Mary, as in Jesus’ mom, could be more accurately rendered in English as Miriam. The most likely meaning is “beloved”, but personally I like the idea that it is from the Hebrew “Marah” or “rebellious.” Why? Because look at the Magnificat, that ancient Song of Mary found in Luke 1. “
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.That is about as punk as you can get.
Punk, to define our terms, is all about violation of the social order, of the expected order. Here is our little Mary singing about the government being thrown down and the rich starving. Punk.
Nor is she the only thing punk about Christianity. Christianity is a movement about violation. Violation of God into the World. God showing up and not looking like anyone expected. A Messiah who didn’t fight. A Son of David who included the Gentiles, who verbally attacked religious leaders, who chased bankers with whips, and who hung out with outcasts. Punk.
Somewhere along the way Christianity became what was normal, what was expected. It happened in the Roman Empire and in her successor states. Periodically someone one would remember that Christianity was founded on opposing wealth and power and religious establishment and they would hare off and start their own thing. If it was successful it eventually became the status quo.
So what do punks want? Authenticity: For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:20). Do-it-yourself ethos: Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil. 2:12). And a leveling of social order: There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28) To name but a few.
This is not just me by the way, lots of people see this. Christianity is a faith that overturns religion and social order. At least it does when it is being truest to the one who it is named after.