Tuesday, June 3, 2008

This act of aggression cannot stand, man.

Every time I go to mass at St. Claire's in Berea, I'm always incredibly annoyed by the congregation's continuous battle between saying the word "God" and the word "His" or "He". There are certain diocese it seems that have some kind of odd aversion to referring to God as He. If such a rift has been caused over one word, just imagine what the Church has endured over far more complex and far-reaching theological matters through the centuries.

Anywho, I found a passage in a Peter Kreeft book, "Catholic Christianity" that portrays my feelings on the subject exactly.

"'Man' does not mean 'males', or 'males more than females'. Despite this fact, many publishers today strictly censor the traditionally inclusive use of 'man' or 'he' -- a use we find until the 1960s in all English translations of the Bible, all the documents of the Church, and all the great secular books in the history of Western civilization.
This censorship is usually insisted on out of respect for the strong feelings of a small minority of influential feminists, and perhaps in guilt and reparation for the many real injustices done in the past by men to women.
Traditional language is maintained in this book, not out of any desire to exclude women or to deny the full equality between men and women (full equality is a biblical principle, by the way), but because of the conviction that past injustices against women are not atoned for by future injustices against language.
In the English language, the word 'man' does double duty; it means two things, 'humans' and 'male humans'. For English has only one word ('man') where many other languages have two. In Latin for instance, homo means 'human being' and vir means 'male human being'. In Greek, anthropos and aner make the same distinction. When English writers said 'God and man' they did not mean 'God and males'.
Why not say 'God and humanity' then? Because 'God and man' not only sounds better than 'God and humanity', but it means something different. 'Man' is a concrete term, like 'God'; but 'humanity' is an abstract word like 'divinity'.


Anonymous said...

The diversity of your blog subjects is always entertaining!

Well researched!

Christopher J said...

Does this mean you're not a fan of tambourines at Mass, too?

dies irae said...


Sterilization is so bland. It's like eating cold grits.
The scary part about the "God" as opposed to "He" is when one takes it in view of the Conception, if anything other than a "He" is used as referring to God it would insinuate a homosexual or bi-sexual relationship.
There also is another movement to substitute the Trinitarian names in the Sign of the Cross with "Creator", "Redeemer", and "Sanctifier". While these are well and good, it leaves out the cyclical relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, Himself, referred to God as "The Father". Good enough for Him; good enough for me. Besides it just destroys the hymns when everybody is fumbling around for the latest PC word choice.

amy said...

sorry, you're wrong, but i'm too tired to explain to you why. :)

oh, and i'm really pissed i didn't say a proper goodbye to you, Jesse and Lauren before i left for school. it was such a crazy time with ichfest and i was gone before i knew it and before i had any real grasp on when people were leaving (i never left, so i figure others didn't either). we are really going to miss you.


Ashtyn said...

Well said.