Phallus has not been worshipped since Christianity put kibash on paganism

To the Editor:

Phallus worship ended in the West when Christianity replaced paganism. We only see hints of its return today because God is dead. So if Claire Gordon ’10 dislikes it (“Myth-making men reify the almighty phallus” 3/25), she ought not be so hard on the patriarchy that actively prevented it for more than fifteen centuries.

Peter Johnston

March 25

The writer is a junior in Saybrook College. He is a staff columnist for the News.


  • PK, MDIV '80

    My Dear Controversial Friend Mr. Johnston:
    It depends on your definition of worship. If "worship" is the most intense form of private concentration and attention either consciously or subconsciously produced by the human mind, then phallus worship has never ceased.
    If worship however is a celebration of formal verbalized rituals in a specific architectural structure, then you may have a point; although, at least one major 2000 year old religion based in Rome maintains that those rituals can be officially performed solely by a celebrant who is validated by having the same type of sexual organ as did Jesus, a kind of vicarious or closet phallus worship, wouldn't you say?

    An Admirer,
    PK, MDIV '80

  • Anonymous

    What, praytell, are cathedrals?

  • Anonymous

    Oh Peter Johnson, I would say only allowing men to be Priests is a clear sign of phallus worship. I think you are also ignoring that pagan religions tended to worship both the phallus and the vagina…they ALL recognize the Goddess as a God or a divine presence. Does Christianity recognize her? As far as I can tell, no. Their closest attempt is worshipping Mary, but only as a vessel of the TRUE paternal God.

  • Thankful


    I have no need for a goddess.

    I don't have to pretend to justify Christianity behind some false notion of anti-discrimination.

    Save your goddesses, women priests, feminine spirits, witches and other garbage for the local Wiccan convention.

    I'll keep to my belief in the Incarnation- when the Word became Flesh- the God-Man.

  • PNJ

    Cathedrals follow the theory of the temple, as a dwelling place for God on earth. If they must be interpreted sexually, they are vessels and therefore feminine, not phallic.

  • Jung

    Dear #3:
    Try reading Carl Jung's "Answer to Job" a slim, bound essay about the Assumption of Mary into heaven by the RCC in 1950 (?) as a subconscious attempt by the collective unconscious to return the goddess Sophia to the godhead.

  • Reality

    Folks, lets get a grip on some things here.

    Phallus worship is NOT present in Christianity as the glorification of a penis as a deity.

    However, there is certainly genital and sexual symbolism used throughout the religion.

    The Easter Vigil has the dunking of the Paschal candle in the baptismal font- widely recognized as a symbolic procreative act.

    The very Garden of Eden is seen as a womb. The sanctuary, the holiest of holies in a church mirrors this womb-like symbolism. The male priest is thus only permitted access there. To allow a woman priest(priestess) is to create religious lesbianism (something no reasonable person could possibly desire).

    The symbols are there. But I don't see it as worship.

  • Anonymous

    Number 4, I think that everyone else here, including number 6 and 7 are in fact disagreeing with the message ofyour angry little rant. Perhaps it is you who should be looking into #6's suggested reading. This is not about discrimination, wiccan festivals, witches, etc. (and your belittlement of that betrays your ignorance and arrogance with regards to things you don't understand), it's about having a complete deity or divine presence or whatever else you want to call "it", and It is not complete without integration of the feminine principle.

    Dear #6, I've read it. In fact, I've read close to everything by Jung. Love him. While I would agree that this a subconcious attempt by the RCC, which i absolutely admire, there is also a conscious contradiction of this in the very same church. Do priests talk of Mary on sundays? If they do it is a mere fleeting mention of her as in her role as Jesus' mother (Note the Apostle's Creed -- Not much discussion or even symbolic allusion to the Goddess). So perhaps it's not necessarily a missing piece of doctrine but a missing piece of what is preached.

  • Ummm

    a Peter Johnson (sp) writing about the phallus could only be surmounted by, say, a Dick Wood or Mike Cockingham or some such…

  • at #8

    Mary wasn't God!!!

    So why would I make her a goddess???

    Square peg, meet round hole.

    (and Wiccans are still freaks)

  • JUNG

    Dear # 8:

    It is not whether or not priests speak of Mary on Sunday, it is that she has been BODILY ASSUMED into heaven, is part of the godhead and can be appealed to by ordinary petitioners in prayer for healing, etc. Whether one believes this supernatural stuff or not is almost irrelevant. Jung sees it as a need to replace the feminine dimension of God which has been missing from human history since the abandonment of Sophia. Further, POLITICALLY speaking, the Assumption of Mary into Heaven broke the (theological) glass ceiling, something which Hillary is having trouble doing politically on terra firma. Regardless of Jung, magical stuff performed in church still requires a wand, if you will, and therefore a male. As for the Jewish folk and Muslims, I don't know what their rationale is for elevating the phallus to the status of intercessor in worship, so to speak.

  • at number 10

    Thank you, we all know Mary that wasn't God (altho number 4 seems to think she might be). I'm pretty sure that was number 3's point. Hence his/her lament that there is no feminine principle existing in Christianity. That, I would argue, is an incomplete religion…but I forgot, on the basis of faith are we to believe that Christians are right and Wiccans are freaks. And no, I'm not a Wiccan or a lesbian or a female priest.

  • JUNG

    PS to # 8:
    How could I have missed the opportunity to say the Assumption of Mary into heaven broke the stained glass ceiling? Not quick enough I guess.

  • Max D

    #4, until you can provide any more evidence for your religion than the pagans, you are just as backwards as them. Cheers, Max D.