Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 78 (8905 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 04-24-2019 9:47 AM
33 online now:
1.61803, DWIII, edge, FLRW, Heathen, kjsimons, Percy (Admin), Theodoric (8 members, 25 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: WookieeB
Post Volume:
Total: 850,144 Year: 5,181/19,786 Month: 1,303/873 Week: 199/460 Day: 15/29 Hour: 4/3


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
1
23Next
Author Topic:   By their fruits shall ye know them. (re: Fundamentalists and the environment)
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1077 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 1 of 39 (257283)
11-06-2005 11:05 AM


Moose showed some interest in seeing this where it could be debated, rather than standing out of reach on Phat's no-reply Soapbox; then I received a few e-mails suggesting similar interest, some friendly, some...not.

A source of puzzlement to me: Evangelicals/Creationists mostly find their home in the Republican Party, along with big business.

Why are they so anxious to despoil the earth? If God created this beautiful place and made us stewards of it, why are the Republican-identified Evangelicals/Creationists so ardent about valuing profit over conservation? Why are they so sanguine about the loss of entire species?

One would think this world would sparkle to them with the sacredness of their Creator, and every creature in it would be precious. Instead, they seem to delight in rolling back environmental protection laws, in proposing higher tolerances for mercury in their air and children, in profit over preservation, in war over peace.

Did God lard the earth with life so we could gleefully slaughter it?

Calling themselves conservative, they thirst to suck every last drop of oil (and all other resources) out of the earth, leaving none for the generations to come and without regard for the impact on the planet, its people, and its wildlife. Why do they support filling the national parks and wildernesses with Machine Heads until the gate rangers have to wear gas masks against the clouds of exhaust?

Why are so many environmentalists and lovers of all creatures secularists? Where are the voices of the faithful? Why is there no chorus rising from the churches to stop the destruction of this gorgeous world?

{Added the "(re: Fundamentalists and the environment)" part to the topic title on 1/17/06. - Adminnemooseus}

This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 01-17-2006 02:20 PM


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by jar, posted 11-06-2005 12:17 PM Omnivorous has not yet responded
 Message 4 by Chiroptera, posted 11-06-2005 12:23 PM Omnivorous has not yet responded
 Message 5 by Coragyps, posted 11-06-2005 12:57 PM Omnivorous has not yet responded
 Message 6 by GDR, posted 11-06-2005 5:51 PM Omnivorous has not yet responded
 Message 12 by clpMINI, posted 11-07-2005 6:56 PM Omnivorous has responded
 Message 17 by Phat, posted 11-09-2005 8:10 AM Omnivorous has responded

    
AdminNWR
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 39 (257289)
11-06-2005 11:41 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 3 of 39 (257291)
11-06-2005 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Omnivorous
11-06-2005 11:05 AM


It only needs to last until Rapture.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Omnivorous, posted 11-06-2005 11:05 AM Omnivorous has not yet responded

  
Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 4 of 39 (257292)
11-06-2005 12:23 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Omnivorous
11-06-2005 11:05 AM


quote:
A source of puzzlement to me: Evangelicals/Creationists mostly find their home in the Republican Party, along with big business.

I never understood this alliance, even when I was a fundamentalist. Although I was pretty conservative in those days (although losing my conservative ideals pretty fast) and was a staunch believer in "free market economics", it was pretty clear to me even then that the "capitalist economics" preached by the Reagan Republicans were a very self-centered, egoistical type of economics, a society of selfish hedonistic "individualism" that I found unpalatable as a Christian.

You can't serve both God and Mammon, and I was very opposed, even as a conservative Christian, to the support of greed-based capitalism that the Religious Right was supporting in those days (and continues to support, despite their commitment to so-called "values").


