Would it "tarnish" Mary somehow if Joseph had physically been with her as a husband?
Would it "tarnish" a chalice in which the Body and Blood of Christ is consecrated to pour coffee or tea into it and drink from it? Both the chalice and the Mother of God are vessels in which God was/is contained.
Sorry LBK, this will never be convincing.
No it wouldn't tarnish anything. This begs a radically odd view of the world that would separate the profane from the sacred which seems to be a radically pagan or at least unChristian notion.
If someone were dying of thirst and a chalice was used to save their life by giving them water, nothing is tarnished. I think the weight of the Gospels would witness to this.
More important than some boring sexual virginity or supernatural maintenance of a flap of skin (why are the midwives washing Christ in some of the frescos and icons I have seen?), the more important virginity is Mary's fidelity to God (the more important and near constant theme regarding the ideal state of Israel in the OT). This virginity it seems to me to be the one promised to all those who strive for such fidelity.
If such fidelity requires an outward sign for the weak and must be maintained through the act of sexual abstinence or the maintenance of a flap of skin, so be it.
More ponderous than not having sex (which I think more than a few oc.netters are quite adept at) is such a young woman consenting to such a terrible responsibility with what seems to be a remarkable degree of "lightness". I think I have more angst over what pair of shoes to buy than Mary had responding to the message she was delivered, so was her faith in God.
This is not to minimize the sexual abstinence and the like, but I think so many get hung up on this issue which seems much less problematic as one begins to believe the more important or at least foundational aspects of the faith.
There is an order to things. If YIM is wringing his hands over the sexual relations of Mary and how to pronounce Jesus' name, there are probably deeper and arguably more important problems at work.