Q: I am having a difficult time with the patriarchal presentation to all this. Is there room for greater diversity?
A: The Urantia Book teaches that as spiritual beings we are not only ascending beings, but also expanding beings, expanding to take in the infinite diversity of a vast creation. There is actually more room for diversity than human beings can ever imagine.
Many stumble over the patriarchal tone of the book. The book often refers to God as, "The first great source and center of all things and beings." But the authors tell us that the term Father comes closest (for our human understanding) to his character and role in the universe of universes. The book gives lavish credit to the feminine aspects of deity, but every aspect still finds its source in the one God.
You must understand that on a planet of two genders, it is extremely difficult to ascribe a pronoun of "him" or "her" to adequately describe Deity. The authors of the book could have referred to God as it, but that would not have done justice to such a personal and approachable being. All in all, they did the best they could with the language and culture they had to work with in the early part of the twentieth century. Those who publish and love the book understand that the patriarchal language can be a problem in today's culture, but feel it is very important that people are able to experience these teachings exactly as they were given.
The book says,
The Urantia Book specifically addresses the Mother aspects of God; there is an entire paper about The Local Universe Mother Spirit. Nowhere in the book's teachings is the notion of male superiority supported.
"The name he is given is of little importance; the significant thing is that you should know him and aspire to be like him." (1:1.6)
Consider the following quotes from the book:
If one can get past a perceived patriarchal language barrier it becomes very apparent that the teachings of The Urantia Book dictate that anyone's notion of superiority is utterly ludicrous. The loving embrace of diversity is the key to true human brotherhood, and The Urantia Book lays that goal before us as the ultimate accomplishment of humanity as a whole.
"Sex equality prevails on all advanced worlds; male and female are equal in mind endowment and spiritual status. We do not regard a planet as having emerged from barbarism so long as one sex seeks to tyrannize over the other." (49:4.4, Pg 564)
"My brother, always remember that man has no rightful authority over woman unless the woman has willingly and voluntarily given him such authority. Your wife has engaged to go through life with you, to help you fight its battles, and to assume the far greater share of the burden of bearing and rearing your children; and in return for this special service it is only fair that she receive from you that special protection which man can give to woman as the partner who must carry, bear, and nurture the children." (133:2.1, (Jesus) to a man who was publicly mistreating his wife.)
"The Father in heaven treats the Spirit Mother of the children of the universe as one equal to himself. It is Godlike to share your life and all that relates thereto on equal terms with the mother partner who so fully shares with you that divine experience of reproducing yourselves in the lives of your children. If you can only love your children as God loves you, you will love and cherish your wife as the Father in heaven honors and exalts the Infinite Spirit, the mother of all the spirit children of a vast universe." (Jesus)
Woman, however, has always been the moral standard-bearer and the spiritual leader of mankind. The hand that rocks the cradle still fraternizes with destiny. (84:5.11)
"Though human beings differ in many ways, the one from another, before God and in the spiritual world all mortals stand on an equal footing." (133:0.3), (Jesus)
"Mankind can appropriately be divided into many classes in accordance with differing qualifications, as they may be viewed physically, mentally, socially, vocationally, or morally, but as these different classes of mortals appear before the judgment bar of God, they stand on an equal footing; God is truly no respecter of persons." (Jesus)
Thanks so much for your question. I hope this reply has been helpful.