Showing posts from December, 2010

Jesus as Goddess Advocate

by Karen Tate I asked Karen to write this guest blogpost. She calls herself a "recovering Catholic" and that’s not the only reason her perspective has value. In hindsight, it is telling that I gave little thought to Jesus until I was no longer Catholic. Growing up in the Bible Belt of New Orleans, a conservative Christian region of the southern United States, I was not encouraged to question religious authority, much less express dissent, but instead I was to accept as fact whatever was preached from the pulpit on Sundays. When I actually identified with a spirituality that inspired my sincere mind and heart connection with the Divine, it was Goddess Spirituality, and it was as a Goddess Advocate that I began to really think about Jesus, Christianity and the institution that I’ll loosely call The Church. Thinking back, Jesus was little more than that sad and suffering figure on the cross at the front of the church, or that little baby in the manger at Christmas time, whil

Jesus, a sun god

Of all feasts, Christmas may have the greatest potential for linking us with other spiritual traditions. It started when Christian leaders in the third century borrowed a popular idea from rival pagan religions, a solstice feast honoring the birth of the sun. Before the earth was known to be a revolving sphere, Christians and pagans alike wondered in awe over the sun’s daily course—disappearing in the west every evening, following some mysterious path below earth during the night, then reappearing in the east every morning. It inspired myth-making. The Goddess enveloped the sun in her body every evening and sent it forth in the morning. The Greek sun god Helios traversed the heavens from east to west in a shiny chariot, descended to the nether regions, and according to the poet Horace was "born anew every morning." Literature devoted to Helios shines with religious fervor and high artistry: Helios, eye of the world! Joy of the daytime! Loveliness of heaven! Darling of nature!

More preaching to priests

WHY NOT YAHWEH ( December 8, 2010 ) In my Sermon to Catholic priests I referred to the discrepancy between their benign intentions and their poisonous words. I wish priests could hear women voice their feelings about sitting in church and hearing Spirit consistently limited to a male individual—“HeHimHis.” Herewith some comments. Aletha: What does annoy me is the reference to God as He or Father. God is neither male nor female; God creates all things; how God does this is of course a Mystery. Some of God's creations on earth can reproduce without sex and what we refer to as the advanced forms of life have been given bodies (by God) that use sex in order to reproduce. What is so difficult with saying "God" (or "Yahweh") each time one refers to God? Some years ago, Jews made an issue of Christians speaking and writing about “Yahweh” because Jewish tradition holds the name of what we call God so holy as to forbid saying or writing it. The Hebrew Scriptures (

Sermon to Catholic priests

( November 28, 2010 ) What you don’t realize is that you contribute to sex abuse every time you say Mass. How? By reciting typical liturgical God-talk. I realize your predicament. Because of the Vatican thought police, you’re not free to use truly enlightening language, but you wouldn’t have to stick in a “Lord” or “Father” at every turn. These nouns make some of us want to scream. And those who don’t mind? The less they mind, the more they’re harmed. Steadily, incessantly, the dominant-male language drips into minds, insidiously planting inequality and domination as the primary frame of human relationship, of all relationships—humans with each other, with Divine Source, with animals, with the earth. You think “Father” is a nice image? Then why not mix it with “Mother”? You see. It’s the exclusiveness. The male dominance. The inequality. A good replacement word might be “Spirit” but you’d want to stick a “Holy” in front of it and then many would think of a particular deity in the sky.