We are left with the problem – among our many untreatable problems here at The God Project Dot Net – of what to call this Thing we are trying to find, or not. Specifically, what pronoun to use.
“He” and “Him” is traditional, of course, because for much of Western history the primacy of men was unquestioned. My own Catholic tradition is still absurdly masculine: the manly Father, his long-suffering Son, the 12 male Apostles who bequeathed to the manly Pope the keys to the kingdom in perpetuity, and so on. Only the Holy Spirit has a whiff of metrosexuality.
The Jewish tradition has been just as patriarchal, although less blatantly sexist because, I think, Jewish women can be quite, um, insistent.
And so on for Muslims, etcetera, although I’ll say that the presence of super-sexism in certain orthodoxies seems to me to be more a kind of cultural time warp – groups of people who have stopped the clock in, say, 1500 or even 622 – than a purer expression of God’s will. That’s why their clothes look so odd.
Here’s the thing: Calling God “He” or “She” and “Him” or “Her” has an obvious problem IMHO.
Think about it. Okay, stop thinking. You’re right: How can God have a sex? Any sex?
Whatever God is or is not, I hope you’ll agree that God is not a living organism. But having a sex, male or female, implies sex organs, or at the very least certain combinations of chromosomes. Nobody thinks God has sex organs or chromosomes. So I repeat: How can God have a sex? Unless we get into some kind of strange discussion about how certain kinds of energy are male or female, it just doesn’t make sense.
Which is why I’m going to irritate even myself and call God “It.”