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Press Cuttings : Letters, Daily Telegraph 1996, caption Sexist messages

Item type: Press Cuttings
Archive reference: YMP/F/15/1/5
Date/year: 4 March 1996
Description: Cutting 4 March, 1996  Letters to the Editor, Daily Telegraph.
David Burns of Jesus College, Cambridge:
Sir, After reading about a woman being cast as the Almighty in the York Mystery Plays (report. Feb 28) I turned to a copy of these plays to see how else they may be changed.  Much that I read suggests they are quite unacceptable in present form.  There is a man called Jesus who uses a good deal of sexist language.  Not only does he call himself the 'Son of Man', he even has the temerity to refer to God as his 'Father'.  To cap it all, he appoints 12 followers, called disciples, all of whom are men.  This sexism is as nothing to the racism.  In one play, The Conspiracy,  there is a negative stereotype of a Jewish man, called Judas, who betrays Jesus for money.  I trust the director will remove all non-inclusive language incompatible with his representation of God as a woman.   Perhaps he could set a guide to give us some women disciples.  I might also draw his attention to some inappropriate teaching, elitist Latin and some outdated references to a Cross and something called the Ten Commandments.  After all, we don't want any talk of worshipping false Gods, do we?
Canon Hugh Williams of Brierfield, Lancs (near Burnley): 
Sir, in a generally irreverent age it is hardly surprising that the 'role' of God is treated like any other personification by those who no longer hold Him in 'awe and reverence' (Alternative Service Book).  Your leader (Feb 29) concedes that the voice from the burning bush was taken to sound masculine but strangely concludes that the protrayal could nevertheless be by someone of the opposite gender.  But this is also the age when the icon of Christ in the Eucharist can be thought suitably conducted as a feminine role.
Richard Packer, London SW7: 
Sir, You might have mentioned that when Britten's Noye's Fludde was performed a few years ago as a children's afternoon Prom at the Royal Albert Hall, Cleo Laine spoke the part of God.  I do not recollect the alarm bells ringing then or venerable archdeacons falling out of their pulpits in shock.  Perhaps they should have done, as the performance was aimed at children.  I am sure that the establishment figures would want to prevent the corruption of their innocent and impressionable minds. 

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