By Susan Miller
Deacon Ray’s bulletin article, “Women in Crisis,” was certainly thought-provoking. It discussed the “Divine Feminine.” A speaker at the Chautauqua Institution, Sr. Joan Chittister, O.S.B., said, “If we see God only as maleness, maleness becomes more godlike than femaleness.” She then linked our image of God as male to statistics on females being illiterate, neglected, sexually abused, and aborted. The implication is that if only we saw the feminine in God, the world would be a better place for women.
Wow, that’s quite a leap. For starters, life is pretty good for women in the Western world, perhaps better than it is for men. Consider all the men who lost jobs in our recent recession (dubbed “mancession”), as opposed to women. Or how more women are earning college degrees than men. On average, men also have shorter, more violent lives.
Societies where women are truly oppressed are quite different from our own, and yet we all seem to have a somewhat “masculine” version of God.
Perhaps we should consider the background of Sr. Joan Chittister. According to a recent Cleansing Fire post, Sr. Joan is known for dissenting from the teaching of the Catholic Church on a number of issues, including support for the ordination of women, feminist theology, and opposition to the hierarchy’s teaching authority. Hmm.
I was taught that God is neither male nor female; he is Love. However, if we have a masculine image of God, it just might be because Jesus referred to God as his father and taught his disciples to pray the “Our Father.”
I would also argue that the Catholic Church is not suffering due to a lack of the feminine, but due to a lack of the masculine. But that’s another blog post.