Let there be they/them/theirs! The Church of England is exploring gender-neutral pronouns for God.
God’s gender has been a point of contention among theologians, clergy and Ariana Grande for years. But God may be neither a woman nor a man, according to a new project investigating gender-neutral pronouns in the Church of England.
The project was launched in response to a question posed by Reverend Joanna Stobart, vicar of Ilminster and Whitelackington, wondering if God was due for an update, including “more inclusive language” and services referring to God in a “non-gendered way.”
Traditionally, God is described in masculine terms: “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.” While the change to a more gender-neutral God would be a major shift from millennia of prayers, teaching and practices, the Church of England believes the idea is already more accepted than you’d think.
“Christians have recognized since ancient times that God is neither male nor female,” the Church of England said in a statement, as reported by The Washington Post. “Yet the variety of ways of addressing and describing God found in scripture has not always been reflected in our worship.”
Investigating the use of non-gendered language, the project launched with the Liturgical Commission and Faith and Order Commission will evaluate the theological implication of a gender-neutral God over the next five years.
This news comes out of the Church’s General Synod, which convened in London to debate and vote on issues affecting the Church including a proposal to allow Anglican clergy to bless same-sex couples while maintaining the position of holy matrimony as “between one man and one woman for life.”
While cognitive dissonance abounds, the Church is taking steps to include LGBTQ+ members long cast out and persecuted by practitioners of Christianity.
The Church of England did not disclose how they would go about updating a deity's pronouns, should the time come, but we're guessing it isn't as simple as changing The Bible's Instagram bio.
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