Feminist Nonsense Attacks on God and the Bible

“[S]tupid. Asinine. Ridiculous. Ludicrous. Imbecilic. Witless. Obtuse. Fatuous. Harebrained. Doltish. Preposterous.”  — Ben Shapiro, commenting on Rabbi Kolton’s claims

Originally, I was going to blog on something more politically-oriented this week, like infamous memos & dossiers, or maybe the budget deal. But, I came across something else that piqued my interest much more, so…

The idea of “the divine feminine” and related concepts are not just found in New Age / Eastern and other pagan writings but also in modern feminist theology invading certain groups in liberal Christianity and Judaism alike. (Incidentally, they seem to work hand-in-hand with the LGBT community in this, ignoring how their two agendas ultimately work against each other.) One of the more subtle ways this small minority exercises its influence is by urging (if not demanding) increasing gender neutralization of the Bible and liturgical texts in ways that effectively emasculate God. We’ll highlight an example of this in the first part of this post. In the second part, we’ll look at a radical, female rabbi’s unorthodox (and baseless) re-interpretation of an early biblical passage to make it a social commentary on recent headlines.

“God with breasts”

Michael F. Haverluck’s recent article at One News Now begins,

“Continuing its freefall to the theological left, the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Washington, D.C., voted last week to pass a resolution that puts an end to the use of masculine pronouns for God as it prepares to update its Book of Common Prayer.”

Haverluck quotes the diocese’s resolution,

“Resolved … that the 79th General Convention direct the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, if revision of the Book of Common Prayer is authorized, to utilize expansive language for God from the rich sources of feminine, masculine and non-binary imagery for God found in Scripture and tradition and, when possible, to avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God.”

The resolution’s drafters also stated,

“Over the centuries, our language and our understanding of God has continued to change and adapt…. [Referring to God using masculine pronouns is to] limit our understanding of God. By expanding our language for God, we will expand our image of God and the nature of God.”

As Haverluck points out, this is another example of liberal — and, in this case, feminist-oriented — theologians being more concerned with preaching their social gospel than with sound hermeneutic from the unchanging Word of God. But, if neutering divine pronouns weren’t enough, here’s the kicker. Referring to Genesis 17:1, where God tells Abraham, “I am El Shaddai”, Rev. Linda R. Calkins of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church says,

“[If Episcopalians] are going to be true to what El Shaddai means, it means God with breasts. Having studied much feminist theology in my masters’ degrees, I wrote a thesis on liberation and freedom and non-equality in feminist theology and existential counseling.”

Linda R. Calkins

[As an aside, I might note that Calkins “married” her “wife”, Susan, in 2013, though she does have two grown children.]

Haverluck quotes a couple different people’s objections in his article, but I want to cite Dr. Michael Brown from the article he wrote in response to this move. In regards to the pronouns thing,

“[N]one of us think that God has biological sex or that His image is not found in women as well as men.

At the same time, He revealed Himself to us as Father, He inspired the human authors of Scripture to refer to Him with male pronouns, and He is called Lord (not Lady) multiplied hundreds of times in the Scriptures. Not only so, but when He took on flesh, He did so in the person of His Son (another male image!), as a man named Yeshua (Jesus). And should I mention that He’s also described in the Bible as a Man of War?

In short, you have to rewrite the Bible in order to remove “gendered language for God.” And there is a difference between praying to the Heavenly Mother rather than the Heavenly Father. (In other words, gender differences are important and intentional.) And if a non-gendered God wanted us to pray to it (?) as the Heavenly Parent, then it (or, they?) would have said so.”

Exactly!

As for the “God with breasts” idea:

“To be honest, Calkins is not the first to make this claim, and I’ve even heard it in some evangelical circles, where it was taught that God as the “many breasted one” spoke of God as Provider.

But there’s not a stitch of scholarly evidence to support this, and I can state that with authority. Not only is my Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University, but I specialized in comparative Semitic lexicography (meaning, understanding dictionary definitions of words in light of the comparative ancient languages).

My doctoral dissertation focused on one Hebrew word (in light of its ancient Near Eastern background), and I own every major Hebrew lexicon and theological encyclopedia. Every single one of them rejects the idea that El Shaddai means “God of (many) breasts.”

It is true that we don’t know have a clear etymology for “shaddai”, but it appears to be akin to an ancient Akkadian word for ‘mountain’. Also, “the ancient biblical translators commonly rendered Shaddai with ‘Almighty,’ and they likely had a good reason for it.”

