Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Part 1: Worshipping Your Wife -- Literally?

The short answer is, “Of course not.” But, because long-winded answers are my stock in trade, I'm going to unpack "Of course not" into a whole slew of paragraphs, and maybe even stretch it out over several posts.

But why even raise the question, you may wonder. Does anyone advocate, or actually practice, idolatry of the female?

Yes, in fact. As I wrote in a sidebar on my Worshipping Your Wife website (a sidebar not incorporated into the actual book):

“In some female-supremacist organizations, males literally worship females; and in coupled relationships, literally worship their partners (by whatever agreed-upon exalted title). In some instances, there are even religious trappings—thrones and altars and confessions and so forth.”

Here’s an example, from a letter to Elise Sutton by the daughter of a self-proclaimed goddess: “My Mother was a staunch Female Supremacist. It was her lifestyle and her religion… [My father] had to worship her as his earthly Goddess and be her slave. My Mother had ceremonies and rituals where the men had to worship the women.”

“My wife makes me worship her, pray to her and chant to her,” writes another husband. “It is a beautiful thing. I humble myself before my wife and pray to her. Then I kiss her feet and slowly work my worshipful kisses up her legs and eventually make my way…”

Heavens! Our devoted husband gets awfully intimate at this point, so let’s take an elliptical break… and pick up with: “It is not uncommon for both I and my wife to have tears in our eyes during this sacred ritual.”

And yet another husband, similarly driven, once asked Elise Sutton: “Is it normal for me to create an elaborate altar that idolizes beautiful women?.. It is about serving a living deity to me.”

I like Elise Sutton’s answer: “Women are worthy to be worshipped but you must be careful to worship women in a manner that will meet their practical needs... You can build an altar in your home and meditate all day long but unless you get our there and serve women in practical ways, your faith will be without works and thus be meaningless (to borrow from the Bible).”

And she went on to chastise him lightly for his idolatrous theology: “I think you are confusing religion with spirituality. A woman is not a deity nor God. Don’t confuse the Creator with the creation.”

Or, as I wrote in my online sidebar: “This is not what Worshipping Your Wife advocates. It is not about literal worship (goddess or otherwise), idolatry or anything even remotely sacrilegious. It is about respecting and honoring, revering and protecting, adoring and cherishing.”

So, summing up, of course not! I’m not advocating literal wife worship.

And yet, I do use the term “worship” quite a lot—and talk about enshrining one's wife as a domestic goddess and what-not. And in both my book and blog there’s a lot of stuff about kneeling at her feet (though it’s supposedly just for massage).

So what’s really going on? I’ll have to think about it and get back to you—in part two of this post.


enoch said...

Very interesting... I certainly don't view my wife as a goddess, but I have, in my mind, considered her in a way as a "savior" - in that she has helped me to overcome a destructive hobby.

The way I see it, she has literally saved me from wasting my life, and freed me from the shackles and chains with which I often saw myself tied to the old hobby. So, Im often think of her as a "personal savior".

I also consider her to be the most Christ-like person I know, in that she has forgiven me the enormous pain that my former indifference caused her over many years. That kind of forgiveness is incredible.

Given all that... I know she is a person, like me, not a deity or a goddess or a force of nature. I know she has weaknesses, just like I do, and I know that she needs me to be strong for her just as I need her strength. I view her as my leader, but not as my God.

Very interesting topic!

Susan's Pet said...

You seem to have this figured out.

I don't try to get religious about my wife or women in general, but I have no problem worshipping one as an earthly goddess. Aside from the obvious sexual attraction, love and respect for the particular person makes the difference.

I try not to lose the perspective. One can easily turn fetish itself into the objective, and miss the object of the fetish in turn.

Mark Remond said...

Susan's Pet, well said, especially the part about turning fetish itself into the objective... I like the way you frame it, not getting carried away, but putting your heart into it... I think the fetish aspect is something that my wife is wary of, as well. Otherwise, having her adoring husband on his knees before her is all good!

Anonymous said...