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Omnivorous, posted 11-06-2005 11:05 AM Omnivorous has not yet responded

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5381
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 8.5


Message 5 of 39 (257295)
11-06-2005 12:57 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Omnivorous
11-06-2005 11:05 AM


Like Jar said: we're in the Last Days (TM) anyway, so screw this ol' ball/circle we live on. We're supposed to "have dominion" over all that lives on it anyway, no?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Omnivorous, posted 11-06-2005 11:05 AM Omnivorous has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 6 of 39 (257334)
11-06-2005 5:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Omnivorous
11-06-2005 11:05 AM


I’m a Christian and I’m a Conservative. (Canadian, but if I lived in the US I would usually vote Republican.) I think that your OP unfairly critiques the reasons that Christians seem more often than not to vote right of center.

Your post seems to assume that Liberal governments will take better care of the environment than Conservative governments. I contend that governments in general don’t have a good record in this area. In Canada we have a Liberal government that supports the Kyoto treaty. Big deal. All it has given them is the opportunity to make it appear that they are doing something when in fact the problem has only deteriorated during their time in office. Their solution to problems is to throw money at them.

I think that the reason that Christians very often lean to the right is a distrust of big government. I contend that those of us on the right care just as much for the weaker members of society and for the environment as do those on the left. The difference is however that we don’t see large national bureaucracies as an effective way of dealing with these problems. I believe that we are all responsible for our neighbour as individuals and in many cases, (not all by any means) problems can be better dealt with locally,

In Canada our social welfare system is a huge bloated industry. We can’t just have one social welfare program that works. We have a myriad of programs each with its own unionized bureaucracy. Each successive government in an attempt to make it looks like it is doing something, brings in another program, and another bureaucracy.

For example; Canadians have more of an aversion to guns than Americans seem to have. Now keep in mind that we have had for years an effective hand gun registry. Our Liberal government announces that they are going to set up a “gun registry”. This gun registry only applied to long guns. (A fact which the Liberals never point out unless forced to.) The program was to have cost 20 million. The cost is up to 2 billion and still counting, and there has been no discernable difference in gun crimes.

Recently there has been a rash of shootings in Toronto so as usual the Liberals find a scapegoat, and as is so often the case it’s the US. The whole thing gets blamed on guns being smuggled in from the US.

I could go into how the Liberal party has stolen millions form Canadians from money that was meant to buy the allegiance of Quebecers to Canada so that they won’t vote to separate.

Government elitism has taken hold. I have a problem with that. The Liberals are theoretically governing by enlightenment values. As I see it, the trouble is two fold. In reality there are no enlightenment values as such because values, according to enlightenment dogma, are an individual thing as there is no absolute truth. The second problem is that we wind up with people in government that are there because of a quest for power. (It is the same thing that happens if you give the church political power.)

To conclude I contend that Christians are more likely to vote Conservative because of a belief that big government is better at creating problems than it is at solving them.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Omnivorous, posted 11-06-2005 11:05 AM Omnivorous has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by ringo, posted 11-06-2005 7:25 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 16358
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 7 of 39 (257351)
11-06-2005 7:25 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by GDR
11-06-2005 5:51 PM


GDR writes:

I could go into how the Liberal party has stolen millions form Canadians from money that was meant to buy the allegiance of Quebecers to Canada so that they won’t vote to separate.

For the benefit of those members who don't follow Canadian news, I would like to point out that Conservative governments, both at the federal and provincial levels, have been guilty of just as much corruption. It isn't the size of government that causes corruption.

But the questions in the OP are not about government:

quote:
Why are so many environmentalists and lovers of all creatures secularists? Where are the voices of the faithful? Why is there no chorus rising from the churches to stop the destruction of this gorgeous world?

Those of us who believe that all living things are our brothers and sisters are more likely to treat them with respect.

Those who believe that we are somehow "special" or "above" them are more likely to abuse them.


People who think they have all the answers usually don't understand the questions.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by GDR, posted 11-06-2005 5:51 PM GDR has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Chiroptera, posted 11-06-2005 7:35 PM ringo has not yet responded
 Message 10 by Omnivorous, posted 11-06-2005 8:06 PM ringo has not yet responded

  
Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 8 of 39 (257354)
11-06-2005 7:35 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by ringo
11-06-2005 7:25 PM


quote:
For the benefit of those members who don't follow Canadian news....

