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AUCKLAND – A billboard depicting Joseph and Mary in bed together has sparked angry reactions!

A large signed was erected outside the St. Matthew-in-the-City Anglican church in Auckland, New Zealand. The image depicts a sad looking Joseph lying next to a dismissive Mary. Above their pillows is written, “Poor Joseph, God was a hard act to follow”!

Almost immediately after it had gone up, the sign had paint thrown on it in protest.

The church’s Archdeacon Glynn Cardy said the point of the billboard was to question the widely held belief that Mary was literally impregnant by a male God.

“We would question the Virgin Birth in any literal sense. We would question the maleness of God in any literal sense,” he said.

However, other New Zealand Christians are very unhappy with the image. The idea that the picture was depicting the Virgin Mary just after sex was wholly inappopriate, said Auckland Catholic Diocese spokesperson Lyndsay Freer.

“We would see a billboard like that being used by an anti-Christian group to actually poke fun at the divinity of Christ,” said Free. Such an image would not “give rise to any intelligent discussion on the birth of Jesus.”

While Cardy is disappointed some are misinterpreting the image, the church will not be taking the billboard down.