Tuesday, June 20, 2006


According to the "A.P. Religion Writer," the Presbyterian church is considering a gender-neutral term to substitute for the 2000 year-old, "Father, Son & Holy Spirit." Church leaders seem to feel that liturgical language "has been used to support the idea that God is male and that men are superior to women."

Organized religion supporting the idea that men are superior to women? Never! C'mon.

Now I'm no Christian, that much is certain, so take all of what I say with a grain of salt (which you should toss over your shoulder, before spitting on the ground, to ward off the Evil Eye). But isn't debating the proper terminology for a fictional triumvirate an Angels on the Head of a Pin type of thing? Either you believe it as handed down ("Dogma"), or you don't. If you believe, you can't change it. And if you don't believe, then why the hell would you care enough to gender-neutralize it?

Can anyone explain that? If I decided I'd continue using "he" & "him" to refer to God, but decided as a sop to the female members of my sect that I'd use gender-neutral terms to describe "dogs," "cats," "automobiles," and "the Tooth Fairy," this would be a good thing?

Anyway, this being a topic I'm far more interested in making fun of, than in changing it, let's get me off my soapbox and into my seat in the back row where I belong, shall we? Spitball shooter ready? Excellent.

Among the actual phrases considered to expand" the church's vocabulary of praise and wonder," are "Mother, Child and Womb," "Creator, Savior, Sanctifier," "King of Glory, Prince of Peace, Spirit of Love," and "Rock, Redeemer, Friend."

Rock, Paper, Scissors was apparently unavailable. Also considered, but maybe just a tad too close to the language of a romance novel: "Lover, Beloved, Love."

Anyway, a few of my own Gender-Neutral Suggestions for a church of which I'm not a member, based on texts and teachings in which I don't believe (you see, I'm generous that way):

1. Jesus ---> Amber (maybe Tiffany)
2. Holy Father ---> Oh, Mama
3. Mary ---> Yo Mama
4. Joseph ---> Joe Mama
5. Father, Son & Holy Spirit ---> Mo, Larry & Curly

Yeah, I know that's not gender-neutral, and in fact most women seem to hate the Three Stooges. Plus, they were Jewish. But if we're gonna help these Presbyterians to open themselves up to progress, let's go full-tilt, right. Actually, everyone goes full-tilt; let's be really open-minded and go 3/4-tilt instead.

6. All Biblical Uses of "He" or "She" ---> "They"

Non-grammatical, you say? The book discusses people created from ribs, resurrections, people living inside of whales, men dying at 900 years old, virgin births, oceans parting their waters, and underfed & friendless Jewish tribes kicking everyone's ass for hundreds of years. You're demanding accuracy in grammar?

So, "God created man in his image" becomes "The heavenly ruler created man & woman in their image." Completely unclear, but no one's offended, and that's what's important, right? Coming soon, other entries in the Unoffensive Bible, such as "Cain & Dis-Abel," "Solowoman's Temple," and the Revised Version of Genesis where God realizes he (excuse me, They) has terrible anger problems and is filled with ethnic hatred, so They decide to let all the tribes of Canaan live in peace and harmony while respecting their differences.

Who's for making Hamlet a girl, Raskolnikov a Muslim, and letting Beowulf & Grendel find their mutual attraction as they opt for Domestic Partnership?


Blogger Jim Robb said...


Coming from a religious father, and Presby as well, Gender and dogma didn't really factor in too much. I think people have too much time on their hands to debate such things. It all comes down to faith, right? and if you have faith, then you believe in the substance, not the details. Who care of the gender, or the line-by-line interpretation of the "written word", If you are going to pretent to have faith, take it hook line and sinker, and look at the forest of faith, and not the trees. Thanks, Mike. It's fun reading.

9:46 AM  

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