Why do we refer to God as male?

Is there a god? What is the meaning of life?
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annexi
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Why do we refer to God as male?

Post by annexi »

Other than the obvious reason - our religious texts refer to God as male. Is that really true though? In a perfect universe, there is a balance of male and female, yin and yang.

The world is currently ruled by an underlying and pervasive patriarchal (male) worldview. It can be found in our religions, our social practices, our languages, and our laws. Somewhere in the evolution of humanity, woman - the matriarchal archetype - was lost as an equal and balancing force.

I wonder if God being claimed male is an extension of this overriding patriarchy. And I wonder if in fact this does believers a great injustice, if it obscures a greater truth.

To me, God is too vast and un-understandable by the human mind to be given any labels at all & we should question what we've been taught.
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Re: Why do we refer to God as male?

Post by Relentless »

"Our Father"
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A_Britishcolumbian
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Re: Why do we refer to God as male?

Post by A_Britishcolumbian »

very interesting topic annexi. while i would like to give a blunt answer, i feel it is the wrong time for that, we need to know more before such a presentation could be accepted by the majority.

we all know the story of jesus, and his mother mary, and that story likley led to the jewish tradition of children of jewish women being born into the religion as opposed to all others that must convert to the religion.

Matrilineality in Judaism is the view that people born of a Jewish mother are themselves Jewish. The Torah does not explicitly discuss the conferring of Jewish status through matrilineality. The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) also provides many examples of Israelite men whose children begotten through foreign women appear to have been accepted as Israelite. In contrast, Jewish oral tradition codified in Mishnah in the 2nd century CE serves as the basis of a shift in Rabbinic Judaism from patrilineal to matrilineal descent.

The Mishnah (Kiddushin 3:12) states that, to be a Jew, one must be either the child of a Jewish mother or a convert to Judaism, (ger tzedek, "righteous convert"). This law originated in the Talmud (Kiddushin 68b). Orthodox opinion regards this rule as dating from receipt of the Torah at Mount Sinai, but most non-Orthodox scholars regard it as originating either at the time of Ezra (4th Century BCE) or during the period of Roman rule in the 1st–2nd centuries CE, as patrilineal descent is known to have been the standard of Judaism prior to that time.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrilineality_in_Judaism

averagejoe created a very interesting topic here ...viewtopic.php?f=52&t=58057

and i have been thinking of how to contribute to that thread. my contribution will be related to this thread.

as prescribed by islam, i have been researching the origins of the 'bible' and qur'an, and related materials. while it is quite early in my quest, i can say for now that the answer to the question posed in this thread, is a result of real physical events and people as witnessed in the past, and the social norms of the subsequent times afterward when the events were transcribed and edited over time. the political motivations of the patrons and persons responsible for those subsequent transcriptions/translations should not be overlooked either.

i feel quite secure in saying at this time that the definition of the word 'lord' is critically relevant to the discussion/answer. a clue for the searchers path, the word for 'soul' in arabic is the same as the word for 'lord' in cymraeg.

while 'god' does not have gender, lords do and have had.
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Re: Why do we refer to God as male?

Post by Baba O'Riley »

annexi wrote: In a perfect universe, there is a balance of male and female, yin and yang.

Somewhere in the evolution of humanity, woman - the matriarchal archetype - was lost as an equal and balancing force.


I see 'Mother Earth' as equally omnipotent as 'God the Father''.
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Re: Why do we refer to God as male?

Post by A_Britishcolumbian »

you mention the balance annexi, and balance is so very important to harmony, consider this particular 'sign' of the coming of the end...

Disproportion in balance of men and women to such an extent that “one man would have to maintain (not marry) fifty women”, that is yet to occur but could be linked to the impact on male sperm production of such things as environmental pollution and genetically modified food


http://www.imranhosein.org/articles/sig ... urred.html
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Re: Why do we refer to God as male?

Post by cliffy1 »

Baba O'Riley wrote:I see 'Mother Earth' as equally omnipotent as 'God the Father''.

Possibly even more so. She is called Mother because the biosphere is alive. It is the source of life on this planet. Every living thing is part of the biosphere, an integral part of, interdependent on and interconnected with everything else. One giant organism. We are just a cell in this body. There may have been a Creator of the Universe, but life on this planet owes its existence to the Mother. Like humans, the male component is not much more than a sperm donor.
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Re: Why do we refer to God as male?

