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← Let's take the gender out of "God"

Let's take the gender out of "God" - Comments

green and dying's Avatar Comment 1 by green and dying

Hmm, I don't know. God is a fictional character but one who does have human attributes and has a will. I think it's more accurate to use 'he/she' than 'it'. 'It' implies something inanimate or a an animal, which is also inaccurate.

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 14:12:29 UTC | #928307

john buff's Avatar Comment 2 by john buff

I totally agree, All this banging on about 'he' would infer that somewhere in the cosmos, is a 'she' god wandering around 'creating' things and chastising this and that. If this be so, God would know about it because 'he' knows everything, maybe they've met and are courting, of course, there'll be no hanky-panky, as they'd have to be married, according to the scriptures, handed down by God! Maybe the 'she' god has written a book too and called it something like, I don't know, 'The Scrible'! All I know is, 'they both move in mysterious ways'.........

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 14:34:32 UTC | #928318

LaurieB's Avatar Comment 3 by LaurieB

I totally agree with this idea. The idea of God having a penis is a direct challenge to any of their high and mighty, mystical imagery. What does he need it for? Peeing? Does God need to take a pee sometimes? Maybe he does some other things with it too. What else does he do with it? I mean, if men are made in God's image then God must have one of those things too. Or does God look like a Ken doll when naked; A perfect, ideal body with a smooth plastic crotch.

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 14:44:16 UTC | #928321

BenS's Avatar Comment 4 by BenS

I use, for the most part, 'a god' when referring to the nebulous concept - unless I'm using someone else's definition that may include gender.

e.g. "I don't care what a god thinks of my actions."

To be honest, it sounds rather like debating the colour of an air guitar to me.

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 15:29:40 UTC | #928340

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 5 by Carl Sai Baba

Um, no? Why should atheists start a movement on behalf of Christians to make their fairy tales sound less ridiculous?

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 15:34:51 UTC | #928342

john buff's Avatar Comment 6 by john buff

If God has a willy, surely he'd need all the accompanying muscles, circulatory and glandular system to keep it functioning and in 'tip top' condition. I wonder if he undertakes a personal hygene regime? If he's going to impress Miss God, he needs to do some more miracles, a girl will always fall for god that can do's there ...........written in the scriptures. (mathew, chapter III 'The Quest for the ring') This is all ludicrous gobbledy-gook. Why do we bother trying to reason with 'believers'? They don't want to be swayed.

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 15:51:53 UTC | #928348

Mark Ribbands's Avatar Comment 7 by Mark Ribbands

If you’ll excuse the vulgarity, I have it on good historical authority that a favorite curse in Georgian England was “By God’s cock and balls” or “By the cock and balls of Jesus.”

I’ve always delighted in these archaic (and hilarious) phrases, and think it unfortunate they are little heard nowadays.

These things are cyclic, so any theological semantic tinkering which prevents their eventual reappearance would be a shame.

How does one incite a new lingustic meme? Does anyone know any rap-lyric writers they could influence? :)

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 15:53:41 UTC | #928349

john buff's Avatar Comment 8 by john buff

Well, Mr. Ribbands, congratulations, you've just started a meme. I'm going to use it, whenever I get stuck for a catch-phrase. Let's resurrect it and see if it spreads.

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 16:15:51 UTC | #928353

Bobwundaye's Avatar Comment 9 by Bobwundaye

I prefer taking the mickey out of "God".

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 16:23:00 UTC | #928356

jel's Avatar Comment 10 by jel

I tend to use "it" already when describing a god, after all, if it's a supernatural being then how would I describe it's gender?

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 16:24:49 UTC | #928358

BenS's Avatar Comment 11 by BenS

Comment 7 by Mark Ribbands :

If you’ll excuse the vulgarity, I have it on good historical authority that a favorite curse in Georgian England was “By God’s cock and balls” or “By the cock and balls of Jesus.”

The Greeks used to use the genitalia of their gods all the time in epithets.

And if you've watched the recent(ish) Spartacus series, John Hannah shouts 'Jupiter's Cock!' about every seven seconds. Of course - in the fifth episode - Spartacus brought down a Roman helicopter with a deftly thrown gladius so it's difficult to gauge the historical accuracy.

