I was perusing the European news sites as a I do and ran across this little gem. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-family-minister-slammed-for-suggesting-god-has-no-gender-a-874316.html. Also saw it posted on Facebook by a few, mostly with the comments; “Looks like we don’t have the market cornered on religious crazies.” I got to remembering when I grew up about how God was portrayed in songs, books and Sunday School. How we perceive God in our lives. Almost all references I remember always took the approach that God was male. This made me think of other examples such as Father Time and Father Christmas, why do we keep visualizing these figures as male?
This brought me to a chicken and the egg question. Do we perceive or view these figures as male because we live in a male dominated world or do we live in a male dominated world because we see these figures as father types? Admittedly things have changed for the better for women but we still aren’t at the end of the gender discrimination road. At present the male dominated role is still being preached in churches and still be portrayed in media and reenforced by chauvinistic attitudes even among young males. Now, don’t get me wrong this isn’t some liberal cry out for gender equality. From a personal point of view that when it comes to rights or equality it should be gender neutral and based on merit in cases such as job etc. That does not mean I am calling out for some form of political correctness in our speech, I am nearly point out what I think.
Getting back to the topic, I think that the answer to the question is both. While at least in this country many believe that the Bible was the foundation of our society, (It wasn’t but you can’t tell them that.) the Bible was written at a time where males dominated society even more so than now. So naturally the concept of God being a male would be part of that. As civilization progressed it was reenforced by not only the Bible but by society as a whole. In a very real sense it became self perpetuating cycle. Granted I am taking a simplistic approach to this subject as I am not attempting to write a research paper on the subject.
I will say that I believe in order for our society and civilization to progress we have to drop the idea that God or any supreme deity is male or female. We need to see them as being non-gender specific. Why? Because when we start judging people or subconsciously placing them in roles in our society based on gender we are missing out on the opportunities as a society to benefit from that person’s individual merits. As a male, I can honestly say I doubt I will see a woman President in my lifetime. Not because I don’t think a woman can do the job but because we are still a male specific society and not driven by merit. A person should be qualified or disqualified based on their merits or lack there of, not the color of their skin or gender or even sexual orientation. We have to start looking at the bigger picture and what it means.