Baby diapers, adult cry rooms, and God’s gender

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About the time that I think the world can’t possibly get any goofier, something comes along to let me know that humankind has an apparent unlimited potential for goofiness.

I saw a television interview with a lady the other day who advocated getting your baby’s permission before changing its dirty diaper.

The interviewer had the same look on his face that I must have had on mine. Since a baby can’t communicate except by coos, gurgles, and cries, just how does one get a baby’s input on anything?

If a baby coos or gurgles, it’s usually happy or at least placated. But a child cries when he/she (and I mean one or the other, not a combination of both) is hungry, sleepy, dirty, in pain, or just annoyed.

Having semi-raised three sons, I don’t recall the necessity to ascertain whether or not I had their permission to change a diaper that, as it was obvious to the world, needed changing. I just always assumed that it was the adult’s job to be the adult and make the decisions for their children which they were either incapable or too immature to make.

Then there was the lady on TV who was advocating that cry rooms be available for adults who wish to go have a “good 10-minute cry” to relieve the stress of the moment. Again, the face of the interviewer was the same as before.

The woman postulated that, if college campuses had cry rooms where students could cry before a test, for example, the stress would be relieved and they would do better. Oh, and it would be beneficial if the cry rooms had stuffed animals in them — comfort animals, I would imagine, to hold while one is crying.

Personally, I only wanted to cry after exams, not before them.

The advocate even suggested that businessmen and businesswomen might do better if they could have a good cry prior to an important presentation. Oh, and soldiers would do better in battle if they had access to a cry room before going into combat. I kid you not.

Now I’m not that guy who thinks that men should never cry. My World War II Navy veteran father cried when I went to Marine Corps boot camp. It was the first time in my 19 years I had seen him cry. I cried when I dropped my oldest son off at a college in Illinois for the first time.

I cried when we lost a granddaughter. I shed tears when my grandfather died. And I have cried when people in my congregation have passed away.

True, I usually am alone at the time, but it has been a way to express grief, love, and loss, not to prepare for an algebra exam.

I do get moist eyes when I see some episodes of “America’s Got Talent” or the “X Factor” as people who have a dream that they deemed impossible, against all odds, see that dream come true. I choke up when the National Anthem is played — but that is both for (1) gratitude and pride and because (2) I fear the demise of our country due to the goofiness which abounds.

And, finally, this week I read in CBNnews.com that The Episcopal Church is about to debate the gender of God — or lack of gender — as they prepare for a new Prayer Book. Never mind that the Old Testament refers to God as a King (not Queen), as “Lord” (and not “Lady”), or as He (and not “She,” and certainly not one of the other 61 genders proposed by the proponents afflicted with goofyitus).

And I guess Jesus just didn’t understand when he taught his disciples to address God as “Father.”

According to the news report: “Besides adding gender-neutral language concerning God, some advocates also want other revisions including, a Christian’s duty to the Earth’s conservation, adding same-sex marriage ceremonies to the liturgy (since the church has been performing homosexual weddings for years), and even adding a ceremony to celebrate a transgender person’s adoption of a new name.”

“Chicago Bishop Jeffery Lee says recent events have revealed to him why the church needs to listen to the women who are pushing for gender-neutral language in the prayer book.”

Says Bishop Lee, “In the culture, the whole #MeToo movement, I think, has really raised in sharp relief how much we do need to examine our assumptions about language and particularly the way we imagine God,” he said. “If a language for God is exclusively male and a certain kind of image of what power means, it’s certainly an incomplete picture of God …. We can’t define God. We can say something profoundly true about God, but the mystery we dare to call God is always bigger than anything we can imagine.”

In spite of 2,000 years of church history and the clear witness of the Bible, apparently the Episcopal Church, or at least some significant percentage of it, is headed down Goofy Highway. And if you don’t think such goofiness affects you , The Daily Caller reports that:

“Individuals living in New York City can choose from a minimum of 31 different gender identities, many of which allow them to fluctuate between some version or combination of male or female identities.

“Businesses that don’t respect and accommodate an individual’s chosen gender identity risk incurring six-figure fines under rules implemented by the city’s Commission on Human Rights.”

It’s no wonder that children grow up confused when their elders are so confused themselves. On the bright side, it’s all very entertaining if one doesn’t give in to despair.

But as the nation slides further into the Goofy Zone, I may just have to go in to a room full of stuffed animals and have a good cry — if my 1-year-old granddaughter will give me permission.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA between Newnan and Peachtree City (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Diocese of the Mid-South which consists of Georgia and Tennessee (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at bishopdavidepps@gmail.com.]