part of the problem with organized religion).

    The churches have been used to promote all kinds hateful and discriminatory views toward all sorts of people, most recently those people are homosexuals. I believe that the prevelant homophobia in this country is deeply rooted in Abrahamic ideals, and perpetuated by the majority of churches. Moreover, most churches tend to shun anyone who asks provocative questions, or independantly interepets the faith. Again, the theme of a disturbing aspect of control is prevelant. Of course there are exceptions, with human behavior, there always are exceptions.

    Now, with this all said, I don’t have a problem with Christians themselves. I have quite a few Christian friends, whose beliefs range from ‘reform’ (for lack of a better term), all the way to insane extremist. Furthermore, I think that Jesus’ message was honorable, and is still pertinent today. However, the institution has blurred that message beyond comprehension.

    My criticism is not limited to Christians. Like I said, they’re just the majority here, and since I have more exposure to them than others, I can draw better conclusions regarding the institution of Christianity than other religions…but the problems do not center around Christianity – they can be related to Hinduism, Judiasm, Islam, or most any other organized religion.

    I sympathize with your problem…but I’m wondering if you’re able to symapthize with the problem of non-believers. We’re a minority, and the majority of the majority (aka most Christians) seem to have a problem with us existing as non-believers. Even former president George Bush said, during his successful campaign for president, that “No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” (FWIW, that was added to the Pledge of Allegience in the 50’s…it’s new). With comments like that by our leadership, elected by a majority, don’t you think that the situation calls for some criticism? Perhaps the individual assholes who make statements like that should be held more accountable, but the view seems pretty common.

    Back to the water stain, well — those people are really easy targets for criticism. Pardon my insensitivity, but that’s just fucking retarded.

    -Ethan P, TBPoSotE

  9. Death + Taxes Magazine Says:

    […] the divine can manifest itself in the strangest, smallest places, like when a water stain formed an astounding likeness to Mother Mary under a Chicago bridge, drawing thousands of curious […]

  10. God puts his foot down ? - HEXUS Community Discussion Forums Says:

    […] Christian.…ural_phenomena They crop up in toast, cheese, water stains and tree stumps. In fact, the toast thing is so popular that you can now buy toasters to do it for […]

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