Some of us on the Patheos Pagan channel have been having a bit of fun with this guy, who offers a listicle of twelve reasons why you can’t call God “Mother.”
His thinking is, shall we say, confused. He insists…twice…that the Bible never refers to God as mother, which is flatly untrue. “How often have I longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings…and you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37, Luke 13:34) Having been raised Baptist and also listening to Johnny Cash, I already knew that one, but you can find other examples from both the Old and New Testaments here.
As hilarious as it might be to join the chorus of Pagan Channel writers like Niki Whiting, Jason Mankey and Yvonne Aburrow schooling him on Judeo-Christian-Islamic and world theology, I think they’ve pretty much got that covered. It doesn’t surprise me at all that a bunch of Pagans appear to know the Bible better than an ordained Catholic priest, but…Been there, done that, got dunked, once saved always saved. Hallelujah!
I’m far more amused by Fr. Longnecker’s last reason why you can’t call God “mother”: It will lead to “New Age witchcraft”!! People will start worshipping the Goddess! Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!
I have to say I agree. You start letting people…especially women…realize that there’s a different way to think about things, that men and women aren’t separate species with first and second class citizen status respectively as ordered and enforced by a heavenly dudebro, that there’s such a thing as the Feminine Divine? Buddy, those ideas are dangerous. They lead to terrible things, like equal pay for equal work, ordination of women, dancing around bonfires, and drumming. The next thing you know women will get so above themselves they’ll be expecting to run countries and walk down the street in peace. The horror!
That idea is SO dangerous and SO powerful that the mere utterance of the phrase “God the Mother” will wreck civilization as we know it, bring the foundational edifices of the patriarchy tumbling down, and make people think paid maternity leave might not be such a bad idea after all. CLEARLY THIS IS THE WORK OF SATAN. WHO IS A GIRL.
Oh, honey. Calm down. What are you so scared of? Cooties? That the game might no longer be rigged in your favor? Or perhaps you suspect that women have something to be angry about, and when the feminist revolution comes, people like you are going to be the first ones up against the wall? I dunno, man. I think the worst you have to fear from that direction is a consciousness-raising circle where you are expected to share your feelings and eat vegan cookies.
Or there’s a more insidious, all-encompassing, reasonable fear. It may be the that those words resonate because they have the ringing manifest power of truth. I think the thing that some people are so scared of, the thing fueling their ranty bad theology and keeping them up at night, is one terrible, horrifying, spine-chilling possibility:
God really is a Mother.
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