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Showing posts from October, 2019

Image sacred to indigenous vandalized

Image
In connection with Pope Francis’ synod of bishops for the Amazon, indigenous people of the Amazon brought sacred symbols to the Vatican for a prayer service. One was the figure of a pregnant woman, which triggered conservative outcry on the Internet. Vandals stole the figure and threw it into the Tiber River.

The NCR editorial relating this story decried racism in the conservative outcry and vandalism. But I see more. This could not have happened if the Catholic Church accepted God as Mother and prayed to Her.

The indigenous people of Latin America revere the Divine Mother regardless of Church doctrine’s careful distinction—only Father and Son are divine, Mother Mary is not.

Latins prefer Mother Mary to Father anyway, continuing indigenous worship that preceded the arrival of Europeans. Goddesses were popular in South America long before Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego. Her garb, mysteriously imprinted on his cloak, is that of an Aztec Goddess.

One outcome of the Amazon …

Apathy over sexist God-talk 2

I’m not done writing about sexist God-talk—“He Him His Father Son Lord”—because its damage to people disturbs me. I aim to raise awareness of it so that more Christians resist praying to lords in church and replace the word “Lord” with inclusive terms. I replace “Lord” with “God” because I can think “God-She,” but a lord is always male and always authoritarian.

The constant drumbeat of “Lord Lord Lord” in churches has a subtle effect. It conditions churchgoers to assume that male top-down power is natural, normal, proper, and right.
During funerals in my home-town parish I cringe when I hear intercessions end with “we pray to the Lord,” and the congregation immediately answers, “Lord, hear our prayer.” I feel like shouting, “Get that damn lord out of our prayers.”

Although that repetitious “Lord” lording over every prayer and song spoils church for me, I don’t want to stop participating in church services because I value my ties with church people.

The issue is not only fairness—the i…

Apathy over sexist God-talk

When I was growing up, we drove to Sauk Centre for the Stearns County fair where we exhibited as 4-H members. As I grew a little older, I learned that on the other side of town was a reformatory for girl juvenile delinquents. I had no idea.

A book review in the StarTribune on Sunday was written by someone whose grandmother was born in the Minnesota Home School for Girls in Sauk Centre. Girls were committed there until age 21 because they were pregnant or ran away from home or were “incorrigible.” Girls as young as 8 were in the Home to be “reformed.”

School officials bragged that the girls were happy to be learning domestic arts. The high number of escapes put the lie to this boast. One resident’s poem began, “I live in a house called torture and pain, it’s made of material called sorrow and shame.”

Lisa Pasko, a criminology professor at the University of Denver, said about two-thirds of girls sent to juvenile facilities had experienced sexual violence. From other studies I suspect th…