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 16:32:53 UTC | #928361

john buff's Avatar Comment 12 by john buff

They're two different meanings too, "By God's cock and balls, it's your round" and "By the cock 'n' balls of Jesus, it's MY round!"

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 16:45:25 UTC | #928365

StephenH's Avatar Comment 13 by StephenH

Forget he/she or it

There is nothing to describe, so therefore there is nothing to discuss

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 16:56:56 UTC | #928372

pad4pad's Avatar Comment 14 by pad4pad

............. always use " story gods " .............................. . . . . .

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 20:01:47 UTC | #928435

pad4pad's Avatar Comment 15 by pad4pad

............. always use " story gods " .............................. . . . . .

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 20:04:18 UTC | #928436

Layla's Avatar Comment 16 by Layla

I think I've heard Christians say before that God is a person. They believe humans were created in its image so presumably this god is some kind of human. Why would God have a gender? Good question but why would God have anything God has? None of it makes any sense to begin with.

I use the word 'he' because I'm talking about a god that people conceive of as a he. If I was talking to a pagan or a hindu about one of their female gods I would use 'she'. Since I don't actually believe in any of them anyway I'll accept whatever they want to say God is and argue against that. If they believe God's a he God's a he for the sake of the argument. If they believed God was a celestial hedgehog with asthma I would go along with that too for the sake of the argument. When the whole thing is preposterous why split hairs? Why stop at why would God have genitals? Why would God have a body?

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 20:09:08 UTC | #928437

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 17 by aroundtown

I generally use two distinctions, the great primate in the sky since this was suppose to be an entity who created us in "his" image but since we are most certainly primates it just seems applicable to attach the actual nature of the two being considered and for some reason people always look up when they consider or address this supposed entity. I also like he/she/whatever because it does not lavish accolades on the supposed entity. I like Layla's idea too for the ability to discuss the issue without killing the conversation by offending the others presumptive imagining of the monkey, sorry, god.

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 21:45:42 UTC | #928465

Crimbly's Avatar Comment 18 by Crimbly

I appears we're talking theology here.

Given that theology is a load of God's cock & balls - thanks Mark! - I'm not sure why this is being debated at all. If you insist you could use the gender neutral pronoun hir?

If God needs a cock, why would God need breasts too? I agree with BenS in that this is like debating the colour of the emperor's clothes.

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 21:54:46 UTC | #928468

john buff's Avatar Comment 19 by john buff

Yes, the last thing we want to do is 'offend' anyone, we must keep on tip-toeing around the subject "don't mention the war, I did it once, but I think I got away with it!" When we think about all the brutality that goes on in our species (a lot of it 'belief' fuelled) surely we should be able to discuss whether God has a willy or not. Does this mean I'm going to "Burn for eternity in Hell for taking His name in vain?"

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 22:15:09 UTC | #928472

john buff's Avatar Comment 20 by john buff

Perhaps that's what God (and all the other Gods) are lacking these days, they need a 'makeover', so that they appear in publications like 'HELLO', so we can see them, cavorting with the mortals on a St. Tropez beach (lunchbox and all) That would prove, once and for all, if we were dealing with a He, She or It God. Perhaps I'm being over-simplistic, but it all does sound a bit silly really,

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 22:42:05 UTC | #928480

Misfire's Avatar Comment 21 by Misfire

Or call them by their names. I feel that using the word "God" in reference to the Christian or Jewish god is already agreeing to play on the believer's field--it admits to a special standing for that particular god. All the wishy-washy definitions of "God" are harder to apply to "Jehovah." Using gods' names also emphasizes how many different gods people believe in, and I feel brings the Christian/Jewish etc. god down a notch.

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 22:56:25 UTC | #928485

john buff's Avatar Comment 22 by john buff

What is needed, is an all-encompassing phrase to hammer home the quality of something done well or crafted with exquisite beauty, I reckion "That's the God's bollocks" would do nicely.

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 23:18:57 UTC | #928490

Starcrash's Avatar Comment 23 by Starcrash

Brilliant! I love the sound of it. And I love the sound of "it". I wish that semantics weren't important to anyone, but they are still effective with the average person. So let's have at it.

