The Asian Age, which chronicles our life and times with random bits of information that are unlikely to be of any use other than being excellent conversation sprinklers, informed me this morning that the Vatican has ordained that the Christian god cannot be a woman. This information comes via the Daily Telegraph. Feminist hackles are expected to rise and there will, no doubt, be a piece by Germaine Greer in The Guardian sometime next week. I don’t generally have much of an critical opinion on Pope Benedict XVI (I was voting for Cardinal Telesphore Toppo from Ranchi). This is a man who thinks marriage is “a stable union between a man and a woman”; how can you feel anything but pity for the old critter? However, this once, I must admit the man may be on to something.
Almost across the entire mythological board, the creator deity is male (the Aztecs and the Maoris are among the few that let goddesses into their creation myths). Hindus have Brahma, who was born out of Vishnu’s navel, so clearly there’s some hanky panky there that the Blue God hasn’t let the rest of us in on. Ironically of course, Brahma is celibate or dating Saraswati, who is technically his daughter. And you thought Hinduism was conservative…. The Babylonian Marduk made humanity out of the blood of Kingu (unrelated to the penguin and still male). In Egyptian mythology a bored god, Atum, masturbates and lo and behold! we have creation. Odin and his two brothers take credit for creation in Norse mythology. Before they took this task upon themselves, fun in Scandinavia involved licking ice or sucking the teats of Audhumla, the primeval cow. Inca mythology also has a god with an unpronounceable name who created the world as they knew it. Kamui, in Ainu mythology, made the first man out of chickweed and willow, which may have given him RSI but if we’d stuck to that system at least there wouldn’t be labour pain and Bangladesh, with it’s constant flooding issues, wouldn’t have a population because it would all be washed away.
Over the past couple of decades, feminist theology has been promoting “gender-neutral” phrases for “god” in the field of contemporary Christianity. These include “Creator”, which is ok but perhaps inaccurate as above mythological research indicates. There’s also “Redeemer’, which sounds a bit like the new Bajaj two-wheeler or the term for the guy who can save you from credit card debt, and Sanctifier, which sounds like the new Harpic product. Definitely not a phrase to inspire epiphany.
Leaving aside semantics, I think there’s a lot to be said for god the creator type person being a male. This explains why making babies has been thrust upon the female gender because clearly, the god had enough after the first round. Also, would a woman really create a world where the majority is heterosexual, thus subjecting those of her own gender to creatures destined for male pattern baldness and whose sense of identity is inseparably linked to a dangling bit of flesh that looks like a last-minute add-on? If you ask me, there is a god and he is a gay male who, at the time of creation, was dealing with a receding hairline and being dumped. Or his ex-boyfriend had the receding hairline, which would explain why so few hair transplant treatments actually work.