And seeing how GDR is speaking of Canadian politics, let me assure our readers that here in the US both "conservatives" and "liberals" like "Big Government" -- the liberals want to design a welfare state that will ensure that everyone has clean air and water, a decent education, and a minimal subsistance to those no lucky enough to be born to wealth or to have the right contacts, while the conservatives would like to set up a police state that will regulate political and religious expression, especially those that might be inconvenient to those in power.


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by ringo, posted 11-06-2005 7:25 PM ringo has not yet responded

  
AdminNWR
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 39 (257356)
11-06-2005 7:59 PM


Please stay on topic
Let's try to keep this on topic. We are discussing the attitudes of evangelicals and creationists to the environment. Let's not make this a broad political debate.
  
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1077 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 10 of 39 (257358)
11-06-2005 8:06 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by ringo
11-06-2005 7:25 PM


Ringo writes:

But the questions in the OP are not about government

Indeed, Ringo.

My comments about the Republican evangelical/corporate alliance were not intended to take on questions of governance per se. I merely wanted to show that this political alliance unquestionably exists, and to suggest that it has severe consequences which the evangelicals either ignore or approve.

One could argue that the evangelicals held their noses for reasons of social policy that they find of overriding importance. But some Republicans do object to environmental despoilation for profit; there are Conservatives who still believe in conservation. One of the most potent alliances being formed at present is the one between outdoor sportsmen and environmental groups: the outdoor sportsmen have realized you cannot hunt without wildlife habitat or fish in a poisoned stream.

Even if we toss all the political narrative out the window, the question remains:

By evangelical lights, this world is a miraculous gift from God. Why aren't the churches leading the struggle to treat it that way?

Edit: typo

This message has been edited by Omnivorous, 11-06-2005 08:07 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by ringo, posted 11-06-2005 7:25 PM ringo has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by iano, posted 11-07-2005 12:47 PM Omnivorous has responded

    
iano
Member (Idle past 50 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 11 of 39 (257488)
11-07-2005 12:47 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Omnivorous
11-06-2005 8:06 PM


omnivorous writes:

By evangelical lights, this world is a miraculous gift from God. Why aren't the churches leading the struggle to treat it that way?

A couple of things spring to mind:

a) that someone is called an evangelical or a Christian doesn't mean they are indeed a Christian

b) As far as a Christian is concerned, the highest priority is that people get saved. Everthing else comes or should come second. If it was a choice for example, between a system that retained teaching God in the classroom vs a system which, in promoting secularism, eliminated all such teaching then the former would likely get more support - for all the other downsides

c) A Christian knows that the world is under the dominion of satan and is headed for a showdown. They would see it as illusion, the idea that man, by government is going to save the planet

This particular Christian sees a world already gone over the side of a cliff and heading towards the rocks. There are global forces at work which not even America can stop. And they all point to massively increasing consumption, China and India (with their millions trained-by-tv to be budding materialists like us) coming on stream, dwindling resources. More is what people want - not less. Pulling the brakes when your over the edge is a pointless exercise.

The world system is based on ever increasing growth. Spannering around the edges whilst retain such a system is all any government can do. Sound bites as to what one would 'like to do' is not going to change that. That a particular government stands on an enviromental platform yet remains powerless to apply the brakes to the problem of human greed, cruelty and shortsightedness is hardly a basis for chosing it.

Man has never been any different. A liberal government won't change that fact


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Omnivorous, posted 11-06-2005 8:06 PM Omnivorous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Omnivorous, posted 11-08-2005 1:08 PM iano has not yet responded
 Message 15 by Omnivorous, posted 11-08-2005 8:32 PM iano has responded

  
clpMINI
Member (Idle past 3274 days)
Posts: 116
From: Richmond, VA, USA
Joined: 03-22-2005


Message 12 of 39 (257568)
11-07-2005 6:56 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Omnivorous
11-06-2005 11:05 AM


REP America
Hi Omni,

I thought I would bring to your attention a political group known as Republican's for Environmental Protection (REP America). Their name is pretty straight-forward as to what the group is about. I am not a member of this group, but I have in the past had email conversations with their policy/communications guy, Jim DiPeso. One of the questions I asked him is whether they would ever vote non-republican, if the republican candidate was obviously hostile to the environment. He told me the REP was Republican first and environmentalist second, so they would vote for the anti-environmental republican no matter what.

