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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Why is God a 'HE"?

I wonder how many people have considered the subtle, sociological conditioning we've all gone through by always referring to "god" as "he"?  Have you really thought about it?

It is my belief referring to "god" as "he" is a reflection of our male dominated social structures from the beginning of  time.

Throughout history, with a few exceptions. our civilizations have been completely male dominated.  Men rule and women are subservient.  I remember my mother, as independent as she was, always the only reason a female could lead a prayer or conduct a service was if there was no qualified man present.

Religion is not the only part of society which demands the supremacy of the male over the female.  Men rule, women do as they are told.  As the Appalachian stereotype says, "Keep them barefoot and pregnant".  I grew up in an area that still believed in ways like that.  Men were the head of the house and women did what the man said or suffered the consequences.

When and where I grew up a man beating his wife was mildly frowned upon but considered his "right".  It has been like that throughout history.  Every ethnic and religious group moans about the times they were enslaved, disenfranchised, and forced to submit to a humiliating existence.  OK, that happened.  But, what about women as a group?  They have been enslaved and disenfranchised throughout recorded history and, I'd wager the whole time before.

This is my own theory and outlook on gender relationships through the ages.   It derives from a great deal of reading of histories and common sense thoughts as to why things were and are as they are.  I profess no high degrees or published works of learning.  I'm just putting things in my own perspective as a reasonably intelligent human being who has escaped the tyranny of the belief women are, somehow, inferior.

I believe the subjugation of the female gender started in very early prehistory.Women, as child bearers, were the key to the survival and, therefore, the continuation of the family and/or clan.  So, women should be protected.  Especially, pregnant females.

This is understandable and logical and should not bother anyone.  It is just an evolutionary imperative.  We are driven to pass on our genes and protect the carriers of those genes.  So, women did not hunt, did not go to war, just waited in the place where the family/clan was camped and did not endanger the progeny of the males of the tribe.

Next the evolutionary imperative of passing on one's own genes led to the sequestering of women.  The only way a male could guarantee it was HIS genes being passed down was to isolate the females to the point where there was no possibility of any child born could be no other than the husband/owner of the female.

This was a step on the transition of protecting the mothers of your children to enslaving the mothers of your children.  Until quite recently, historically speaking, women were considered property of their fathers until they were married then were the property of their husband.  Unfortunately, this view continues into our own times.

That, in my opinion, is the origin of the idea of marriage.  It is a formal transition of ownership of the woman from father to husband.  Then the woman would be isolated with other women to ensure the only sperm to find an egg was that of the husband (owner) of that woman.  Women were placed under societal,religious, and real demands to have no life except that allowed by the husband.

This also, in my opinion, is the basis in the long held views on adultery.  An adulteress woman was subject to death at her husband's whim but an adulteress husband was just an expected norm.  Women were killed for daring to have sex with someone other than their owner while men were lionized for the number of women they bedded.  How much more clearly do you need slavery defined?

Today, we have evolved societally to the point where we try to ensure gender equality, yet, those old ideas and mores' continue and women are still considered inferior to men.  In some parts of the world women are still pretty much slaves to men of their own families or their husband and his family.

Women, doing the same job, are still paid less than men in general.  Women are still beaten while the man is only mildly chastised. Women are still murdered by husbands and boyfriends who look at them as their own property with no rights of their own.  After all, "all MEN were created equal".  All women were created to be subjugated  by men for their pleasure and the bearing of what was guaranteed to be their own children.

Of course female children were never of much value.  A man wanted sons.  Women were interchangeable and unimportant.  Even the much revered christian bible displays this attitude.  After "god" destroyed the whole life of Job on a bet with satan he gave Job a new wife and children and everything was hunky-dory.  Kind of shows you who and what was important doesn't it?

So, you see, "god" has to be a "he" even though even the bible explains there are no men and no women in spiritual realm.  It would be disrespectful to call "god"  and "it" wouldn't it?  And, even worse, to call "god" a "she".

Although, most religions view their own "god" to be the being who birthed the world we live on (and are trying to destroy).  So, if "god" gave birth to the world  (universe?) why not refer to "god" as she?

Gay Marriage

When it comes to gay marriage I have "no dog in this fight" (which in, and of itself, is a pretty disgusting cliche') other than the belief in freedom and equality.

I have heard so much rhetoric from both sides and so little willingness to see it objectively.  As I can see most, if not all, of the objections to gay marriage is based on religious beliefs.  I can understand that.  Both the proponents and opponents of gay marriage cite the bible to support their views.  I find religion to be completely immaterial in this question.

You see, there are two entirely separate components of marriage.  One is religious and one is civil.  I have no problem with religions and those who believe  in those religions refusing to recognize gay marriage or have gay marriages performed in their church.  That is part of religious freedom.  The problem I have with religion and religious people is they are trying to enforce their own religious beliefs on the civil component of marriage.  That is a violation of the separation of church and state and is the most underrated and one of the most important components of our constitution.

Religion should play no part whatsoever in the exercise of a person's civil rights. That is what the civil portion of marriage is.  It is a civil right.  It should not be impacted by anyone's religious beliefs who is not a part of the proposed marriage.

Civil marriage is no more than a legal contract between two people outlining the rights and responsibilities of each partner in a merger of two individuals into one.  Legally speaking, of course.  I see no constitutional basis to deny people of the same gender the same rights that are implicit in people of different genders.  

Civil marriage is a legal contract between two people.  Gender should  not matter.  Why should you deny two people of the same gender the right to totally screw up their lives when you allow people of different genders to do the same.  Even the most religious should be able to see the difference in the two components of marriage.

Freedom of religion demands religious organizations can believe whatever they wish and gay marriage cannot be forced on them if it violates their beliefs.  But, freedom FROM religion also demands other person's religious beliefs cannot be allowed to violate another person's civil rights.

That is the problem as I see it.  Religious people who's religion does not accept the idea of gay marriage are trying to force their own religious beliefs on everyone by denying two people the right to enter into a civil contract of marriage.  No matter what your religious beliefs say the civil side of marriage is the important one.

If you don't believe that just ask a divorce lawyer.