Post by Baba O'Riley »

cliffy1 wrote:There may have been a Creator of the Universe, but life on this planet owes its existence to the Mother.

Nice viewpoint, cliffy1.

At a recent dinner I attended, 'grace' was said thanking Mother Earth for the food we were about to eat. I said 'Amen' for the first time in a long time :)
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Re: Why do we refer to God as male?

Post by annexi »

Baba O'Riley wrote:At a recent dinner I attended, 'grace' was said thanking Mother Earth for the food we were about to eat. I said 'Amen' for the first time in a long time :)

Fantastic to hear. The feminine aspect of God is largely ignored but she is making herself known once again.

I think the accepted supremacy of a male god combined with the 'blame' placed on Eve/woman for the fall of humanity is a root cause of much of the wrong/violence/subjugation perpetrated on woman worldwide.

Even in our relatively safe and civil society, I doubt there is any woman who hasn't felt the ripple of this reality in some form or another.
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Re: Why do we refer to God as male?

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annexi wrote:Other than the obvious reason - our religious texts refer to God as male. Is that really true though? In a perfect universe, there is a balance of male and female, yin and yang.

The world is currently ruled by an underlying and pervasive patriarchal (male) worldview. It can be found in our religions, our social practices, our languages, and our laws. Somewhere in the evolution of humanity, woman - the matriarchal archetype - was lost as an equal and balancing force.

I wonder if God being claimed male is an extension of this overriding patriarchy. And I wonder if in fact this does believers a great injustice, if it obscures a greater truth.

To me, God is too vast and un-understandable by the human mind to be given any labels at all & we should question what we've been taught.


Pretty simple really, because "He" gets really *bleep* off if we refer to him as "she"!
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Re: Why do we refer to God as male?

Post by Poindexter »

^^ ... And we wouldn't want to *bleep* him off. Last time that happened it didn't work out so well for anyone other than Noah.

Women have simply not been portrayed as godlike in the bible. Poor Eve didn't do a lot for their cause, a simple product Adam's rib she does the unforgivable and fraternizes with a serpent then talks Adam into the original sin. To say women had a biblical rough start is an understatement.

So god may not be a woman but one thing we know for sure is he's a black man. If god created man in his image and the first men were black, it stands to reason God has an Afro.
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Re: Why do we refer to God as male?

Post by Farmmaa »

He wouldn't have been black, but definitely brown...as would Jesus. They'd probably both be tagged as terrorist threats today.
Why god is portrayed as a male is an easy one really....because it was an extremely sexist time and the churches were run by men. Everything was run by men.
The thought at that time that a woman could possibly hold any place of power would have been blasphemous and the church wouldn't have gathered a whole lot of supporters.
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Re: Why do we refer to God as male?

Post by Hmmm »

Really? Its like theres a big giant sign that answers your question, but you refuse to turn your head to look at it. Instead, theres just wild guesses and sarcasm.
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annexi
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Re: Why do we refer to God as male?

Post by annexi »

Hmmm wrote:Really? Its like theres a big giant sign that answers your question, but you refuse to turn your head to look at it. Instead, theres just wild guesses and sarcasm.

Enlighten me. What is the big giant sign that answers my question?
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Re: Why do we refer to God as male?

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annexi wrote:Enlighten me. What is the big giant sign that answers my question?


Perhaps it's one of these big giant signs. :)
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Re: Why do we refer to God as male?

Post by alexoliversen »

Well, there are also more pratical reasons, such as the male being lower maintenance allows males to provided more for others, usually a wife which then brings a child. A man more consistent as he doesn't have mood swings or monthly cycles. Thus he is more of a constant provider, while the female psyche is more nesting in nature thus they often create exceptions and use less logic and more social strengths to build a 'good healthy nest'. Women have to stop or slow down on doing things when they get pregnant and carry a baby. Thus the old saying Father Sky and Mother Earth. God is male because is the light - constant rising everyday for eternity. Such Mythos migh come from Godama Buddha beiong know as the light, as well as Jesus as being known as the light as well. But of course what I find fancinating is Japanese Mythos where Amaterasu the Sun Godess is female. It might be noted Jesus and Godama both are considered more feminine in nature due to their nuturing, giving, and compassionate nature.

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