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 idea that women should get equal billing—it’s that sexist God-talk does psychic damage to the entire human race. That this is not recognized adds to its power. The bias works unconsciously.

Imagine the effect on the mind of a teen trained in Christian prayers to god-lords and then trafficked for sex. Imagine her facing human lords—her pimp or her abuser, the buyer of sex. Lords in church make it harder for her to defy her human abusers.
And imagine a wife dealing with her macho, alcoholic husband, one also trained in church, male-on-top power.

Docile compliance of church-goers is not healthy. Christians inadvertently help to perpetuate sexism by reciting and singing sexist God-talk prescribed by the patriarchal hierarchy.
Repetition of “He Him His Father Son Lord” is not harmless. We’ve got to stop accepting the exclusively-male God-image because it leads to unquestioned acceptance of male authority in human affairs. Which leads to barring women from power.

When women get power, things improve. Dr, Muhammad Yunus, who introduced the concept of microfinance to transform poor communities, prefers loaning to women because, he says, they almost always use it to benefit their families.
Men are less likely to do so. I have heard other microfinance philanthropists say that women use money to raise the whole community, while men spend money on themselves. Melinda Gates says,
One of the most astonishing statistics I’ve seen is that when a mother has control over her family’s money, her children are 20% more likely to survive. 
Women in Congress demonstrate more bipartisanship than their male counterparts. Women legislators are more likely to author bills benefiting families. And I don’t think it’s an accident that the rising status of women happens as Christian churches are losing members while the number of “nones” unaffiliated with religion is rising.

How we think about Divinity makes a difference.


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