NOTE: In my never-ending quest to find individuals or groups interested in, and capable of, scientifically rigorous testing of the Sagan Signal, high on my list are evangelical feminist theologians (yes, there are such people) who believe that Christian women deserve better than what they are getting and what they have gotten for the greater part of two thousand years of Church history.
But the tide has begun to turn. Over the past fifty years, a uniquely feminist hermeneutic has evolved that, while remaining faithful to the doctrine of divine inspiration, allows for an alternative interpretation of gender-related Scripture, focusing on justice and equity, that levels the playing field for males and females.
Patriarchists, of course, don’t like it. They insist that the hermeneutic they use to interpret Scripture that has men ruling over women, that dates back to fourth century theologian Athanasius, is the one that best reflects the mind and will of God.
Athanasius 297-373 AD
Athanasius argued that the all-male Nicaean Father/Son/Holy Spirit model of the Trinity is the true teaching of Scripture, and that those who claim to be Christians who believed otherwise are heretics and apostates who need to either repent or be excommunicated, and, should they persist in believing and teaching a Divine Feminine, be put to death. He was not a nice guy!
The hermeneutic one uses to interpret the Bible determines one’s belief system. Following are brief descriptions of the feminist and patriarchal models:
1. The Feminist hermeneutic. Developed by Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty in their 1974 groundbreaking book: All We’re Meant To Be, argues that Christian women and Christian men should be mutually submissive as co-equals in the eyes of God.
2. The Patriarchal hermeneutic. Championed, among many, by Wayne Gruden, founder of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, argues that men and women, though equal in nature and dignity, should operate within a hierarchy in which the husband is the head of the wife and men are the leaders of the Church.
Typical of how academics like to invent big words to describe simple concepts, evangelical feminists call themselves egalitarians, and evangelical patriarchists refer to themselves as complementarians.
Not to purposefully offend anyone, but I’m going to dump the big words and call Christian feminists “Bitches” and Christian chauvinists “Pigs.”
THE BITCHES VS THE PIGS
The Devil Wears Prada
Male Chauvinist Pig
Nancy Hardesty & Letha Scanzoni
Nancy & Letha: In 1974 Nancy and Letha co-authored All We’re Meant To Be. Widely hailed as a new hermeneutic for interpreting the Bible, their ground-breaking book became the conceptual framework for Christian Feminism Today (CFT), an organization advocating on behalf of evangelical women worldwide.
Nancy died in 2011. Letha continues the fight.
Marilyn: After a failed search on the internet for an organization supportive of the Divine Feminine in Christianity, Marilyn discovered Christian Feminism Today (CFT), and now serves as its Coordinator.
Christian Feminism Today (CFT)
It isn’t a coincidence that the CFT logo features a picture of a dove, a biblical symbol of the Holy Spirit, in whom Christian feminists find their identity and stake their claims.
Gerry and Todd personally investigated the Sagan Signal and concluded that it is “at the very least” a new hermeneutic for interpreting the Bible, with a possible connection to the Trinity.
John independently discovered the 18 grain/wine/oil sequences in the Old Testament that consist of identical Hebrew words: dagan for grain, tiyrowsh for wine, and yitshar for oil, calling them “vestigial trinitatis” or “vestiges of the Trinity.” When I informed John of my discovery of 28 additional sequences in the Old Testament comprised of different Hebrew words is close symmetry with grain, wine, and oil, he was deeply impressed.
After I connected with John, he contacted Vern, informing him of this new discovery. Vern, agreeing that the Sagan Signal is significant, offered the possibility that the sequences might be associated with the Last Supper.
The above four men all expressed the view that the Sagan Signal appears to be a major discovery that warrants a deeper investigation. Tragically, and in violation of their holy calling, all four men chose to suppress their research, refusing to disseminate the data among their evangelical peers for further investigation and analysis.
What happened? Why the 180 degree about face?
One can only conclude that, with further analysis, these four pigs arrived at the shocking realization that the Sagan Signal is a new hermeneutic that biblically legitimizes Christian feminism. As a post-note, I contacted Wayne Gruden with a request for an evaluation of the data, but never heard back.
The data the four Pigs originally hailed as a new hermeneutic dates back to the original authors of the Bible, suggesting that the Sagan Signal was encrypted into the Bible by God at the time it was written, which, by definition, would make it superior to any hermeneutic that humans, men or women, have ever invented, including that of Athanasius. For purposes of this essay, I call it the Magdalene hermeneutic because of the intimate relationship between anointing oil and the Christian feminist movement. Most scholars agree that the woman who anointed Jesus with oil, just before His death, was Mary Magdalene.
