God's gender divides German government
BERLIN (Reuters) - A minister in Angela Merkel's government has sparked a pre-Christmas row among Germany's ruling parties by suggesting God be referred to with the neutral article "das" instead of the masculine "der".
Family Minister Kristina Schroeder made the comments when asked in an interview with German weekly Die Zeit how she explained to her young daughter the use of the masculine form for God.
"The article is not important," she responded, adding that it was fine to use "das" instead of the traditional "der" when referring to God.
The remarks were immediately denounced by members of Schroeder's own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).
"This intellectualised nonsense leaves me speechless," Christine Haderthauer, Bavarian social minister, told top-selling daily Bild.
Stefan Mueller, a CSU lawmaker, said he was "bewildered" by Schroeder's "inappropriate" comments.
When pressed on the matter at a government news conference on Friday, Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert backed Schroeder.
"If you believe in God, the article is not important," he said. "If you speak to God in a different way, the prayers are still heard."
(Reporting by Noah Barkin. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- U.S. strikes have slowed Iraq militants but not weakened them - Pentagon
- California lawmakers end session with bills on plastic bags, gun control
- India says Pakistan border clashes "extremely serious and provocative"
- EU says could send over 1 bln euros more aid to Ukraine
- India nears $2.5 billion deal for Boeing military helicopters
Ukraine called on Friday for full membership in NATO, its strongest plea yet for Western military help after accusing Russia of sending in armoured columns that have driven back its forces on behalf of pro-Moscow rebels. Full Article
Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif distances himself from army as crisis drags on. Full Article
Captain of doomed S.Korea ferry says lack of checks was customary - Yonhap. Full Article