Monday, May 11, 2009

How "God the Mother" courts idolatry

A blogger called The Reformed Pastor excerpts the key paragraphs from a feminist theologian's commentary in The Washington Post.

As you will (or should) see, her position:


  1. Simply projects female body parts and functions into the cosmos and calls them "God," which is exactly one of the key atheist critiques of belief in God. "Know the man, know his God" was Feuerbach's slogan - and the feminist position makes his point.
  2. Basks in stereotypes of "feminine qualities" which, if listed by a man, would be called rank sexism. "...soft power...gentle fingers..." - can you imagine the shriek if a man lauded women with such terms?

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The New Testament does not present the Heavenly Father as the mere projection of the human male. For one thing, the Scriptures do not present God as a cosmic phallus in the way that feminists assert a cosmic womb.

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Jesus says, "...do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven" (Matthew 23:9). Jesus' first followers violated standing notions of paternal authority to follow him (Mark 1:20), and Jesus was clear that clinging to paternal control of inheritance and property would hinder a person's quest for God (Luke 9:59-60).

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Jesus and Paul both overthrew claims to holiness based on male ancestry (Matthew 3:9; Romans 9:8). The early church leader Timothy was trained in faith by his grandmother and mother (2 Timothy 1:5).

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Other passages make clear that the role of earthly fatherhood is important but transitory. Earthly fatherhood can be used to explain some attributes of God, but should not be identified with God through projection. "Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness" (Hebrews 12:10).

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Christianity has existed in all kinds of cultures and social systems throughout history. Feminist critics find examples from the most patriarchal cultures to slander Christianity as a woman hating religion. This is a gross, ideological oversimplification that simply goes unchallenged, especially in Liberal Protestant seminaries.

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Feminist theology traffics in many falsehoods, including but not limited to

  1. Romanticizing pagan religions as "peaceful," when some of the major female deities (Kali in Hinduism, Astarte in the ancient Near East) combined fertility with warfare and destruction - and their cultures had their share of violence and oppression.
  2. Ignoring the progress of women in cultures shaped by Christian values.
  3. Ignoring the devaluation and oppression of women in cultures not shaped by Christian values, such as China, where females in the womb are frequently aborted, and in some Islamic and Hindu settings that permit "honor killings" of unruly daughters, throwing widows on the husband's funeral pyre, and general oppression of women in law and culture.
  4. Ignoring its own inner contradiction - arguing at once that gender roles are simply social constructs while positing a "divine feminine."

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"God the Mother", in bourgeois Western religion, always courts idolatry - certain women projecting themselves on the cosmos, often as a reaction formation to damaged relationships with men. It harbors the unloving assumption that masculinity is malignant rather than complementary to femininity.

2 comments:

The Underground Pewster said...

Be on the look out, anyone who questions the divine feminine, may get the human slap in the face.

The last time I posted something on this topic, one member from the congo wrote a note calling me a misogynist.

I had to re-read the posting a few times before I was able to rest assured that I was not.

Thanks to the powers of blogger moderation, that comment was deleted saving that person from further embarrasment.

TLF+ said...

The whole issue gets into sad parody and stereotypes, because objections to feminist theology are met with name calling, "volume", assertions of victim status, etc. etc.