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God as She

“God is not a her!”

This was a comment on a blog I wrote last week. The post was about a leaf I saw floating down the water, and how cool it was that I was the only person who would ever witness this event.

Since I’ve stopped going to church, one of the ideas I’ve become fascinated by is that God is everywhere and everything. And since God is everything, that would include me and you. So I wrote that, “…if I can be aware of God seeing the world through my eyes then maybe, just maybe, I can start to see the world through hers. Where every one is equal. Where everyone is worthy of love.”

I didn’t find that to be a particularly controversial statement, but apparently I was wrong.

“God is not a her!!”

“The bible says HE is our comforter.”

“God is her…did I miss something??”

And those posts got their share of like and Amens.

Not exactly a Russian Troll/reddit level argument, but the responses surprised me none the less. Especially because they were all from women. It makes sense I suppose. Often women are the staunchest defenders of the patriarchy.

I’ve referred to God as female lots of times through out my writing career. My play A Sudden Spontaneous Event has a female God, based on the idea that, “A man could never be that complicated.”

Of course what I really believe is that God is beyond gender, and the reason we’ve been using the male pronoun this long is out of habit and bias towards the patriarchy. But that has consequences for our society. Whether it be the lack of female clergy, or the roles of women in society. When the creator is a He, the He becomes the default for power and authority. That’s had negative consequences over the years.

“But Jesus was a man, therefore God is a man.” Ok, sure, Jesus was a dude, but if you’re a Christian then you don’t believe that he alone is God. He’s part of a Trinity that includes a shapeless, faceless creator, and a Holy Spirit that likes to show up as doves and tongues of fire. Sounds like a glam band from the 80s, and those people were androgynous at best!

I went back and forth with the commenters, but nothing too harsh. I’ve found a pretty ineffective way to get people to hear your thoughts on God is to be an asshole. “You don’t think God’s a woman, well then you know where you can shove it grandma!”

That’s not really my scene.

But it did make me realize the importance of using the female pronoun with God as much as I can. Richard Rohr says the first thing we have to do is get the shape of God right. And that angry Zeus looking guy isn’t flying for me any more. I’m much more interested in the tender side, the maternal that says, “we’re going to to get through this no matter what.” The God of rebirth. The God of the moon, and the shifting of the tides. The mother God that holds you when you’re sick and sings to you when you’re tired.

And if you need a masculine God to help you make sense of this world then Be Best. I would just ask why the idea of God as a woman unsettles you? Ask her. I’m sure she’d love to chat.

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