Sunday, January 14, 2007

Christianity, the feminine and the patriarchy

Christianity is a significant alteration of Judaism in the direction of the feminine. Instead of the Law of the Lord, we have the Gospel of the Son, where affiliation –the quintessential feminine value—trumps rank, where love is the highest value.

It has seemed to some of our contemporaries a kind of betrayal that this revelation did not immediately issue in an egalitarian ethos, not to say an egalitarian society…as if somehow the testosterone of the recipients of this affiliative Gospel did not understand that it was a valuation of the feminine over the masculine.

In the last forty years, feminism has radically altered the face of the West, with consequences both welcome and detrimental. And much of Western religion, too. In North America, for instance, many communities of Catholic sisters have functionally ceased to be Catholic and have become Feminist. Wherever there might be a conflict between Catholicism and Feminism, Catholicism must cede.

And in the liberal Protestant churches, where feminism is most advanced, what do we see but the practical disappearance of traditional Christianity in favor of the feminist religion of inclusivity, sensitivity and diversity? Unitarianism in drag is the future for all of them and men, real men, anyway, will stay away in larger and larger droves.

Which leads me to think that, given the strong affiliative/feminine energy in Christianity, it can only exist within a strong patriarchal frame, including an all-male priesthood. The patriarchal order of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, which seems like a betrayal to the lately enlightened, may in fact be the condition of that tradition's continued existence and the necessary container of its affiliative energies.

As an intensification of the feminine within a fundamentally patriarchal myth, Christianity is a unique jewel in the human patrimony (sic!). Once that framework is dissolved, however, the whole enterprise disappears. Fast.

Which brings me to a recent discovery: what's really wrong with homosexuality.

Now anyone who knows me knows that I am a deeply unrepentant gay man. I may not like the opinions and antics of my tribe but I have not the least doubt about who I am, nor the slightest inclination to be any different, in this life or any other. But there is a problem with male homosexuality....and I'll post about it...another time.

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