On Patriarchy and Monotheism

The mythicists who created patriarchal religions opened a “pandora’s jar” of absurdities and inconsistencies when the number of deities was reduced to one.  As “Three Dog Night” sang, “One” is the loneliest number.  It is also “the looniest” number in the light of reason and intelligent thought.

To the credit of the ancient pagans who created an imaginary world of deities, at least there was a level of reasonableness to their fiction which rendered their stories credible within the context of imaginative myth.

For the most part, polytheistic pagan religions depicted their respective gods as male AND female.  (Perish the thought!)  Most deities of the polytheistic pagan era were in fact associated with respective aspects of nature;  thus there were deities of water, sky, earth, and a number of other such elements.

Even the “primary” deities of many cultures consisted of a male god and a female goddess (a Mother Goddess who oftentimes represented creation and fertility).  In a number of societies this pair were represented as lovers or siblings, or in some cases; both.  It was in this context that the modified and retold “dying and revitalized” god myth was circulated from culture to culture.  Usually, the male god dies (in any of a number of ways; depending upon the respective cultural myth) and the female goddess finds a way to revive (resurrect) her slain consort.  This angle of the story eventually had to be somewhat adjusted so as to suit the monotheistic beliefs of later patriarchal religions.

In the Judeo-Christian Myth however, the one and only God is male. The council of deities which had been notable to several cultural myths, the Canaanites and early Hebrews included (Psalms 82), was inexplicably written out of the Hebrew script, as though Yahweh had always been the only deity.  As “the one and only God”, Yahweh is envisioned in the biblical myth with not as much as a female mate.  Yet he has a son.  Reasonable?  Not hardly.  Sexist?  In more ways than one.

In essence, the patriarchal minded Hebrew mythicists supplanted the natural role of the female by allowing their one male god the benefits of genetic fertility without so much as a female consort with whom to copulate.  If the biblical mythicists would have merely held to the original concept of male and female deities, then the Jesus myth might at least have had a certain sense of imaginative credibility which is quite lacking when God is pictured as a solo act deity.  For the Canaanite myth from which the Hebrews likely borrowed the concept of their deity, originally envisioned a main male god AND a main female goddess; El and Asherah respectively.  But the Hebrew mythicists transformed El into Yahweh, then seemingly kicked his female consort off to the curb, even condemning those who dared acknowledge the Queen of Heaven (Jeremiah 7).  And so the concept of a female goddess was extinguished, without as much as an explanation.  As if subjugating the female goddess to nonexistence were not insult enough to the very concept of womanhood, the means necessary for the newly appointed “one and only God” Yahweh to have his only beloved son was to miraculously violate an earthly woman’s virginity.  It seems no small wonder then that feminists quite oftentimes take issue with biblical teachings.

Unfortunately, the global popularity of patriarchal religions has created the misperception that monotheism is the way it always was, as though there were never any other deities in the mind of humanity.  Furthermore, the sexist ideology of monotheistic doctrines continues to disrespect and subjugate womanhood even to this very day.  Finally, the nature of monotheism is to impose the will of “the one and only god” upon everyone in any given culture, at the expense of secular reality and humanist values.  Thus the presumptuous and patriarchal characteristics of monotheistic religions all too oftentimes burden the society which would be tolerant and thoughtful.  In the process, monotheistic people such as Christians and Muslims  have been known to successfully subjugate cultural tradition and revise societal history by imposing their own concept of “the one and only god” upon their respective spheres of influence.

And so, just as pagan religions in the latter days of the Roman Empire were forced off conventional tracks by the means and methods of monotheistic ideology, likewise even today realists and humanists are subject to the undue social influence of patriarchal religion.

In summary:

Monotheism is unrealistic, even in the context of an imaginative myth.

Monotheism is sexist, in that the concept of female goddesses are shamelessly extinguished without explanation.

Monotheism is presumptuous, in that a single local deity is imposed upon the world as its one and only god.

Now I will grant that there is no more reason to believe in the actual existence of the pagan deities than there is to believe in the single patriarchal god of any respective Monotheism.  However; at least there is a certain merit to the concept of fictitious deities which acknowledge the respective genders and which respect reasonable boundaries of influence.

Such merit however, is all too lacking in the nature of the incessantly presumptuous and overly influential monotheistic patriarchal religions. 

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