The mothership connection
by Minister Masada
oday I want to draw a line in the ecological sand. Either you are for the preservation of nature, or you are against it. Your actions are either germinating and sustainable or they are biocidal and contribute to the 'Death of Nature', and the violence of city life; the latter of which is rising to cult status. Well, the buck stops here. Today.
Like most mothers, the earth is being asked to do too much, to take too much, and to endlessly recycle societal garbage which is dumped relentlessly, with no end in sight. Pathogenic environmental contaminations are polluting to Mother Earth and Her landscape, in much the same way that classism, sexism, and racism socially poison Her people.
I've often wondered, if the earth were called father instead of mother, would that confer masculine privilege and thus deflect the degradation and humiliation of nature? I doubt that the earth would be appropriated, raped, and abused if it were called 'Our Father.' I also wonder if the infrastructure of the theological academies and churches would remain intact, since their clerical thesis seem to revolve around the inferiority of all things feminine. (See A World Without Women - The Christian Clerical Culture of Western Science, D.F. Noble and Motherguilt; How Our Culture Blames Mothers For What's Wrong With Society, D. Eyer.)
THE ALL-MALE CLERGY THAT HAS TAUGHT THIS INFERIORITY COMPLEX CANONIZED AND BEATIFIED IT, LIVE BY THE LABOR AND HANDS OF WOMEN THEIR WIVES- AND THEY ARE SUSTAINED AND PROVIDED FOR BY THE BOUNTY OF EARTH - THE 'MOTHER' OF ALL THEIR BOUNTIES AND BLESSINGS. So it's about time they ended their woman-hating mother-bashing rhetoric.
As an Eco-Theologist, I question the religions that have given quasi-divine legitimation to the abuse of earth simply because of gender identification. After all, the first Commandment with a promise is "Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the earth." The Book of Genesis also says that the first man on earth, Adam, was born of earth. So then, if Adam came from the soil of nature, doesn't that mean that nature, having given birth to Adam, is the Creator? How then, can the creation (man) be considered greater than it's creator (nature)?
The earth is the Mother of us all, and if we want to continue to be fed from Her bosom, we must heed the first Commandment with a promise. A sin is a sin - and destroying nature, in my opinion is the deadliest of sins.
In the Book of The Sun, the Navajo Indians say that Father Sun punishes man if he abuses Mother Earth or any related form. The landslides, mud slides, earthquakes, floods, etc., are but warnings of impending disasters of greater intensity should man fail to dismantle all his unjust relationships to the earth.
This dismantling of all thing oppressive must serve to bring about an ecological humility and provide alternative ways of thinking. One new way of thinking can be termed:
In the prophetic voice of eschatology, the figure of a mother is used to symbolize this ruthless despoilation of earth and persecution of all things maternal (Revelation 12:13-16). Further, the figure of a mother is a metaphor for the feminization of nature, the naturalization of women and the twin historical subordination of both. The environmental movement must embrace ecological feminism if it is to prevent the 'Death of Nature'. And feminists must embrace environmentalists because both are working for the same cause: interconnected forms of domination and exploitation on the mothership.
Minister Masada is a researcher and author. She has been a regular weekly columnist for local and out-of-state publications and has lectured at UCSD and SDSU. She has been an organizer of support groups for abused mothers and helped establish Battered Woman's Syndrome as a recognized point in Federal courts. Currently, she is Chairwoman of the Sisterhood of Zion, a mothers' advocate group