He or She? Church of England debates God's gender!
New Delhi: The world has always been divided over the veracity of claims regarding existence of God, Britain is busy debating the issue with an entirely different perspective.
There is an unusual tussle going on in the Church of England over the sex of God. The church is divided on whether God should be referred as ‘he' or ‘she'.
The female bishops of the church have raised the issue saying there is a need to change the language of prayer.
To discuss the matter, a meeting was held at the residence of Archbishop of Canterbury where female bishops emphasize that ‘he' should be replaced with ‘she' to give an equal stature to the women.
Female bishops alleged that the 'Book of Common' Prayer is patriarchal and the use of ‘he' for God creates insecurity among women.
The whole discussion over the issue is raised by a group named Women and the Church (Watch).
“When we hail the God as ‘he' it reflects that God is like male and a male is like God. It means women in this world can't represent the Christ,” expressed Rev Emma Percy, Chaplain of Trinity College Oxford and the member of Watch.
Another member of Watch, Rev Jody Stowell maintains the same view and called for more gender-neutral language to be used when referring to God.
Hilary Cotton, chairman of WATCH, is also pushing for the use of ‘she' in reference to God.
“God is beyond male and female. Until we get out of the gender notion it is impossible to understand God,” she said.
Interestingly, Church of England, breaking its hundreds of years of tradition, ordained its first female bishop in January this year. The first female bishop was fated in 1994.
Amid this interesting discussion, a thought of using both ‘he' and ‘she' in the Common Book of Prayer has come up. It is presumed to end the gender inequality and maintain the balance between both the genders.
Ann Widdecombe, a former Conservative member of parliament who left the Anglican Church after it started ordaining female priests, said that the entire suggestion of using female pronouns for God was "plain silly" and "the work of lunatics."
Notably, in India there was an RTI filed to know the gender of God, whose name is referred in oath ceremony of ministers. In reply, Law Ministry said that there is no specific definition of god given in the Constitution, thus it can't be answered.