is there any relationship between wife-beating and gender of God?
Please don’t take me amiss! It is a serious question, so much so that the church of England last week warned both the churchgoers and the clergy that calling God “He” encourages men to beat their wives. The question is so important that the Archbishop of Canterbury fully endorsed the view.
Here I would like to throw a spanner in the wheel. The more important question is: How can we trust a person whatever his position or calibre with regard to wife-beating, who has never beaten his wife, because he never had a wife. The pinnacle of piety in Christianity is celibacy. No model clergy of any grade is supposed to have a wife. In this backdrop of “utmost Godliness” of the holy men, I am reluctant to believe in the testimony of the inexperienced.
The Papal authority has, of course not in so many words, instructed the bishops and priests to have a second look at the popular hymns and prayers like “Our Father” or “Lord’s Prayer” which depict God as “He”. Do not be surprised if tomorrow The New Testament and the Torah are also revised and re-edited to suit the modern needs of Christendom. A plea has already been made public to reinterpret stories which say “God uses violence” to punish the transgressors. My hunch is, directly or indirectly, besides Mr. Blair, Mr. Bush, Mr. Rumsfeld and their manfriday Mr. Armitage, behind this papal plea. Whatever the case, the question brainstorming the Christendom still remains un-answered: Has wife-beating any relationship with the gender of God?
The truth is: the issue, which has no iota of triviality or blasphemy, needs to be discussed threadbare and in wider perspective. What I mean is: husband-beating too, in all fairness, should be included in the terms of reference. Believe me! This is not a figment of my too morbid imagination. It is the logical corollary of equality of sexes.
In My Feudal Lord Ms Tehmina Durrani sheds ample light on how effectively she corrected Mr. Mustafa Khan by just one swipe of a utensil when he, amidst unprintable words that would put a whore to shame, beat her up in the kitchen. For a longer period of time, her retaliatory strike helped him maintain his both mental and physical equilibrium. Far from suggesting counter strikes by the wife, what I feel is that the beleaguered man too has a case. What is needed is a strong advocate to plead his case.
That apart, a secondary point is: what is in a pronoun? Nobody, strangely enough, quarrels with those who use too much the “Perpendicular Pronoun” – I. In fact the word all of us use daily and excessively is “I”. It looks as if there is no end to “I” or to one’s ego. Right from Aristotle down to Daridra Narain, each and every person has been driving home his or her point through “I”. One day you just try to count in your speech or conversions this pronoun silently. At the end of the day, you would find yourself and yourself only. It looks as if no other person is more important in your life than you. The question of God’s gender, plaguing the Christianity today, has been solved by Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism in their own inimitable ways and styles. Both Buddhism and Jainism are simply silent on the questions of God. They have found out the way to salvation without Him.
And as far as Hinduism is concerned, it has both male and female gods and goddesses.
Now we are left with Islam, which believes that Allah is beyond gender. But, in fact, that is not the question. The question is: What is the relationship between wife-beating and the gender of God?
I plead guilty. I beg your pardon. I too, like the Papal authorities, am inexperienced, although I have a wife rather a grandmother of my grandchildren.