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Tori talks about God

Within the Christian/Muslim/Islamic/Jewish/Buddhist/Hindu structure, there are truths that I believe in. But I come much more from the Native American matriarchal thing. I don't belive in God in the way it works all over the world. [Q - February 1996]

He, the concept of God, my concept of the creator, isn't male or just female. "Just" is the key word here. It's an energy. It's a force that doesn't exclude any kind of gender. You know, I think it's so beyond gender. But what we've been taught to believe is that God, whether in Christian or Judaism or Islamic or many of the others, it's a very male, patriarchal system. And you know, this patriarchal system hasn't done so great in the last few thousand years. I mean I don't know how we can say that it's succeeding. I think that we've got to kinda look at really where we are. Things aren't getting better. I don't know. I don't see why people are uncomfortable just to speak the truth. And if God did want to send his - quote unquote - "only son," which is a joke. What do you mean, "only son?" It's like, so he picks a certain race and a certain kind of color to be his only son, and yet created all of us. No, that's not gonna happen. That's how the story goes, but I don't believe the story.

I call that god the little g. Because the god that we've been - quote unquote - "worshiping" is not, to me, the supreme creator. Anybody who needs to control and make people feel shamed and, you know, has to... This is the whole thing. It's like, "I send my only begotten son." Well, you know, that concept of sending a son, where we, as women, could, like, breastfeed him and give him milk, but he's not gonna soil his dinky with us. What's that all about? That really bugged me. The whole concept that Jesus was, you know, not gonna make it with a babe. What, that's gonna make him more holy? [Tea with the Waitress - Promo interview cd, 1994]

The notion of God as a male force is definitely not how I see things. Because that male force is the Christian God who says, "We are Christians and we love our neighbors as ourselves as long as they believe in our God. If you do, we won't rape your women, slaughter your children or cut your nuts off" - which was basically the culture of Christianity, with a male figure as its God-head.

The God-force must be feminized, perceived more as a God-Goddess. Jesus, his mother, "His church" all must be redefined. Especially a figure like Mary Magdalene, who I and so many Christian women were taught to despise, because she was a prostitute. Because of that we had great problems coming to terms with the prostitute in ourselves, which again, is something the Church teaches us to deny.

That prostitute in woman is someone who is worthy of honor and respect because she comes from a long line of Goddesses who understood the balance between the sexual and the spiritual, who carried the Blood Royal. But her positive energy-force has been re-appropriated by the Church and denied.

The idea that god is sexless is a brilliant form of control because it means we can never be in the image of God unless we're sexless, too. So, from birth your sexual organs are ripped off in terms of self-respect. The message is "you're scum" if you partake in sex. But we, as women and men, are not "scum" and we are not sexless beings. We are a blend of the spiritual and the physical and to deny either aspect of our nature is like trying to walk on one leg. Nor are women, in particular, simply incubators for patriarchal power structures such as marriage, society, the Church. Patriarchy isn't working. Any fool can see that. And, again, it all comes back to the question of being divided within ourselves.

The Church depends on our sense of dislocation from ourselves because the spiritual body is made to feel ashamed of the physical body. That was part of my problem, even before the rape. But now I question this concept of "purity." What does "loving purely" mean?

To me, now, "pure" is all things. It means the deepest, darkest, dirtiest concept with that flashlight on it, with no judgment being made. Whereas when I, as a "good Christian girl," judged part of myself to be "bad" I cut it out, as I explained earlier. So I have been severed from the physical side of myself in that sense too, as have many Christian women. But now I'm trying to realign myself in a way that reflects the true life-force from here to here [her hand moves from her head through her heart to her vagina]. People may say I'm obsessed with sex, but what I'm really obsessed with is this idea of realignment of making myself whole again. [Hot Press (Ireland) - February 23, 1994]

I think Grandma [Addie Allen Amos] was looking for what I'm looking for, which is wholeness. But her way of going about it was to try to make other people acknowledge their sin, and take out parts of themselves that she thought were sinful. To get to God. But what I want to get to is every part of myself. Because god/goddess is in everything that makes me up. And I don't believe for one minute that we can't heal ourselves. We can. Jesus even said that. [Creem - March 1994]

