About the Site

This site is dedicated to the memory of Professor Howard Harrod, a good man and a fine teacher, and to the memory of Lynn White, Jr., who in his 1967 essay “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis”
got it right.

Deconstructing God is a site devoted to discussions of Western (specifically JudeoChristian) cultural values from an ecofeminist perspective. The goal of this site is to restore balance, especially in the areas of the most pathological imbalances: the imbalance of values in the area of male/female relationships and the imbalance of values in the area of the human/nature relationship. Social, cultural, mental, and physical health are promoted by balance. When things get out of balance – whether in the physical body or the culture – dis-ease results. The premise behind this website is that we are living at a time when things are seriously out of balance and therefore, restoring balance or achieving a new balance is imperative if our species is to survive.

Ecofeminism understands that the cultural devaluation – and resulting abuse and exploitation — of both woman and nature arise from a single source – transcendent patriarchal monotheism, as exemplified in the Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. An ecofeminist perspective understands both woman and nature as having intrinsic rather than utilitarian value. An ecofeminist perspective values women — and the work traditionally associated with women — equally with men and men’s work. An ecofeminist perspective understands humanity to be a part of and dependent on nature, rather than separate from and superior to nature.

Essays posted to this site range from the personal to the political and include Biblical analysis. They deal with the social necessity of a coherent value system, the difference between what we say we value and what we really value, the origin of our values, the difficulty we have in making changes in our values – even when we recognize the need to make changes — and how our real values are revealed in the persons and statements of our cultural icons – cultural Freudian slips.

So, why have I named this site Deconstructing God and not Deconstructing Values? It is because a society’s deities are a shorthand expression of a culture’s value system neatly wrapped up in a few symbolic images – images which exercise so much power over the human species that a significant change in values requires a wrenching psychological reimaging of the cultural deity and the religion which has grown up around it. But before that can happen, the dominant deity must be disempowered; it must be deconstructed.

The dominant deity of Western Culture is, and has been for three thousand years, God the Father. (God the Son is another powerful image, but even Christ’s power emanates from the Father; it does not exist independently.) Many people use the term God to refer to their own individualistic revisioning of the sacred or the good, but I believe this tendency to redefine God so that He is more palatable to current tastes leads to a great deal of confusion. God is no amorphous rendering of the sacred, open to any and all interpretations. His being and His characteristics are set forth unambiguously in the Bible and church doctrine. He is One. He is Spirit. He is Transcendent. He is Male. He is the Source of Life, the Creator of Creation. He is Omnipotent and Omniscient. He is ultimate Authority. He is all knowledge and all power concentrated in a single authoritarian male being whose essence is spirit, but whose creation is matter, and who resides off earth in heaven. He is the locus of value in the Western world. He is the God the devout believe in and the atheists renounce. He is the problem. He is the God, therefore, that must be deconstructed.

In a single powerful image—God — we have the Western value system revealed to us in its totality. Everything in our cultural universe has or lacks value based on our understanding of the nature of God, our cultural deity – whether or not we continue to “believe in Him.” Therefore, if we want to understand why we are the way we are, specifically why we as a culture are making self-destructive choices based on perverse values, we need look no further than God. Whether we like it or not, He is the author of our psychological being and will continue to be until we are willing to recognize his destructive power over us, until we are willing to confront Him, until we are willing to eradicate Him from our psyches, until we are willing to deconstruct Him. To that end, to the end of freeing us from God’s tyranny and the tyranny of God’s value system, I offer these essays.