by Minister Masada
resident Clinton declared the 1997 Great Floods of N. Dakota and Minnesota a devastating by-product of the greenhouse effect. In one small community, caskets of the dead were unearthed and floated in the flood waters. In theology, the unleashing of floods is seen as a divine epiphany of disaster. Righteousness rules creation. The earth is emotional. Is Mother Nature, therefore, exacting vengeance against the barbaric acts of her inhabitants? Are ecological disasters now opening our eyes to the revelation that man pushes mother nature to the edge?
The study of human, societal and environmental systems and their interactive dynamics is known as social ecology. It also deals with social crises arising from man's ecological aggressions. Humans, plants and animals all lose their autonomy and intrinsic value. They are seen simply as a means to an end, or resources necessary to attain a production goal. (See Social Ecology: Poverty & Misery, L. Boff) The adulterous idolization of man with his technological machines threatens the human-ecology marriage.
Globally, and in every participating country, there are groups of elitist humans who consider themselves to be the center of the universe and who seek riches, personal advantage and the accumulation of land. The rape and humiliation of nature is like a game to them. On the ecological chessboard, the pawns are predestined to poverty and misery. Further, their scientific and technological advances and premeditated violence against the poor continues to promote the struggle of all against all.
We must boldly go where no woman has ever gone before. However, we must take care not to follow in the footsteps of our societal predecessors or its patriarchal prejudices. We must accept responsibility for the misery of the majority. Africa is the richest place, yet it has the poorest race. Patrilineal ideology with its accompanying patronization of the planet is not only guilty of matricide, but also guilty of patricide. Men also suffer and die under the rule of man.
Ethiopian orthodox ecology views women as protectors of nature and men as, basically, destroyers of wildlife and nature. However, the male-dominated countries in Africa, with iconoclastic agricultural policies, circumvent the women's' attempts to preserve the natural landscape. Anti-ecological men participates in their own annihilation. But it's not politically correct to criticize corrupt African leaders. Little wonder there are so many droughts and famines in Africa. If the priestly leaders are not going to view the feminine as sacred, then I say THEY SHOULD TAKE OFF THEIR GARMENTS, ROBES AND DRESSES and GIVE THEM BACK TO THE WOMEN. The women in Africa need to take their power back. The power to restore nature was clearly given to a woman who is called "The Second Ark of The Covenant." (See The Sign & The Seal, A Quest For The Lost Ark of The Covenant, by Graham Hancock.)
Since the environment is affected by social elements and society by the environment, we must also develop a social-environmental ethic that honors the dignity and integrity of the earth. After all, it was here millions of years before us; it has a right to exist millions of years after us. Infesting the water and soil with pathogenic poisons can be seen as a declaration of war against the future of living creatures.
To that end, we must commit to generational solidarity by creating environmental and social conditions that will not produce disease and death for creatures and humans not yet born. To do so, we would guilty of the greatest of ecological sins: biocide and ecocide.
Minister Masada is a researcher and the author of four books. She has been a regular weekly columnist for numerous 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 the Daughters of Zion, a mother's advocate group