I bet they don't have a whole lot of sway in the GOP...

-clpMINI


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Omnivorous, posted 11-06-2005 11:05 AM Omnivorous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Omnivorous, posted 11-08-2005 1:21 PM clpMINI has not yet responded

  
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1077 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 13 of 39 (257796)
11-08-2005 1:08 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by iano
11-07-2005 12:47 PM


Be back later
Hi, iano. I look forward to reading your post again more carefully and offering a response. My own net connection is down, and I'm borrowing a coworker's for just a moment.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by iano, posted 11-07-2005 12:47 PM iano has not yet responded

    
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1077 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 14 of 39 (257801)
11-08-2005 1:21 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by clpMINI
11-07-2005 6:56 PM


Re: REP America
Hi, clpMINI.

I am familiar with REP; they seem legit enough in ther beliefs, but, as you point out, environmental concerns are not voting issues for them.

As to how much clout they have in the GOP--none. The real heavyweights in Rep. environmental matters are the members and funders of the Coalition for Republican Environmental Advocates, an Orwellian-named organization founded by Gale Norton in 1998 and funded by energy and manufacturing corporations. REP has condemned CREA as "greenscam" since its inception in surprisingly strong terms for a fellow Republican group--one of the reasons I take them seriously.

The con game of green names on polluter-funded coalitions has proliferated in response to the conservatives' discovery that American people actually do care about protecting the environment. When their direction is opposed, they do not change course: they lie about the destination.

This message has been edited by Omnivorous, 11-08-2005 04:46 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by clpMINI, posted 11-07-2005 6:56 PM clpMINI has not yet responded

    
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1077 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 15 of 39 (257973)
11-08-2005 8:32 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by iano
11-07-2005 12:47 PM


Hi, iano. Thanks for your patience.

I truly don't want to debate whether a liberal or conservative government could better protect the environment--or whether any government could or should even try: the first is moot (given history :)) and the second, irrelevant to this topic. Still, just to even up, I'll make my pitch, too, and then maybe we can leave the political philosophy behind.

At best (as the world stands now), national democracies with strong constitutional protections for individual rights decide what government can and should do; at worst, the moneyed classes appropriate that power. You won't be surprised that I feel that appropriation has taken place in the U.S.

In my view, the destruction of every creature's right to a healthy natural environment ranks as one of the greatest crimes ever against humanity, and against all conceptions of life, love, and simple decency. Motivated by greed and indifference, industry has pocked our world with sores that bleed poison and death. In its toll on humanity alone, leaving all other living things aside, it is evil in the purest sense, a great intentional wrong--something that might, indeed, occur under the dominion of the devil. I would expect any "true" Christian (more about that later) to resist this evil being done to her and her neighbors.

As ever with greed and indifference, there are victims, the pollutants afflicting the poorest most because of their employment in it and their ghettoization near it. This is not Marxist analysis, this is demonstrable fact; Marxist analysis would be something like, "The capitalist class is wringing the excess value out of the working class to support their own decadent lifestyles and military adventures."--and we don't see anything like that going on, do we? ;)

Okay. I didn't want to do that, but it seemed a necessary balance stone for this thread.

iano writes:

a) that someone is called an evangelical or a Christian doesn't mean they are indeed a Christian

Let's be clear. We are talking about a specific political demographic in the U.S. which has not only identified itself as conservative, evangelical, and Christian but has also organized (as they have every right to do) to affect political issues in ways sympathetic to their faith. They are part of a grand coalition with other social conservatives and business interests. The deal they made to steer social policy is the deal that lets industry continue to steal the right not to have asthma from millions of American children. If they wanted to use their well-oiled political machine to stop it, they could.