“Eve says #MeToo”

OK, now we’ll take some of this feminist thinking and wrap it around some current events. Inspired and emboldened by the many women now telling their stories of being victims of sexual assault, rabbi / psychologist Tamara Kolton (soon-to-be author of Oranges for Eve: Walking The Way of the Divine Feminine) recently wrote:

“It’s time we all acknowledge an overwhelmingly powerful source of shame and silence — in the bible.

The story that begins the bible… is actually the story of the first sexual assault of a woman. The woman’s name is Eve. And the perpetrator? God.”

What the…?!! Conservative columnist Ben Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, responds with the words listed at the top of this post, followed by,

“The story of Adam and Eve has literally nothing to do with sexual assault. It has to do with Eve refusing to obey a Godly command not to eat from a certain tree at the behest of the snake, then telling Adam to do so as well, then lying to God about it. End of story.”

Tamara Kolton

Kolton, the first rabbi ordained in Humanistic Judaism at the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism, proceeds to paint a picture…

“I want you to think about this. Here is a young, beautiful, intelligent, naked woman living in a state of Grace. She’s hungry, so she does the most natural thing in the world and eats a piece of fruit. For following her instincts, trusting herself, and nourishing her body, she is punished. Her punishment? She will never again feel safe in her nakedness. She will never again love her body. She will never again know her body as a place of sacred sovereignty.

“What have you done?” [] God thunders. Eve wants to defend herself, but she is too ashamed to speak. Eve, our first mother whose name means the “mother of all living things,” is silenced, much the way the “patients” of Dr. Nassar were.”

First, notice how Kolton makes Eve an innocent victim, rather than someone in rebellion to God. Second, she makes God a big meanie. Third, she emphasizes Eve’s nakedness and loss of love for her body. She refers to the “sacred sovereignty” of Eve’s body, while ignoring the true Sovereignty of Creator God. Fourth, this somehow translates into sexual assault by God, because she then draws a parallel between God’s treatment of Eve to Dr. Nassar’s molestation of the female athletes under his care. Her “interpretation” is disgusting on so many levels and not the ones she claims. Of course, the Bible is all just fairytales to her, anyway.

Shapiro’s comment?

“There is simply no way to read the story of Adam and Eve and come away with the notion that Eve wanted to raid the fridge. The snake explicitly discusses with her the consequences for eating the fruit, and tempts her to do so by stating that she will become like God.”

After quoting from Genesis 3, Shapiro also points out that the forbidden tree was not the only one in the Garden. Adam and Eve had plenty more to eat from. He also points out that Eve was not silenced, was not “too ashamed to speak”. She tried to blame the serpent, but God held her responsible for her own actions.

Kolton continues…

“The founding myth of Judeo-Christian religion, the story of Eve, granted generations of men permission to violate women. It teaches us that women are liars and sinners. Even if “She” is telling the truth, she deserved it. God told her not to eat that apple, or wear that skirt, or go out after dark, or be pretty, or desirous, or in that bar or on that street or in that car or born a girl.”

Oh, fer cryin’ out loud! What balderdash! Hard to believe this “creative” garbage is accepted as serious scholarship in today’s academic circles. On the other hand, given the Left’s — particularly, the secular Left’s — hold on so much of academia, I guess it shouldn’t be that surprising after all. Shapiro had more to say on this, too, and I’ll direct you to his op ed. But, he ended with this:

“Eve wasn’t sexually harassed or assaulted by God. She wasn’t a #MeToo victim. The only victims in this piece are Kolton’s readers, who all lost IQ points simply by sticking around to read it.”

Indeed, though I would add that Kolton’s Bible was twisted beyond all recognition, figuratively speaking.

One more quote from Kolton:

“This God, this man-made figurehead of the patriarchy, is not my God…. The God I believe in is all loving. God is a Divine source of life and healing, not shame and abandonment.”

[Side Note: If she’s a secular humanist (and, thus, non-theist), why would she even bother to have her own, preferred concept of a deity? She’s really just trading one (patriarchal) imaginary being for another (matriarchal?) imaginary being.]

Well, the God she describes isn’t my God, either. My God is real. My God is the uncreated Creator found in the inspired biblical texts. He is a Holy God, both loving and just; He demands justice, yet offers mercy. He spotlights our sin(s) (i.e., moral crimes), which are deserving of shame and punishment and separate us from God the Father. But, He also provides the one and only way to restore that broken relationship with Him, via the sinless life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, the Second Person of the Trinity.

Someday, I hope that Calkins and Kolton recognize the empty falseness of their worldview(s). And I pray that they find their way into the arms of their loving Heavenly Father. Same for Shapiro, of course, who at least hasn’t gone off into Left field in his Bible reading.

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