06 Mar A Woman Called God
“Christ didn’t fail me, Christianity did.”
As a 70-year-old white guy, it’s taken me all that time to come to the same conclusion as the author, Anne Rice. A long time perhaps, but my dad being a widely respected, high church, Episcopal minister – and me the cherubic choir-boy – slowed my start somewhat.
In that time, however, I have come to believe that while there can be no meaning in a world without God, the God we’re giving meaning to — severe, fundamentally judgmental, and 100% male — is the wrong one. As they say in Hollywood — great concept, but the character sucks.
I also believe that this illogical, but rarely questioned, “maleness of God” has, for thousands of years, profoundly and detrimentally influenced the most fundamental of all human relationships – that between men and women. This, in turn, has had a dire domino effect on every one of our institutions, on our values, and on our present and future cultural evolution.
Who decided God was a man? Where? When? And most importantly why? There are answers to those questions, but long before we can even begin that discussion, we need to understand and accept – even grudgingly – that there might just be another possibility. And it’s this other possibility that I hope I have introduced in my little book, A Woman Called God.
A Woman Called God is hardly scholarly. It’s simple, an almost childish primer. But underneath the book’s playfulness important questions simmer. If our global perception of The Creator were female instead of male, would women be covered in burkas? Would women be raped on the streets or on campuses? Would young girls be stolen from schools and sold into sexual slavery? Or would they be viciously attacked and knocked unconscious in hotel elevators? Ultimately, these are the questions that need to be asked… and answered.
Equally important, however, is the men’s side of the equation. The fundamental dilemma of being a man is the impossibility of living up to the image of an all-powerful #1 male Creator. The acceptance of this divinity from childhood has embedded in the psyche of the human male – currently religious or not — the idea he must be #1 as well, or damn well aspire to it. And as long as that conviction exists, a world of domination and exploitation will, unfortunately, always suppress a world of partnership and collaboration with women.
A Woman Called God is not a book a guy will pick on his own, but its appearance, simplicity, and brevity – it can be read in five minutes – are all designed for the reluctant reader. The book doesn’t threaten by declaring emphatically that God is a woman, but what it does do is clearly make the guy-God exclusivity highly suspect.
And that’s exactly what’s needed in the world at this point.
Peter Wilkes is the author of “A Woman Called God,” which will be published on April 1, 2015.
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Proceeds from the sale of A Woman Called God will go to organizations that help end violence against women.