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Family Minister in trouble for neutering God
Photo: DPA

Family Minister in trouble for neutering God

Published: 21 Dec 2012 11:29 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Dec 2012 11:29 GMT+01:00

Asked in an interview with Die Zeit weekly how she would tell her 18-month-old daughter Lotte that the German word for God, Gott, takes the masculine definite article der rather than the feminine die, she answered that the word had no bearing on God's gender. "You could just as easily say, das liebe Gott," she said, using the neuter article.

The linguistic speculation caused outrage in the Christian Social Union (CSU), Bavarian allies to Schröder's Christian Democratic Union. "This intellectual rubbish makes me speechless," Bavarian Social Affairs Minister Christine Haderthauer told the Bild newspaper on Friday. "It's sad when our children are robbed of the strong images that are so important for their imagination out of sheer insecurity and political correctness."

CDU parliamentary state secretary Katherina Reiche put it more bluntly: "Der liebe Gott will stay der liebe Gott."

The same Schröder interview caused another controversy earlier this week, when the minister said the beloved Grimm fairy tales were "often sexist." She also said that she intends to edit out the offensive word Neger from children's stories when she reads them to her daughter.

CSU domestic policy expert Stephan Mayer seemed to be tiring of Schröder's public statements. "Instead of starting completely pointless debates, the minister should just get on with her work," he said.

Schröder herself said she was surprised by the harsh reaction to the interview. "Maybe I was thinking too much about the little girl in my answer, and not about all the adults who would get hung up on my words," she told Bild.

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Your comments about this article

11:54 December 21, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Looks like a classic case of someone who should learn to put a zip on their gendered mouth.
12:00 December 21, 2012 by lucksi
lol religion.

I gues I would get my car firebombed in Bavaria if I still had my "God is coming and she is pissed" sticker on it.

(Someone did take the fish with feet and tools magnet off my car though.)
12:07 December 21, 2012 by trevzns
Good for her. The sexist book of babel is open to interpretation.
12:21 December 21, 2012 by ichbines
Too bad religion which contains nothing which I would consider intellectual must always be mixed with politics which really needs to be more intellectual.
12:40 December 21, 2012 by Navigator_B
Why are politicians even wasting their time discussing this subject? I don't see how the job they're paid to do is affected by whether God is male, female, neuter or non-existent. Is Germany a theocracy or is religion a personal matter?
12:43 December 21, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Is she measuring the size of a gendered penis with her two fingers?

You are right Navigator. She should pay more attention to the job she was elected to do.
12:47 December 21, 2012 by simski
Who could have known Christianity was sexist? (Hint: Everybody)
12:51 December 21, 2012 by ichbines
No, she is saying "Its only this big...therefore it does not really qualify as a male"
13:42 December 21, 2012 by Leo Strauss
Politically correct style stupid or just rattling the chains of Germany`s conservatives for a little attention? Looks like she she´s hitting all of the buttons at once here. What`s next? Grimms, Gott und... Gewehre? The three G`s . :) Hmmm. All good things come in threes. Anything to keep the Sheeple destracted from the real issues.

The German Idiocracy aside, let me wish all of the TL Peeples a wonderful Julfest and Mutternacht.
13:51 December 21, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
I suppose Father Christmas really has a vagina.
14:34 December 21, 2012 by auslanderus
I find it so interesting that so many can make dumm comments about the bible when I am willing to bet none have even opened the book to even read what it does say.
15:03 December 21, 2012 by jg.
I guess that the minister would not want to be discriminatory in her pronouncements on religion, so I guess her comment must also apply to other traditionally male-dominated religions, like Islam. Therefore, the minister must also be saying that Allah is not male and has no gender.
15:08 December 21, 2012 by trevzns
Sexism beings in the first book of the bible. Fortunately for mother Eve, she died Jewish. Before the arrival of the liberal Jewish reformist Jesus. No punishment after death for her.

However. Sexist being what they are, had her punishment passed on to her daughters and grand daughters for eternity. All bases covered.
15:14 December 21, 2012 by zeddriver
@ichbines said.

she is saying "Its only this big...therefore it does not really qualify as a male"

Or maybe she is indicating the size of her c******s and how she almost qualifies as a man.

I'm with you Navigator_B & Berlin fuer alles. She should get on with her job. And keep her personal opinions personal. It's not her job to pontificate on gender/race semantics of old world literature and religious writings. They are what they are. And those writings whether they are right or wrong should not be altered (rewriting history so to speak) That is a very bad habit to have as a public official.