“And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.” Matthew 26:6&7
As anyone who has ever made the Sign of the Cross knows, the Nicaean Trinity formula is “Father/Son/Holy Spirit.” From an orthodox perspective, the Magdalene hermeneutic: grain, wine, and oil, matches the Nicaean formula, with grain symbolizing the Father, wine, the Son, and oil, the Holy Spirit:
FATHER SON HOLY SPIRIT
GRAIN WINE OIL
The grain/wine/oil sequence, cited 46 times in the Old Testament, has been academically appraised by Pig theologians as a divinely encrypted code and a new hermeneutic. Subsequently, they have suppressed their research and not released it to the public because, with further analysis, they came to the shocking realization that the data they were investigating assigns distinctly feminine qualities to the third Person of the Trinity.
All evangelicals subscribe to the symbolic equivalency between “Father and bread” and “Son and wine,” and both Bitches and the Pigs agree that oil is a biblical symbol of the Holy Spirit.
So, what’s the problem?
What scares the hell out of the Pigs is that, throughout the Bible, oil is a decidedly feminine commodity. Soothing, aromatic, nurturing and healing, oil has physical properties uniquely compatible with the feminine mystique. The Magdalene hermeneutic, indigenous to the Bible and intimately associated with the third Person of the Holy Trinity, casts a decidedly favorable light on Christian feminism, a treasure trove of riches waiting to be mined.
If Christian feminist Bitches are smart (and they are), they will investigate the data, and, should they arrive at the same conclusion as the Pigs, that it’s a new hermeneutic, adopt it as their biblical foundation and a mandate to openly challenge the Pigs to prove them wrong.
Not surprisingly, the Pigs, now that they realize the full import of what it is they have investigated and verified, have retreated to their shed, where they cower in fear. When they thought the sequences worked to their advantage, they were more than happy to engage. Now that they know the Magdalene hermeneutic is foundational evidence that supports Bitch claims, they want nothing to do with it.
Over the past several years I have tried, unsuccessfully, to draw the Pigs out, to force them to be transparent, but it’s obvious that they have no interest in any open discussion. The Pigs know they can’t debunk the Magdalene hermeneutic or spin it in a way that supports their chauvinist interpretations of Scripture.
The one organization that might be capable of smoking the Pigs out of hiding is the CFT. The question is: Will CFT Bitches critically investigate the data, and, if they do, and it passes muster, will they adopt and embrace it as a new feminist hermeneutic? Do they have the courage? Are they up to the challenge? I believe they are, but time will tell.
I am not asking CFT Bitches to sign on to my interpretation of the data. For them to challenge the Nicaean Father/Son/Spirit formula as I am doing would be an exercise in futility. My advocacy for a Father/Mother/Son model of the Trinity is based on Carl Sagan’s research, which, from a Christian orthodox perspective, is simply too far out-of-the-box.
The message I want to impress on the Bitches is that there is a way that the sequences can be interpreted that falls safely within mainstream evangelical thought. On that note, I urge CFT Bitches to consider adopting the sequences as a new feminist hermeneutic, the Magdalene hermeneutic.
Should the CFT Bitches take my advice, what I would stand to gain would be transparent investigations of the data from both sides, the Bitches and the Pigs. What the CFT Bitches would get would be the coveted biblical high ground over the Pigs. If that were to happen, it would be historic and transformational, a true game-changer.
Christian women living in the shadow of patriarchal oppression would naturally expect their sister Bitches who are scholars to aggressively investigate the 46 sequences to see if they are, as the Pigs maintain, a new hermeneutic, and they would be rightfully disappointed if they chose not to do so. Even the Pigs agree that the Magdalene hermeneutic falls well within the norms of evangelical scholasticism, so how could Bitch theologians not engage?
For Bitch scholars NOT to exhaustively and transparently investigate the Magdalene hermeneutic would, in effect, make them complicit in the Pig cover-up, where research conducted at the highest level is being suppressed because Pigs don’t want Christians to know the truth: that the Magdalen hermeneutic is direct and irrefutable evidence that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God - that validates the feminist perspective.
Throughout his amazing career, Carl Sagan was a pro-feminist who leveraged his global reputation as the world’s most popular and trusted scientist to advocate for feminist causes, particularly in disciplines related to STEM, where there is a long and sordid history of discrimination against women. Male scientists have gone so far as to state in public that women lack the mental capacity to be good scientists. That has turned out to be bullshit! There is no question but that Carl would be enthusiastically in favor of Christian feminists, who are fighting like hell for full equality with men, to enjoy the same status in this world that they enjoy in the eyes of God.
Male chauvinism in science is multiplied ten-fold in evangelical circles, where Pigs are determined, even it means suppressing legitimate biblical research, to keep Christian women “in their place.” The Pigs must not be allowed to get away with it.
Don: Molly, I know that you’re not a Christian, at least not yet, but you are a woman. So let me ask you: can you see any reason why the Bitches wouldn’t dump their current hermeneutic in favor of the Magdalene hermeneutic?
