Why God Has Testicles
Should theology be taken seriously?
Just as you’re about to flex your open-mindedness and grant some ever-so-slight possibility to theological claims, you realize that hundreds of millions of people really, genuinely, honestly think god has a nut sack.
They don’t make it easy, do they?
God is most definitely male, according to the Bible, the Koran, and the Torah, and according to popular opinion in all but a few corners of the Abrahamic religions. The suggestion that a god wouldn’t need reproductive organs might just get you beheaded or crucified in Saudi Arabia (but if you’re reading this, you’re probably already eligible).
This is not a case of using the “he” pronoun by default, or the ignorant masses being uninformed about more sophisticated views or the actual content of their holy texts.
Let’s zoom in on Christianity.
Apparently, the bulk of Christianity’s professional theologians, ministers, and other religious apologists agree that god is a dude. They are engaged in a fierce debate with vocal minorities who think (a) god is a female who has girly parts, or (b) we should try to keep god language gender-neutral, or (c) the concept of god having a gender is wack.
That last position may sound the most reasonable to a freethinker, but if you are making up religion as you go, why not just give up religion entirely?
The Bible Says God’s a Bro
The Bible was written in an era when women were essentially the property of men and when physical violence and first-born male status determined the tribal hierarchy.
The concept of god as the highest-status being with the most power was intuitively understood as being male in such a culture. Perhaps it was also deemed safer not to potentially anger god by questioning “his” masculinity.
In any case, the Bible is crystal clear that god cannot have a menstrual cycle.
- First, the Bible consistently uses male pronouns and metaphors, such as “He”, “Him”, “Father”, “Son”, “King” and so on.
- Second, the book of Genesis describes Adam as being made by god on the sixth day “in His own image” in Genesis 1:27 and 2:7. Eve was created as something of an afterthought in Genesis 2:21-22, and only then as a companion for Adam.
- Third, Jesus was a dude. To the extent that Jesus matters as a deity in any particular flavor of Christianity, they’re praying to a dude.
- Fourth, the Virgin Mary was knocked up by god, presumably as a result of god producing sperm in his testes. Had god been a woman, presumably this sexual encounter would have occurred differently.
Although there are a few maternal or womanly metaphors in the bible, they are vastly outnumbered by male terminology.
Why An Omnipotent God Couldn’t Be Either
We posit that if an omnipotent god existed, it could not possibly be male or female.
Here’s why: In general, males cannot simultaneously be females, and females cannot simultaneously be males. If a god is omnipotent, there is nothing it cannot do. To pigeonhole god as male would be to claim that he couldn’t be female if he wanted to. Who’s going to tell god it can’t do something?
Thus, a male god would not be omnipotent, and neither would a female god. An omnipotent god could choose to switch its sex at will. However, it is presumed that omnipotence does not include the ability to defy logic by being both a thing and not a thing at once.
Let’s ignore cases of ambiguous genitalia, transgender people in transition, or Klinefelter syndrome for now, unless someone wants to propose a drag queen god. In that case, this whole argument falls apart.
The argument also falls apart if god is a plant rather than an animal. Many plants have both male and female parts. Pecan trees, for example, switch between being male and being female at different times of their reproductive season, with some cultivars being female first and other cultivars being male first, and with pollination of each other occurring in the overlap.
How in the world did this blog post turn to pecan tree cultivation?
Almost no one is proposing that god is a plant, a victim of genetic disease, or a trans entity. God (either the concept or a literally existing thing) cannot be male or female.
“It” Is The Proper Pronoun
If god is neither male nor female, we should use the same pronoun as we would use for a rock or a bacteria: “It”.
However, most religious folks would find the idea of praying to “It” revolting. “It” is not personal enough to represent an anthropomorphic or human-like god. We do not talk to Its. We do not even refer to our pets as Its. Not even the religious folks who deny the maleness of god go this far! But why not? It is more logical.
Here we find the marks of human manufacture all over the god concept. The limits of our imaginations, and the limits of our wishful thinking have become the limits of our imagined god. An “It” would be too inactive, emotionally distant, or unsympathetic to grant our wishes or sympathize with our suffering. Our prayers would be like a conversation with a rain cloud, a mushroom, or a pile of sand. Yet we are enamored by ideas of a powerful father or mother figure receiving our petitions, guiding us through life, and doing us favors.
Our own needs dictate that god must have a gender.
What if god’s gender is not the only such case of human needs designing god?
What if the right way to take theology seriously is to consider it the nexus of our psychological needs and limitations?
Or, what if god does occasionally rack himself while crossing his legs in tight pants?