[transcript of an unreal conversation, early 21st Century]
Abrahamic Believer: I believe in the One True God who rules Heaven and Earth.
Pagan Individual: I reject monotheism and a transcendent God who exists outside creation, a God you call "He."
AB: Some places may still use the supposedly generic "He" for God but the place where I worship stopped calling God "He" 20 years ago, when some women said they felt excluded when God was called only "He" and "Lord" and other similar male words. We degendered our language, and a church where a friend of mine goes had another solution: they alternate male and female language.
PI: Well, we Pagans have a God and a Goddess, Gods and Goddesses, male and female. Your monotheism relies on transcendence, but the gods we Pagans have are immanent. The Gods are within creation not somewhere outside or above it.
AB: the gods?
PI: Yes, the gods, plural. You got a problem with that?
AB: You mean just the male gods are immanent?
PI: Of course not, all the gods are immanent.
AB: So you’re using "the gods" to mean both gods and goddesses?
PI: Yes, everyone knows "the gods" means both gods and goddesses. That’s how it’s always been said.
AB: So you’re using "the gods" as a generic, just like we used "he" as a generic pronoun for God, as it had always been used.
PI: It’s not the same because we have both gods and goddesses, and priests and priestesses.
AB: It sure seems the same to me! People used to say "God" had no gender even though we called him "he." We have both male and female ministers. So explain how "the gods" doesn’t exclude the female divine just like "God...He" does.
PI: It’s just an expression! What are you, the Word Police?
Medusa [in a voice that sounds like it’s coming through a bullhorn]: I understand that your ear has become used to the sound of certain words, and that it seems like "the gods" rolls off the tongue easily and it takes up less space when you’re writing to leave off "the goddesses." But when I’m left out I become angry. You wouldn’t want to anger Medusa, would you? To include me, my sister Goddesses, and women, when speaking of us, please use "gods and goddesses" (alternating that term with "goddesses and gods"), or if you want something short, use "deities" or "divinities." If you’re writing, use these or use "God/desses."
Abrahamic Believer: What or Who was that?
Pagan Individual: I didn’t hear anything....
TAGS:life the gods spiritual feminism Pagan Goddess women and religion