Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's heavenly to cherish the earth

The noisy, seemingly endless squabble between adherents of creationism and evolution can hide the fact that, on one issue at least, believers and scientists are growing closer. That issue: caring for our planet -- however it came into being.

Churches that previously emphasized mankind's dominion over the earth now speak of stewardship: The planet is not ours to ravage but ours to cherish and protect from harm.

Emagazine.com wrote in "Stewards of the Earth: The Growing Religious Mission to Protect the Environment" of the rise in faith-based environmental awareness: "When conservative evangelical Christians call for action on global warming, Hindu holy men dedicate themselves to saving sacred rivers and Buddhist monks work with Islamic mullahs to try to halt the extinction crisis, boundaries are clearly being redrawn in the ongoing struggle for the political hearts and minds of the world’s believers." The whole article is worth reading.

As I write this, on the afternoon of Earth Day, I'm distracted by the view from my window. The oak's spring greenery sways against a backdrop of heavy clouds. Geese honk as they fly in tandem toward the pond. Birds and toads join their voices in song. A hawk circles and swoops to earth.

It's art -- as fine a work of art as anything that has been displayed in a museum or performed on a stage. It's life -- the air we breathe, the food we grow, the water we drink. It's a gift from God -- one we can't afford to neglect. The wonder is that it took some theologians so long to figure that out.

11 comments:

Gamecock said...

DURING THE 1970S AND 1980S, as oil use in the US increased exponentially, we basically won the battle to clean up the dismal condition of America's air and water we faced in the 1960s.

I swam in Lake Michigan in 1990.

The issue of pollution prevention is legitimate. We won that war in the US as we increased use of carbon based fuels.

The issue of "man-made globa warming" or the increasingly used term "climate change" (given that date shows the earth's temp has cooled since 1998) is a crock.

The demonization of oil companies is a related crock attributable to the people that hide behind worship of the earth as they seek more government control of our lives.

The Sun warms the Earth.

Had the former USSR or Iran's Mullahs or al Qaeda sought to harm the US, they could not have done a more devastating job that liberal dems have done since 1978 in preventing: the expansion of available areas for oil exploration; more oil refineries; or new nuclear power plants.

A sign of hope: when the libs in Britain sought to tax Brits to "fight MMGW", they got shot down.

Lazarus said...

Very weird to see only one comment to one of Jane's essays after a few days.

Are the rest of you still in shock after reading Gamecock's post? Or are you all still laughing? Still crying?

Let's see.. the more we used carbon emitting fuels, the cleaner our environment became. The pollution war has been won. Man's link to global warming is a lie. Oil companies are our friends. We need more oil drilling and more nuclear plants. Liberal Democrats, god-hating atheist commies, and terrorist islamo-fascoids want the same thing - to harm America. Subtext... so if you vote for one of those liberals, you are voting for the terrorists!!!!!!

WOW!

If the US is in a better pollution situation than in years passed, could it be because of liberal-backed legislation to clean up the pollution? EPA? Super-fund sites? OSHA? Lead-free gasoline perhaps? All of these advancements in protecting the public health and this beautiful country came from GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS!!! Yes, those evil regulations that say you can't dump toxic crap nto the water that causes cancer and birth defects and kills US citizens all in an attempt to maximize your PROFITS. The blessed oil companies did nothing voluntarily - the power of the people compelled them to act for the good of the many, instead of the good of the one (corporation profits).

This is what government is for... To do for us collectively what we cannot do for ourselves individually. The government has one job in my opinion - SECURITY. National security to keep us safe, health security to keep us well, economic security to keep us solvent and in our homes with food on the table, education security so our citizens can get the best jobs in the world because they are smart enough, religious security to protect all those that believe and those that do not, to save church and state by keeping them apart. And of course, Constitution security which is the only thing that keeps America FREE.

If you don't think that global warming is probably heavily influenced by human actions, then there is no point in me arguing about it. The sun is blue, too, ok, fine. Hope you don't live on the coast. Any coast.

The US addiction to oil is our greatest threat to both the environment AND national security. If the US had followed the policies implemented in the early 70's by the Carter administration it is highly likely we would be off foreign oil and not invading hostile islamic countries in order to get hold of their natural resources, causing thousands of needless deaths and shifting tax money to the industrial war machine instead of children and old people. We would also be enjoying the second great economic boom in recent decades selling our green energy solution to the rest of the world. But instead, we are in an endless war with no plan or way out, we've given Iran exactly what it wants (chaos in which to operate), and the US economy is going down like a cheerleader on prom night.