People see God as they want to, then use the controlling boundaries… laid down the law when it suited them. Burn the witches when it suited them, make a woman feel bad about herself when it suits you because maybe other women in the church are jealous of her… or a man who doesn't feel like he can get her, so he slanders her and makes her feel terrible. [B-Side - May/June 1994]

Hey, God's my boyfriend. Don't you think He totally loves that? Come on - the patriarchy's doing a terribly rotten job, and I don't know anyone else who's willing to cut God up a cantaloupe and say, "Hey, sit down, put your feet up, you need some advice." You have to have a bit of confidence to do that. You have to stop a minute and say, "I'm not buying this trip that humans aren't worthy of talking to the gods." [Illinois Entertainer - August 1994]

The feminist part of God has been circumcised out of all religions. God is a patriarchal force, a very masculine energy, with the feminine having been subservient; either being the mother, the lover, the virgin, but never the equal, never to have the whole. [Miami Herald - April 12, 1996]

Presently I'm looking very hard for the gold in God. If you take a look at his career, he's got some rather nasty things to answer for. If I would meet a little crying boy I would tell him a story about dragons, take him outside to play. If that same boy is fifty years old, I would do exactly the same. In short, it would be good if God one day heard my story about dragons and came out to play with me. Maybe this brings me closer to the gold in God. At the same time I'm enormously fascinated by the dark side of the human spirit. My own spirit that is, because it's the only one with an Access All Areas sticker on it. [Oor (Dutch) - April 18, 1998]

I believe in the Great Spirit. I believe Mohammad exists; I believe in Buddha; I believe in Aphrodite; I believe in Rhiannon. All these beings exist. But the Christian God - he's a bit cheeky. I do hang out with him a lot, and I bring my grievances to him. Everybody has their relationship with the divine, and all these beings are part of the divine. But we are, too. We're all trying to learn our gig. A god is only a god. They're not a woman, and they don't know what a woman feels. Of course, I think gods can desire human women, and I think goddesses can desire human men. There is that need for exchange. The hierarchy is the problem - even with deities. This is just that deity's gig. They're a deity, and they might know more stuff, but what I'm feeling at this moment in this girl's body is valid. [Alternative Press - July 1998]

I've been racing my boat lately. It's really small - fourteen feet. I'm trying to learn the skill of taking waves and weaving in and out of the water. I just love being out on the water and having all of these massive boats pass by and get me all wet. I did something a couple of days ago that was totally humbling. I went out into the big ocean in my tiny little boat because it was very calm. And it was such a good feeling. I'm a bit cynical about religious deities right now, but sometimes you go out to the ocean and it's really simple, "Ocean... big." In a sense, your faith gets restored because if a storm kicks up, then a storm kicks up. It's not personal. With religions, I was taught if you do x, y, and z and you confess and you pray and you ask to be absolved and you do all these things, then God will respond. And that's a lie. There's no guarantee that God will do anything. I'm really learning it's a free will planet and certain things are going to happen to certain people. No matter how loving you are or giving you are, you might face loss-tragically. And there's no "get out of loss free" card, just because you go to church.

Society gets set up in a way that there are the creative people and the noncreative people, but everybody has access to the creative force. You might express it in a way that's very different from how people think you should do it, but I really encourage people to find that voice. To me, everybody is like a fragment of the Divine. That's what I try to put out there, even though certain fragments of the Divine that I want to fucking shoot... [laughs] [Magical Blend - January 1999]

When people talk about God, then most western people mean the Christian God. And when you're being raised in a family that just is convinced that this God is the only true one, then it really exists to you. So, to me He exists. God is drinking a margarita up there at this moment, I'm sure of that. But I don't think of Him as divine. I believe in the spiritual world. To me that world is as real as you sitting in front of me. This is mostly because of my Cherokee grandpa, who had an enormous influence on my life. I find the divine mostly in non-western and age-old cultures, especially from the Native Americans. [Oor (Dutch) - September 18, 1999]

If we pull back and look at Christian mythology, and the idea that there is a god, why wouldn't there be a goddess? In all of nature, there is not a male-only speicies. There has to be a female and a male. [Women Who Rock - January 2004]

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