She should perhaps not read a book to her daughter that she finds objectionable. Or she could simply explain to her daughter that certain words or phrases are racist or sexist. And even though they were once acceptable. They are no longer so. And use such things as lessons.
15:58 December 21, 2012 by zoroastrina
Screw the deity and may I be consigned to hell, or oblivion and eternal extinctio and damnation for blasphemy, I dislike Jahweh because of his/its/or her gross deception of the human animal.
16:46 December 21, 2012 by trevzns
You cannot have it both ways gentlemen and ladies.

Yes. It would be better if all religions kept their beliefs and traditions personal and in private. However that would defeat the purpose of their inventions. Hell hath no fury like a theologian or believer scorned.

However. As usual and with most religions, young girls and women bear the burden and brunt of abuse. The bible and quran are ancient How To Books and How To Guides for oppression and should be open to nonabusive public discussion and criticism.
16:46 December 21, 2012 by Sastry.M
Human imagination is contained by mind, but where exactly mind exists?-in the brain, heart,lungs or liver, only to name a few internal organs? Brain is surely a corrugated physical stuff of increased area containing locations which cephalic science explains, and being physical is amenable small impinging electrical impulses to stir up cognitive sensations or recall stored experiences. It does not matter which gendered body is storing the brain in his/her head. But the lurking subtle mind is not easily accessible any physical stimuli and yet makes up for the bulk of human imagination and existence.

Now the question: Is the Mind HE or SHE? We all are conscious of our minds and thoughts as well as our physically gendered bodies, but where from this common consciousness emanates? If we restrict consciousness to the physical brain, as emanating due to some biological chemical process, we become helpless to recall the previous experience if we lose our consciousness temporarily, say from a sun stroke which we soon recover after first aid. We may say that since the brain is not dead when fainted and hence the conscious process continued. Then how wakeful living and deep sleep states of every day life differ from 'death' when conscious body is turned into an in- sensitized corpse, when the brain is declared dead along with internal autonomous body active upkeep system? How nails and hairs of a decomposed corpse still brow and retain bodily stored information during active life in support of forensic evidence?

Consciousness- pure with which we all ,irrespective of gender, address ourselves as "I" and a differentiated second "i" we address as myself referring to our gendered bodies, both belong to the same entity we call as "GOD". Similar is our worldly definable electrical power, transformed and transported to may locations and sensitizing electrically powered instruments fitted with male/female connectors, energizing them into their defined purpose of service and yet the flowing electrical power has nothing to do with either connectors or instruments in the same order as human sub creation as God created them in a primary natural order.
17:26 December 21, 2012 by The-ex-pat
13:51 December 21, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles

I suppose Father Christmas really has a vagina.

Now that would depend if "he" has had the full OP or is just taking hormones...............
19:00 December 21, 2012 by melbournite
since God is (a) imaginary and (b) a personal choice, she can refer to it any way she likes
20:47 December 21, 2012 by Leo Strauss
Isis is at the centre of this crisis. Where is the divine feminine in Christianity, or Judaism or Islam? Without mater`s matter there is no material for pater`s pattern. We all know that- it takes two. So who wrote women out of the script? Where the goddess at? What`s up with Father, Son and the Holy Ghost? Who thought that one up (and who benefits from it)? How about Father, Mother and Son? Too easy, right?

Playing around with the definite articles is not going sort Christianity out- it`s warped by design. Better to just walk away, sister.
09:50 December 22, 2012 by mitanni
Just remember folks, according to Germans, American politicians are Jesus obsessed right wingers, while members of the Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union get into a fight over whether God has a wiener.
12:21 December 22, 2012 by laurencelewis
The question of universal origins is a meaningless logical trap which only serves to divide us. Rational agnosticism is the way forward. Shut up, get over it, move on.
12:41 December 23, 2012 by blackboot11
#1: does't she have anything better to do?

#2: Doesn't the outraged Christian Social Union (CSU) need to come out

of the dark ages?

#3: With this perpetuation of sexism women will always be second class citizens

#4. Where is the so called separation of the church and the government?

Not here in Germany, they are one in the same.
14:11 December 23, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
what a load of nonsensical drivel.

Leave it to the "Christian" Democratic Union to let a non-debate balloon into this.
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