And before you say I hate corporations, let me say this... I don't hate corporations. They have their place and in a free market society they have a right to operate within the law to make as much obscene amounts of money as they can. Key words here are "within the law". Corps (I work for a big one and its a rather good one I must say) have two motives: Increase profit and reduce risk. Every action they take is meant to serve one or both of those goals. That's it. If it is cheaper to dump toxic waste that kills citizens, then they will do it until the need to reduce RISK outweighs it. Government regulation and financial and criminal penalties compel them to act responsibly by threatening their profits. That's it. There is nothing more to it than that. If a company is doing something "good" its because they see it as the best way to make and keep making money. Government's job is to make sure the rules are clear and the citizens are protected.

I happen to think the Earth is actually ALIVE. Yes, 100's of billions of lives in a bubble of rock, water and air, spinning in a perfect balance around the sun. Collectively ALIVE.

At least we agree on one thing...

"The Sun warms the Earth"

My Gaia Bless YOU!!! Oh wait, she already has, you are alive on her right now, hurdling through space. For the time being.....

Anonymous said...

Well, when I read the line "The Sun warms the Earth" I wondered whether he supported the "theory" that the Earth revolved around the Sun or vice-versa.

Gamecock said...

another anonymous non sequitur

unless you think chevrolets warm the earth

anon said...

One of the defining charateristics of many conservatives,libertarians(and especially fundamentalists) like gamecock is they live in denial of reality and are arrogantly proud of their obstinate and willfully ignorant beliefs. That's why they idolize and vote for similiarly ignorant "leaders" with appalling lack of vision, those like in the reprehensible and disingenuous current administration who have helped to take this nation down to an abyssmal place.
We are in a situation that we will take decades to repair. Some of the ecological and social damage that has been done may be irreparable.

Instead of finding ways to bring this country together for common goals and community responsibility and find ways to to increase energy efficency and preserve the environment, this administration and prior conservative ones have done everything to divide and seperate us and promote pathological self-absorption and comforting myths of nationalistic exceptionalism.

This country is free-fall and all of us are to blame because we will not face the reality that our lifestyles and culture are unsustainable. And now we have inspired India and China in trying to emulate our maddness and pathology.

Whatever greatness we had as a country, we are letting is slide away because too many of us have lost the true character,wisdom, discipline and self-control it takes to be great and unique. Now all we are required to do as citizens is "shop".

Welcome to the "mindless" States of America

Gamecock said...

anon

Lots of words, name calling. No substance to respond to.

I wait for specifics.

Iztok said...

Gamecock,

tell me a single aspect of your life where you trust your faith more then reason? Surely you don't drive blind on faith, you observe traffic, follow the patterns and behavior of other vehicles on the road and deduct from past experience what is safe thing to do. You depend on reason in all other aspects of your life, don't you?

Gamecock said...

Christian faith and read reason are not imcompatable. In fact, that is the miracle of western superiority. See the Pope at Regensberg:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/sep/15/religion.uk

Gamecock said...

iztok

Did reason dictate teenage GC challenging people in my church when they told racist jokes? Hiring some of the first black paralegas in my hometown? Supporting the US missions in Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo?

Iztok said...

Gamecock, I asked you to tell me one aspect (outside your religious one) when you put your faith ahead of reason. Simple question.

Perhaps it would help if we define what faith and reason are:

faith: firm belief in something for which there is no proof

reason: the power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking especially in orderly rational ways

Care to tell what your definition if the terms faith and reason are when you use them?

Re: challenging racist jokers. Yes I would think reason is behind it when people challenge racists. If there is no reason behind confronting anyone, then it is just "my way vs. your way". When you support your claim with reason (facts) you stand better chance to convince other side.

Re: Hiring some black paralegals: Ditto. I would assume that the reason behind it was that they are good paralegals that can get the job done. The black part is not important when it comes to ability to get the job done, is it? However being good at being paralegal is. Thus I would hope those who hired paralegals would use reason to do so.

Re: Supporting US missions: That depends on which missions you are talking about. Military one? I used to live in the same country as two of the above mentioned places. I've seen what religious intolerance did there with my own eyes. My dad was shot at by Muslims and Christians alike when he tried to protect rights and freedoms. Basically only time there was pretty peaceful separation of that area when no religious difference was present. Separation of Slovenia (no religious difference as Slovenia is fairly secular compared to other states), Separation of Macedonia (bordering area in former Yugoslavia was predominantly Orthodox Christian on both sides. Montenegro (same as the above). On the other hand when it comes to horrific bloodshed, there was Croatia (Catholic vs. Muslims and Catholics vs. Orthodox Christians). Bosnia and Herzegovina (Muslims vs. Catholics and Muslims vs. Orthodox Christians). Kosovo (Muslims vs. Orthodox Christians).

Anonymous said...

"The issue of pollution prevention is legitimate. We won that war in the US as we increased use of carbon based fuels."

So where was the photo-op of George Bush standing in front of a Chevrolet with the banner "Mission Accomplished"?

I must have missed the newsreel.

If you believe this, try locking yourself in your garage with your car engine running.

If your car has an internal combustion engine burning gasoline, you won't live very long.

If you are looking for "facts" to debate, start with those.