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Faith and the Environment: Polluting is a Sin

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posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 08:55 AM
From huge corporate factories and farms fouling rivers and fields to individuals throwing candy wrappers and fast-food containers in the street, main stream religion is starting to accept and incorporate the proclamation made by the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christianity more than a decade ago; that pollution and environmental destruction may be sins against God.

Next week, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I will lead another high-profile group of religious leaders, scientists and activists on a trip to examine the interplay of faith and ecology. The weeklong voyage along the Amazon starting next Thursday will be Bartholomew's sixth green journey since the first in 1995 to the Greek island of Patmos ---- where biblical tradition says the book of Revelation was compiled.

The efforts of Bartholomew and others have energized some of the most lively theological explorations in recent years ---- with fresh studies and interpretation of Scripture along environmental lines. The global movement also offers rare common ground for religious groups at a time of confrontation on issues from gay clergy to suspicions between the Muslim world and the West.


Great to see a world religious leader focusing on the environment. It is something we all have a big stake in, and we share a common future in the results of these efforts. It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of environmental stability to our continued survival on this planet, and the recent results of what just a few degrees shift in global warming can do should have driven this point home to all of us by now. The forces of Nature have again and again proved to be God's instruments in affecting the course of human history.

With all the non-evironmental problems the nations of the world are dealing with right now, and the way environmental problems trigger conflict between people, resources to provide aid to populations in the event of disasters are stretched thin, if not co-opted outright. This in the face of the threat of increasing environmental disasters.

It will take more than prayer and Amazon press op to turn this trend around. It will take a concerted effort on the part of key world leaders to change the focus from taking advantage of contrived scarcity and conflict, which encourages increased environmental exploitation, to a cohesive effort on the part of those same key leaders to address the pressure of population increases and resource depletion with a functional and transparent global aid effort.

posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 10:39 AM
Some weeks ago it was reported in one of the Italian national newspaper "La Stampa" that the Pope during a recent visit to Germany, shocked by what he witnessed whilst visiting the concentration camps exclaimed: " Lord, why where you silent?"
He was obviously forgetting that at the time his predecessors were collaborating with the Nazi regime and was almost putting the blame on God.

Nature, the garment of God; God's own wonderful creation is being raped, poisoned,
polluted, exploited, hundreds of species are being wiped out. The earth is screaming for help. Even fools are aware of it by now.

The reaction of the Church? (Pope. Cardinals, Archbishops, Priests Rabbis, and Mullahs) is silence, a deafening silence. I find this amazing!
No martyrs, no excommunications, no sermons, nothing! But they do find the time to comment on Dan Brown's offensive book.

I suppose they must be waiting for the next eco-disaster to point out that God is punishing us for our wickedness.
Is the church frightened of upsetting big corporations?
Glad to hear that something is moving...?


posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 06:32 PM
This article caught my eye because it contrasted sharply with the James Watt inspired "when the last tree falls, Christ will come again" approach previously ascribed to born-agains. I even have an old thread on PTS about the religious right and environmental destruction, not protection.

It would be refreshing for me to find it true there is a growing awareness of and response to environmental issues from all denominations of religions worldwide. A common issue amongst all those that divide us might provide much needed incentive for co-operative action. This needs to be applied not just to recycling efforts, but to stopping polluters and cleaning up pollution.

Perhaps it could even be linked to disaster prevention and preparedness, with fines and/or donations from corporate or individual "gross polluters" going to fund environmental restoration and disaster prevention programs. You know, like cleaning up wetlands and augmenting levees.

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