Molly: Hey, you can call me a Bitch if you want. It’s a powerful word that I can, and do, embrace. And my answer is “No.” From what I can see, the Bitches are getting raked over the coals by Pigs who complain that the CFT hermeneutic isn’t “biblical.” But those same Pigs agree that the Magdalene hermeneutic is not only biblical, but lifted, whole cloth, straight out of Scripture.
Don: Right. The only recourse the Pigs would have would be to debunk the Magdalene hermeneutic. They’ve tried and failed. They know they can’t do it.
Molly: In comparing the Pig hermeneutic of Athanasius against the Bitch hermeneutic of Mary Magdalene, it’s no contest. The model Athanasius developed is inferred, the Magdalene model is pure Bible.
Don: Great point, and should the CFT Bitches adopt the Magdalene model, the Pigs would suddenly find themselves playing defense. It would be the Bitches who would be on the attack.
Molly: And if that were to happen, what you, Don Zygutis, would get out of it would be academic papers of professional investigations of the Sagan Signal.
Don: Right, but there are no guarantees that some Pig, or, for that matter, some Bitch, won’t find a way to explain away the sequences as being something other than what I claim - a non-human encrypted code. But after all the extensive critical scrutiny the Sagan Signal has been subjected to, and survived, I don’t think that is likely to happen. But if it does, I’ll close up shop and walk away.
Molly: Correct me if I’m wrong, but Bitches can’t use the Father or the Son to advocate for feminism, because they’re both dudes. But assigning a gender to the Spirit is problematic because there is no biblical, historical, or scientific template to base it on.
Don: The orthodox position is that the Spirit is a Person, and when we think of a person, we automatically think of either a male person or a female person. But that isn’t so easy to do with the Holy Spirit.
Molly: And it’s because of that uncertainty that Bitches can argue that the Holy Spirit is a Female, or, if not a Female, a non-gendered Deity who displays strong feminine characteristics.
Don: Right, The Spirit, as the third Person in the Godhead, is neither obviously male nor obviously female. She/He exhibits qualities of both genders.
Molly: And looking at the totality of the evidence, it appears that the Spirit is more feminine than masculine.
Don: I think so. The Magdalene hermeneutic is a broad interpretive umbrella under which the Bitches can secure most, if not all, of the arguments they use to advocate for their feminist views. The Pigs, not so much.
Molly: And would that include the possibility of identifying the third Person of the Trinity as Sophia, the Divine Feminine?
Don: If the Bitches were to make that claim, and some probably will, I think the Pigs would find it very difficult to rebut.
Sophia, the Divine Feminine
Leading Pig theologians have identified 46 grain/wine/oil sequences in the Old Testament as, “At the very least, a new hermeneutic” miraculously encrypted into the divinely inspired Word of God. The current reality is that no Pig is denying the legitimacy of the Magdalene hermeneutic, a truly extraordinary body of data that, to the amazement of everyone, has been tested by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), the world’s leading atheist organization – and confirmed to be what I claim: an encrypted code of non-human origin! So CFT Bitches, rest assured, you can critically analyze the Magdalene hermeneutic with full confidence that you will not be violating any evangelical principles.
Should Pigs attack the Bitches on the grounds that they are collaborating with me, someone who believes that JC is an ET, they don’t have a leg to stand on. The Sagan hermeneutic is secular, not religious, and fundamentally different than the Magdalene hermeneutic, which I offer as part of my strategy to get evangelical scholars from both camps to generate, in writing, competitive interpretations of the data.
Armed with new discovery evidence for a Divine Feminine, I encourage CFT Bitches to shift from defense to offense. Run transparent cryptographic tests on the data and disseminate your findings. I assure you, the Pigs won’t like it.
Finally, there is always the opportunity for any individual or organization, secular or religious, to test the sequences and disprove my claim that they are a code of non-human origin. For the past fifteen years I have challenged skeptics to “KILL THE CODE!” Many have tried, all have failed. This is a fact.
Molly: Okay, Don, you’ve equated Christian feminists to Bitches, which are female dogs, and Christian patriarchists to Pigs. So what animal would you pick to portray yourself?
Don: Oh, that’s easy! I would be a ferret, a cute little critter, playfully curious, always going places where you don’t want it to go and getting into things that you don’t want it to get into.
Molly: Sounds like you, and what kind of animal do you think the Pigs would compare you to?
Don: That’s also easy: The back end of a horse!
Molly: H-m-m-m, now that you mention it, I do see a certain resemblance.
Don: Ha-ha, very funny.
“Moreover the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Also take for yourself quality spices – five hundred shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much sweet-smelling cinnamon (two hundred and fifty shekels), two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet-smelling cane, five hundred shekels of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil. And you shall make from these a holy anointing oil, an ointment compounded according to the art of the perfumer. It shall be a holy anointing oil.” Exodus 30: 22-25