if god was a woman
By Ronna Detrick on October 06, 2012
I bought a domain name last weekend:
I could not believe it was actually available!
I was frustrated when I realized it was!
I decided that it was waiting just for me: to buy it, claim it, and have this conversation...out loud!
Let's do this. Answer in the comments. Answer them for yourself (which I'd HIGHLY recommend). Ask them of your family, your loves, your friends and then sit back and watch what happens. Plenty, I assure you. That is the mark of a good conversational topic!
if god was a woman
- What comes to mind? First thoughts? First responses? First words? First images?
- What happens internally, spontaneously, immediately?
- How does the statement make you feel?
- Have you already disconnected? Thinking of clicking over to someone else's page? Moving on? Hmmmm. Why do you think that might be?
A few more stimulating thoughts to ponder:
- Feeling uncomfortable? This might be because the idea of god as a woman feels too disruptive. You're aware that gender has caused all kinds of problems in the context of faith, the church, theology, etc., but find yourself sighing and saying, "Really, do we have to make such a big deal of it? Can’t we just move on?”
- Feeling tense? You're not uncomfortable with the gender issue, it's the god-issue that causes your hair to stand on end. “Really? Do we have to talk about him?" (Ooooh. See how that gender-default shows up? Even when we don't believe, when we least expect it, when we listen to our initial, spontaneous response?) "God isn't what I think about, care about, or even have that much of an opinion about…" Moving on. Unsubscribing. Disconnecting.
Would you be willing to suspend your proclivity to disconnect, to remain uncomfortable, and to stay in conversation with me, with yourself, and maybe even with god?
Here are a few reasons why I hope you will:
- If god was a woman your response to my domain name would have been markedly different from the get-go.
- If god was a woman you’d not think twice.
- If god was a woman you’d raise your eyebrows in curiosity and have a small smirk form on your face.
- If god was a woman nurture and compassion and children and birthing and life and creativity and perseverance and labor-on-behalf-of-something-miraculous would be what we affirm.
- If god was a woman politics would be like quilting circles: beautiful, enriching, generative conversations full of story, full of knowing nods, full of the awareness that despite our differences we are stitching something together that will be useful, appreciated, and offering warmth.
- If god was a woman church would not be. Systems and structures built to “contain” beliefs would seem crazy. Songs and prayers and dances and poetry and worship would be commonplace, normal, and “of course.”
- If god was a woman conversations about gender would be nonexistent.
- If god was a woman sexual trafficking would have never been heard of.
- If god was a woman the Suffrage Movement would have not been necessary.
- If god was a woman slavery would be incomprehensible.
- If god was a woman beauty would be our highest pursuit.
- If god was a woman children would be our focus.
- If god was a woman nature would be protected, cared for, and flourishing.
- If god was a woman maternity leave would be obvious, celebrated, and extravagantly rewarded.
- If god was a woman war would be nonexistent.
- If god was a woman everything would be different than it is right now.
I'm just getting started.
Please understand me: I do not believe these realities exist because of men. Far from it. Rather, they exist because our predominant cultural influences (for thousands of years) have believed, understood, built on, and preached that god is male. And that trajectory of thought turned into philosophy turned into theology turned into power dynamics turned into patriarchy turned into politics turned into every single aspect of our known world. We could not stop this freight train if we tried.
But we can jump the tracks.
Which is scary and a little dangerous and super-exhilarating.
I have no need to debate god's gender. That's not the point, at all.
I want to open up conversation, open up awareness, open up eyes, open up minds, open up hearts.
I want to create a context in which hard questions can be safely asked, deep wounds tenderly healed, and maybe, just maybe a spirituality and way-of-believing crafted that is smart, uncompromising, and deeply true - for you, for me, for our children, for our planet, for our world. That is a conversation worth having.
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