(Originally published August 31, 2017)
Yeah. I know. That got your attention, right? 🙂
So those of you familiar with me know that I believe every citizen of this country should have the same rights as every other citizen – regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, non-religion, gender, or sexual orientation – and that includes the right to an education; the right to gainful employment; the right to serve your country; the right to live in a decent home in a decent neighborhood; and the right for consenting adults to marry and create lives together with the people they love.
I have never understood why allowing others to share in the same rights they have should be such a problem for some people.
So as I was reading the Christian Science Bible Lesson Sermon this morning I came upon a passage in the Christian Science textbook (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy) that I don’t remember reading before – although I’m sure I must have (I’ve read Science and Health three or four times from cover-to-cover). Get this:
Mary Baker Eddy writes: “God determines the gender of His own ideas. Gender is mental, not material… Gender means simply kind or sort, and does not necessarily refer either to masculinity or femininity. ” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 508)
Eddy writes: “Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique.” (Science and Health, p 475)
And boom. Right there. As I was reading those passages I felt like I was having a conversation with Eddy about God and the nature of man, male and female. For me, what she had to write about gender clarified, and reinforced, my own thoughts about our gender identities. “God determines… Gender is mental… does not necessarily refer either to masculinity or feminity…”
I think we need to keep things in proportion, and I think sometimes we get so focused on the “sex” part of gender that we lose sight of the bigger, more important, part of peoples’ identities and lives – men and women as the expressions of Love. Eddy writes: “The ideal man corresponds to creation, to intelligence, and to Truth. The ideal woman corresponds to Life and to Love. In divine Science, we have not as much authority for considering God masculine, as we have for considering Him feminine, for Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity. ” (Science and Health, p 517)
Union of the masculine and feminine qualities constitutes completeness. The masculine mind reaches a higher tone through certain elements of the feminine, while the feminine mind gains courage and strength through masculine qualities. These different elements conjoin naturally with each other, and their true harmony is in spiritual oneness. Both sexes should be loving, pure, tender, and strong.
– Mary Baker Eddy