Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Facepalm of the Day - Assuming that God is Limited To A Gender

Recently I had been "challenged" by Ryan Anderson on a previous blog post regarding God's gender. You can  read the post and the comments at this link: Grant it the post has nothing to do with the complete confusion of categories and logical fallacies included in the sophomoric concept that God is limited to human conceptions of gender. It appears that Ryan Anderson wanted to find something to argue against the posts in which I talk about God with the pronoun "He". Ryan Anderson complained:

I guess we don't have better noun than Father. Why no reference to "God the Mother"? Mother would certainly describe many of it's alleged qualities...
 His contention is that the Bible never applies feminine terms or imagery to God. Ryan Anderson refused to open his mind and really look at what the texts say. It doesn't take long to find a lot of material demonstrating that God has no gender as humans do and that both male and female imagery is applied by scripture to help us understand who and what God is and is not.  Here is a good link to an article on this subject written by a Christian.

Bible Verses They Never Taught You in Sunday School… | Purging my soul…one blog at a time.

People think that because the Bible is such an ancient text that it prescribes and condones sexist attitudes for men and and against women. Unfortunately some go as far as accusing the Bible of misogyny. The history of the church and God's people is filled with various examples of such stupidity and mistakes. This is because of our sin not because of our God - Jew and Christian alike. Such attitudes are not Biblical nor pleases God. God is described using female imagery showing that without femininity humanity is incomplete. Sure the ignorant my counter that if I'm right than its because of Christians coming along and changing everything that was Jewish. Completely wrong. Here is a link to an article discussing the feminine imagery of God from a Jewish views of scripture!

 Dr. Esther Shkop wrote:

One can only be impressed by the majestic beauty and profound emotion which Jewish sources, especially in the Prophets, conjure through the use of feminine imagery. The numerous and various strong feminine images more than balance the masculine ones. While we must remember that the Divine is beyond form and gender, human language by necessity conceives even the most Abstract in visual images. The multiplicity of feminine images alongside the masculine, and the context in which one or the other is used requires close study and (often mystical) understanding. Careful analysis of the Hebraic texts will reveal that religious experiences and the immediacy of God are to be found in the world of women no less than in that of men. It would be a tragedy - and a travesty - to "castrate" the language, for it would then remove God from the experiential milieus of both men and women, rendering us mortals mute, unable to commune with or communicate about our Creator. 
Silly, Atheist, God is for everybody. I totally agree with Dr Shkop on this. I think it's important to look at a few (not all) of the references she and the other referenced article are using.

1. Genesis 3:21
2.  Jesus Washing the disciples feet is noteworthy because in the first century only slaves and women did that work. This is what made the act so noteworthy given the status of slaves and women.
3. Jeremiah 31:20
4. Isaiah 42:14
5. Isaiah 46:3-4.
6. Deuteronomy 32:18
7. Isaiah 49:15
8. Isaiah 66:12-13
9. Isaiah 66:9
10. Isaiah 42:14
11. Matthew 23:37

You have got to love the following written by Dr Shkop:

Yet we must realize that God does have a name, the famous Tetragrammaton, or four-lettered name of Hashem - which is made up of the letters yud-heh and vav-heh. The ineffable name of Hashem is a contraction of the Hebrew verb, to be, in past, present and future, and is therefore often translated as The Eternal. However, in the Hebraic source this name is written as a feminine noun - and signifies the aspect of rachamim, which, as indicated earlier, is quintessentially feminine. Thus every blessing and prayer we say, every evocation of the Eternal Presence [Kabbalistically called the "Shechina" ] is in fact an evocation of the feminine concept - the unconditional love of the Creator. 
 The Bible presents men and women as ontologically equal and necessary to one another, but neither equivalent nor interchangeable. We need each other to fulfill the purpose of humanity and together we are the image of our Creator. God is neither male nor female and to try to cast those categories on the infinite God shows that one has no idea who God is.

29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God." - Matthew 22:29