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 23:25:33 UTC | #928493

78rpm's Avatar Comment 24 by 78rpm

Please, please, I gotta tell this joke:

Actually, God made Eve first, put her in the Garden, and went off to take care of some matters elsewhere in the universe. After a month God returned and said, "Well, Eve, how'd it going?"

Eve said, "Oh, Lord, thank you so much for creating me and for putting me in this Garden with all the beautiful plants and animals! The only thing is, well, I don't like to complain, but it does sometimes get lonely here. It would be so nice to have a companion."

God said, "No problem--you can have a companion. I'll make one for you. It's called a man. You'll like him. He will be taller and stronger than you, and a hard worker, and he'll be able to satisify--um--certain physical desires you may have. Just one thing you need to understand about a man: he has a big ego. If he finds out I created you first, he's gonna get all bent out of shape. So we'll pretend that I created him first, and keep it as our own secret, just between us girls."

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 00:39:54 UTC | #928511

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 25 by VrijVlinder

@ 78rpm: heheheheh good one. And telling Adam he gave birth to Eve using his rib lmfao, bet god knew males were dumb enough to buy that.....It would have made more sense if it was Eve who lost a rib being we females have less ribs than males.

The reason for the gender in this particular god, is because of the father correlation. And since the only people allowed to read write and study were males who wrote the bible, it makes total sense that the phallic point , I mean the focal point and views were skewed toward the males as being more important.

That is why I side with Mother nature ...

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 02:26:38 UTC | #928527

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 26 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 03:32:41 UTC | #928542

Mark Ribbands's Avatar Comment 27 by Mark Ribbands

Comment 25 by VrijVlinder :

... we females have less ribs than males.

Err, you are joking, aren't you? :)

(We can't let that old myth 'get into the literature' here. The internet, like, allegedly, true love, is for ever.)

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 04:22:09 UTC | #928545

Tony d's Avatar Comment 28 by Tony d

@Comment 7 by Mark Ribbands

I had not heard of that one,"By God’s cock and balls"

I think the expression," Gadzooks" is derived from," God hooks." God hooks being what you hang your Jesus up with.

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 05:51:32 UTC | #928552

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 29 by VrijVlinder

@ Comment 27 by Mark Ribbands Comment 25 by VrijVlinder :

... we females have less ribs than males.

Err, you are joking, aren't you? :)

12 pair each is the count :0)

I guess I should have been more clear where that came from and mentioned that to be urban legend , I guess I suck at comedy....

There is no mention in genesis about how many ribs he had. Same urban legend was started claiming that women have more ribs , I don’t know for sure, but my guess. back in the Middle Ages, people came up with all sorts of ideas that were commonly thought to be true and were even put into print, but were never tested, never verified.


                                    ☼  UR ONLY  F*CKING URSELF!!  ☼          ̿ ̿ ̿'̿'\̵͇̿̿   ̿ ̿ ̿'̿'\̵͇̿̿

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 05:53:14 UTC | #928553

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 30 by Steven Mading

Step 1: Alter the English language such that there's a first person singular gender neutral pronoun that does not give a connotation of non-personhood. The only gender-neutral pronoun is "it", which doesn't work when applied to a thinking person-like entity (even a fictional one like God).

Until you do that, calls to remove gender assumptions from a person will fail. You must use "he" or "she" due to the way English is structured. It's this flaw inherent in the language that causes people to give gender to unknown or unsexed beings, NOT sexism or anything like that.

Try writing a user manual for a piece of software sometime without gendering your example user and you'll run into this frustration with the language very quickly. "First, the user must click the 'gear' icon, and then on the next screen ...uh.. he or she... will be given an option to select the following options..." You find yourself very quickly getting annoyed at the clunky wordiness that results from trying to avoid gendering your first person singular pronouns.

There are some who still today make the claim that the pronoun "he" is actually for both sexes, but that's not really how it's used anymore. It's a bit like suggesting that people use "thee" or "thou". (Besides, the reasons behind why "he" is used in unknown gender cases is itself due to a sexist history. It's because male-ness was the presumed default image people had in their heads in all statements and there was no reason to bother explicitly mentioning otherwise unless you were dealing with the "weird" case of talking about a female.)

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 06:28:00 UTC | #928555