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September 4, 2015 / 20 Elul, 5775
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Feminist German Minister Retooling the Creator’s Gender

To many Germans Christians, such a suggestion was an outrage.
German Family Minister Kristina Schröder

German Family Minister Kristina Schröder

Germany’s Christian Democratic party member and Family Minister Kristina Schröder caused quite a bit of rage, followed by a contentious debate over the proper way of addressing God’s gender, according to Der Spiegel.

It began with discussion of gender roles in children’s literature, during an interview Schröder gave the weekly Die Zeit. Next, Schröder also took on God’s gender, to the chagrin of fellow Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union.

The German language has three definite articles to indicate the gender nouns: der (masculine), die (feminine) and das (neuter). The noun der Gott, or God, is masculine. Schröder told Die Zeit that the article for God “doesn’t mean anything.” It could just as easily be the gender-neutral das Gott, she said.

Actually, that’s consistent with one of Maimonides’ 13 principles that suggests “God does not have a body nor the shape of a body.”

To many Germans Christians, however, especially within Schröder’s party, such a suggestion was an outrage.

“This overly cerebral nonsense leaves me speechless,” Bavarian Social Minister and CSU member Christine Haderthauer told the popular daily Bild. “I find it sad when our children, due to blatant insecurity and political correctness, have the strong images that are so important to their imaginations taken away.”

The CSU’s party whip in the federal parliament, Stefan Müller, also expressed his annoyance over the idea of God who does not show up in a proper, masculine attire. “Independent of the fact that it’s Christmastime, I find it improper and am a bit astonished,” he said.

Norbert Geis, also a CSU member of Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, also demanded pants and boots for the deity. “God is revealed to us as the father of Christ, and it ought to stay that way,” he said.

Besides God’s gender, Schröder also criticized the sexist gender roles in classic children’s books. The fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, which last week celebrated the 200th anniversary of their original publication, “are often sexist,” she said. “There are seldom positive female figures there.”

Boo hoo to you, Snow White, Cinderella, and Goldilocks..

Schröder, who’s been criticized plenty for her gender-related policies as family minister, also criticized racist content in children’s literature as well. If she were to read one of Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking books, called “Pippi in Taka Tuka Land” in German, she would avoid the word “negro” in the text when reading aloud, “to protect my child from taking on such expressions,” she said.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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2 Responses to “Feminist German Minister Retooling the Creator’s Gender”

  1. Mildred Bilt says:

    The lady is correct. Unfortunately in the Valley of the Blind those who have eyes that see are either condemned to death or must allow their eyes to be removed.

  2. I also agree. Neutral article is closer to the story of G-d creating both Adam and Eve in G-d's image.

    But on the other hand, Germany has had a terrible history whenever it tried to reform it's theology.

    Instead of a more universal love the results have been terrible persecutions.

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