Views from the Bridge

Of Gender and Spirituality … and such

Posted on: September 20, 2013

I am publishing today without Colin. This is still a conversation we had in the car! But somehow we are very bad at coordinating our blog posts together.

Well, Colin and I had an awesome conversation about gender and spirituality. I am an elder (provisional) in the United Methodist Church which means I am a pastor. He is pagan which means most of his practices are isolated since we live in the boonies.

I asked, “How has gender impacted your spirituality?”

His immediate response as a teen was, “huh?”

I explained a bit. Mark Driscoll, the pastor of a conservative mega church, has said that he needs to worship a manly Jesus. This makes my eyes roll back into my head, frankly. I asked Colin the same question again.

His response was something like…

…well, I have a ridiculous mother that lets me explore what I need to explore and I had a ridiculous confirmation teacher that let me find out who I am, and a ridiculous church that never said anything bad.

Ridiculous = Good.

I then asked him something like, “Reflecting back, you now practice an almost solitary practice of spirituality in your pagan practice. Do you think it could be because you were beginning to transform into who you are and gender boxes in church didn’t suit you any more?”

YES! Gender does not come up in my spirituality. It is unimportant and unrelated.

Colin’s spiritual transformation out of Christianity began about the same time he came out to his church. Not that they weren’t fully supportive, they were in the way they knew how which was to essentially shut-up and not say anything good or bad, but to go on as normal. But Colin is a community person, so he found his way to a Unitarian Universalist Church for a while and we will see what happens as he grows into full adulthood (geez, 17 already).

I see a link between his transformation, gender, and the church. Do you see a link between gender and your spiritual expression?

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1 Response to "Of Gender and Spirituality … and such"

Gender and spirituality is a great topic. Particularly where it concerns people for whom gender expression and identity is not binary, meaning not identifying as man or woman but rather something in between or outside of those confines. For me, the divine predates our socially constructed gender.

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