THE “SACRED” CHARACTER OF GENDER
by Fr. Richard Rohr
Of course, we are not first of all talking about individual women and men, but what Eastern philosophy has always called yin and yang, or the female and male principles or energies. Sometimes women represent very strong male (yang) energy and sometimes men represent very strong female (yin) energy. And we all know people who seem to represent the best or the worst of both!
Then along come gay, lesbian, eunuch, hermaphrodite, and transgender people, who only in our lifetime have become visible or publicly acknowledged. Do they reveal the sacred? If so, how? If we do not recognize the obvious sacred in the foundational male and female gender itself, it will be almost impossible to find anything sacred about these constant and universal surprises of God. We are usually scandalized or disappointed instead. Clearly the Bible was trying to expand our notion of either/or gender, and even name some kind of third gender as sacred: “To the eunuchs who cling to my covenant . . . I will give a monument and name better than the sons and daughters. I will give them an everlasting name that shall never be effaced” (Isaiah 56:4-5).
From “What Do We Mean by the ‘Sacred’ Character of Gender?”
Radical Grace, Winter 2011, Vol. 24, No. 1,
The Sacred Feminine, The Sacred Masculine
The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
– Romans 13:9
I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary — the evil it does is permanent.
– Mahatma Gandhi
In many parts of the world the people are searching for a solution which would link the two basic values: peace and justice. The two are like bread and salt for mankind.
– Lech Walesa
from his Nobel Lecture
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