The need to visit the ontological argument has become prevalent recently as several intelligent new atheists continue to battle sophisticated theologians on the question of faith.
Though the fundamental question: does God exist remains a push and pull exercise, with evidence suggesting that it’s highly probable such a deity exists, a new form of confusion is taking a stand.
And that is; is God a male or female.
This may seem pretty unimportant but considering the rise of feminism in our 21st century and the fact that traditional patriarchal institutions like the Church of England has been infested by the principle of equality, this can’t be overlooked anymore.
For this matter, Rt Rev Rachel Treweek, the first female bishop of the Church of England to sit in the House of Lords has called for an end to the use of ‘HE’ to represent God.
Rt Rev Rachel Treweek is reported to have said; “The Church of England should stop using male pronouns when referring to God in order to counter the erroneous belief that the Almighty has a gender.”
Erecting an argument on the back of Genesis, she said, “We’re told that God created human beings in God’s likeness… If I am made in the image of God, then God is not to be seen as male. God is God.”
In fact, this argument has been going on for over 20 years within the Church of England—with calls that instead of using the pronoun “He” or “She” for God, to achieve neutrality, it should just be God.
The problem with this call is obvious—in English, there will always be the need to somehow have a pronoun.
It’s not only Rt Rev Rachel Treweek who is pushing for this change, Reverend Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, vicar of Belmont and Pittington in Durham, a member of the General Synod and also vice-chair of pressure group Watch – Women and the Church has commended the bishop’s comments.
She told The Independent that though this argument has been going for 20 to 30 years, “recently the Church has been concentrating so much on whether we should have women bishops we took our eye off the ball about God. Theologians have always argued that God is neither male nor female. We are created in God’s image. God doesn’t have a gender – God is beyond gender.”
She continued: “We don’t have a non-gendered pronoun to use to refer to God here, but in some other countries they don’t have that problem – in Sweden they don’t have male or female pronouns. Our pronouns and our language really do affect what we believe. “I’m pleased that Rachel is using her position to make these points. I’d quite like to see some male bishops do so, too – I am sure they would agree with her.”
Though the most powerful religious establishment in England and of great influential standing in the world, the Church of England is shockingly liberal and does not shy away when it has been pedaling the wrong canoe
As early as 2008, the Church of England apologized to Charles Darwin for its initial rejection of his evolution theory—saying, it was sorry for its “anti-evolutionary fervour.”
The apology read: “Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still. We try to practise the old virtues of ‘faith seeking understanding’ and hope that makes some amends.”
Now the church is seeking to achieve gender equality when it comes to God—looking to breakaway from the many centuries’ practice of referring to God as a “He”.