An Androgynous God?
As the rapid discussions of same-sex marriages develop, questions about its place in religion are sure to be brought up. A recent news article posted on The Huffington Post website comments on a report conducted by Clemson University sociologist Andrew Whitehead. He believes his report shows that people who believe in a masculine God are “more likely to oppose same-sex marriage and civil unions.” This post intrigued me, as I had never really considered this connection.
In his report, Whitehead creates a link between the belief in a masculine God and the “traditional” ideas of gender roles that people hold. He wrote: “individuals who view God as masculine are signaling a belief in an underlying gendered reality that influences their perceptions of the proper ordering of that reality.” Although I think this is an interesting idea, I personally do not see how the gender of God could play such a large role in the determination of what Whitehead refers to as reality. I also find it difficult to see a correlation between these two things.
He also talks about how if individuals shifted their views of God being “He” then it would create a shift in the way people viewed same-sex marriages and create more equality in society and after reading the details of his research experiment explained in the article I do not feel that I agree with the conclusion he came to. I do not think that an individual’s views of God as masculine or feminine affects their view on same-sex relations as much as their interpretations of the bible would. I think that the worldviews that religious people hold are more largely based upon their interpretations of their religious texts and teachings and this does not seem like something that will be changing any time soon.
Although I disagree with most of Whiteheads ideas that were expressed in the article, I do agree that gender roles play a large role in how we see the world and everyone in it but I do not think this is affected by our ideas on God’s gender.