Several Catholic Girls Schools Are Using Gender Neutral Terms For God
Whenever you hear people talk about God, you usually hear things like 'Him' and 'He'.
Historically, even though God is this omnipotent, non-human being in Christianity, the all seeing, all knowing power is always referred to as male.
But that tide is turning in some Brisbane Catholic girls schools, with administrators taking a more gender neutral approach.
According to the Daily Mail, All Hallows, Stuartholme, Loreto College and Stuartholme School have started the trend, hoping that the female students will be able to better connect with God if there are referred to as a person rather than a man.
A spokesperson for Stuartholme School told the Sunday Mail: "As we believe God is neither male or female, Stuartholme tries to use gender-neutral terms in prayers...so that our community deepens their understanding of who God is for them, how God reveals Godself through creation, our relationships with others and the person of Jesus."
But it's not just about referring to God as Godself instead of Himself, some schools are tackling the other big one: Lord.
Loretto College is doing away with the L word because it's orientated towards the male form.
Principal Kim Wickham told the Mail: "Prayers written specifically for use within our college do not refer to God as male or female."
"There are occasions where gendered language may be appropriate, including references to specific religious and biblical figures."
A lot of the commentary on social media seems confused about the move, with many saying the decision goes against what we know about Jesus.
Jesus was a man, a white one at that, with a beard... all that majority in society see as wrong so it must be eradicated...- Lancsiron (@LancsIron) 1 June 2019
And here I was always thinking Jesus was a man. So all the writings addressing Jesus as a man and all the artwork that show Jesus as a man are wrong. See I have always thought you couldn't trust history.- Geoff M (@gm1157) 1 June 2019
While all depictions of Jesus show him as male, the trend in Brisbane schools isn't focusing on him - it's just his superior being God. It's understandable that this is mildly confusing considering God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all individuals yet connected.
But this decision has been backed up by the UK Archbishop of Canterbury, who last year said God was gender neutral.
Reverend Justin Welby, said: "All human language about God is inadequate and to some degree metaphorical.
"God is not a father in exactly the same way as a human being is a father. God is not male or female. God is not definable.
"It is extraordinarily important as Christians that we remember that the definitive revelation of who God is was not in words, but in the word of God who we call Jesus Christ. We can't pin God down."
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