You may have a True Christian Magic Test, but I don't. I will take them at their word. But I promise to count every environmentalist I meet who claims to be a Christian as a true one. I don't know what more I can do about that problem.

b) As far as a Christian is concerned, the highest priority is that people get saved. Everthing else comes or should come second. If it was a choice for example, between a system that retained teaching God in the classroom vs a system which, in promoting secularism, eliminated all such teaching then the former would likely get more support - for all the other downsides

Shoot, iano, I'd let you teach the catechism in Yiddish in public schools if I thought it would get right-wing U.S. Christians off their butts about what industry is doing to their children's future. But I don't see why that is relevant to the topic: I'm not proposing anything about education here. As to the prioritization of salvation (eat your heart out, Jesse Jackson)--why should indifference to evil promote the acceptance of one's faith by another? Perhaps stout resistance would yield better results. I hear it worked pretty well for Jesus of couple of times.

c) A Christian knows that the world is under the dominion of satan and is headed for a showdown. They would see it as illusion, the idea that man, by government is going to save the planet.

....

Man has never been any different. A liberal government won't change that fact

Boy, talk about a slippery slope to hell!

We're going there in a handbasket, and the sooner we get there, the better? There are "global forces at work" promoting ever more murders so there's no point in trying to prevent them here? I don't want to change human nature, iano, I want to change or prevent some destructive behaviors with billions of victims: all people long for secure, comfortable lives; mad consumerism is cultivated by the same people who profit from its polluting consequences. If "man, by government" is powerful enough to devastate the globe, than we are powerful enough to restore it.

Let's be clear again. American governments that enforced the law for more than a quarter-century made a tremendous environmental difference, not only bringing back species from the brink of extinction but improving the healthfulness of our air and water, in many places dramatically, improving the quality and span of millions of lives. Laws to continue making it better are still in place; the Bush administration has used executive fiat to nullify them, doing by regulation and directive what it cannot yet do by legislation. There is no question the environment can be moderately well-protected and rather quickly much-improved: it was done most notably in the Nixon 70s by the admirable coalition of "True" conservatives, liberals and real lefties that passed the laws (during a conservative administration) that neo-conservatives now abhor.

But, as I said, all that political stuff is really just a distraction from a simple question. Maybe this is a regional difference, or a doctrinal difference, maybe the gap between city and country, but when I was a kid we learned that the grand, breath-taking beauty of the world displayed the power and majesty of God, that every wonder of the earth and the firmament sang hosannas to the Creator, and that all this blazing jaw-dropping wonder was one of the most powerful arguments for our faith in His goodness and love. Our churches were lovely buildings with stately trees, the windows (at great expense in a low income community) were stained glass scenes of faith framed by trellised vines and songbirds. For Easter we filled the church with flowers, for Christmas the animals were honored right there with baby Jesus in the creche. Many of the people there had worked the land or their parents had, and I don't think they would grant you that satan had dominion over all that.

So, for me, someone who no longer shares that faith but still honors that vision of the world, I cannot but wonder, "This world is a miraculous gift from God. Why aren't the churches leading the struggle to treat it that way?" Regardless of which party is in power, the evangelical right has the political clout to stop environmental depredations that are immoral, illegal, and tragic in their consequences to all.

So I wonder why. You haven't told me yet.

Edits: nuthin' but typos

This message has been edited by Omnivorous, 11-08-2005 08:34 PM

This message has been edited by Omnivorous, 11-08-2005 11:17 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by iano, posted 11-07-2005 12:47 PM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by iano, posted 11-09-2005 8:03 AM Omnivorous has responded
 Message 18 by Phat, posted 11-09-2005 8:21 AM Omnivorous has not yet responded
 Message 21 by clpMINI, posted 11-09-2005 5:45 PM Omnivorous has responded

    
1
23Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019