The feminists hell-bent on giving God a sex change
Referring to God as 'She' is just silly.
Women and the Church (WATCH), a group of Anglican vicars and churchgoers, has upped the ante in the attempt to make religion more inclusive. Following in the recent, right-on footsteps of campaigns for gay marriage and female vicars, WATCH is talking about giving the Almighty Himself a gender swap in order to fit religion into the modern world of political correctness. In an interview with the Telegraph, Hilary Cotton, the chair of WATCH, said that ‘to continue to refer to God purely as male is just unhelpful to many people now’.
This inclusivity crusade is not completely out of keeping with history. Protestantism was partially founded on the desire to make it easier for man to relate to God through a personalised mode of prayer. So, WATCH argues, why not make it easier for a woman to relate to religion by providing a few more female characters? Of course, the Protestant distaste for the Virgin Mary means that she’s off the cards as a relatable female figure, although you’d think giving Mary a more prominent role would be an easier way to satisfy feminist-leaning worshippers rather than giving the guy upstairs a sex change.
So what would be the benefit of changing the gendered aspects of religion? WATCH argues that women feel less included in religious practices because the liturgy uses male pronouns which, if you’re a woman, are impossible to relate to. This leads to women feeling less close to God because they aren’t blokes. Echoing arguments from the gender feminism of the 1990s, a member of WATCH wrote in a piece for Cotton’s blog that the historical absence of women in linguistics created the absence of female power: ‘What the tongue doesn’t mention, the eye needn’t see.’
So what happens if Protestants swap their Our Fathers for Our Mothers? Nothing much. Christian influence in the UK has dwindled and, as comedian Dylan Moran pointed out, modern Protestantism is increasingly liberal: ‘You go to the church, sing a few hymns, have a cup of tea, everybody goes home and has a wank.’ However, the recent attempts to modernise religion, to make it culturally acceptable, to have it reflect current societal fashions, reveal a worrying lack of respect for history and tradition. The ease with which centuries of belief could be changed to satisfy a political fashion is indicative of the metropolitan elite’s blithe willingness to intervene in affairs of conscience.
This depiction of women as still in need of a helping hand, still linguistically disadvantaged and still unequal in society, is the false pretence on which contemporary feminism is based. The ritual breaking down of imaginary barriers for gender equality continuously posits women as weak and vulnerable. This weird desire to pinkwash religion is not a revolutionary move for the church – it’s simply another example of a feminism hell-bent on looking backwards rather than forwards.
Ella Whelan is staff writer at spiked.