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September 16, 2006

Is God Green? Religion & Environment

How does your faith or religion or spirituality affect your perspective of environmentalism or creation care?

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Backgrounder: Religion & The Environment
What's so important about the potentially powerful influence of conservative evangelical Christians on environmental issues, especially global warming? For years, many of these evangelicals have been charging environmentalists — and those progressive Christians who support environmentalism — with idolatry for lavishing worship on "God's creation" rather than God. Moreover, they have been skeptical, if not downright hostile, toward government-mandated protection of the environment ... [more]

Class Is in Session...
How did conservative evangelicals, who tend to present a unified front on most matters of political significance, end up in such a public battle over how to approach environmental issues like global warming? What's behind this difference of opinion?

In most respects, the divide comes down not to a disregard for the world — which is, for evangelicals, the creation of God but on how exactly to care for that creation. Evangelicals part company on what God calls them to do about the environment: where to focus their attention, how to interpret scientific data, what the role of legislation and/or the free market should be in protecting the environment and human interests. The discussion and debate are less about whether God is green and more about what God commands. Does he ask Christians, explicitly or implicitly, to make environmentalism, or "creation care," part of their ministry and political platform? (Find out more about creation care, wise use and environmental stewardship)

Concern for the environment, and the current debate it has engendered, might be a hot topic in the evangelical community, but it is not a new one. Environmental policy debates emerged among evangelicals, as they did among the nation at large, in the 1960s and '70s. There were some critics, like medieval scholar Lynn Townsend White Jr., who went so far as to blame organized religion itself for the world's ecological ills, arguing that medieval Christian attitudes in particular, and the entire Judeo-Christian tradition in general, taught a disregard for nature and led to exploitation of the environment. That argument finds echoes today among certain evangelicals who insist that in Genesis, God gave man "dominion" over the earth and its creatures — essentially, carte blanche to do what he wants with his environment.

But for a number of religious Christians and evangelicals, this represents a dangerous misreading of the Bible. God, they contend, appointed man steward of the world, to protect it and sustain it as a way to honor to the divine work of the Creator. Caring for the environment, they say, isn't a political issue — it's a theological imperative.

In 1970, one such group, the National Association of Evangelicals, released a strongly worded policy resolution that called on Christians "to support every legitimate effort to maintain balance in ecology, preservation of our resources, and avoidance of the cluttering of our natural beauty with the waste of our society." And they didn't hedge at adding a bit of fire and brimstone: "Today those who thoughtlessly destroy a God-ordained balance of nature are guilty of sin against God's creation." (Read the documents)

In 1993 the Evangelical Environmental Network began to turn creation-care beliefs into action, publishing a declaration which began, "As followers of Jesus Christ, committed to the full authority of the Scriptures, and aware of the ways we have degraded creation, we believe that biblical faith is essential to the solution of our ecological problems."

But another religious group, which later became known as the Interfaith Council for Environmental Stewardship, wanted to take the environmental debate in a different direction. They made their opposing views known in the 1999 "Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship," which warned that groups like the Evangelical Environmental Network's presented "a romantic view of nature, a misguided distrust of science and technology, and an intense focus on problems that are highly speculative and largely irrelevant to meeting our obligations to the world's poor."

The Cornwall Declaration stressed a free-market environmental stewardship and emphasized that individuals and private organizations should be trusted to care for their own property without government intervention. It also claimed that environmental concerns like global warming, overpopulation, and the extinction of species were either unfounded or greatly exaggerated. In the words of Father Robert A. Sirico of the conservative Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty and member of Interfaith Council, "Environmental ideology is increasingly being used, not to preserve nature's beauty, but to restrict human enterprise that is essential to a more humane existence for people."

The Evangelical Climate Initiative Watch the video



The rhetoric over the role of evangelical Christians in the global warming debate escalated significantly in February 2006 when 86 Evangelical leaders signed and publicly released a statement entitled Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action.

Among the tenets of the statement:

  • Human-induced climate change is real.
  • The consequences of climate change will be significant and will hit the poor the hardest.
  • Christian moral convictions demand our response to the climate change problem.
  • The need to act now is urgent. Governments, businesses, churches, and individuals all have a role to play in addressing climate change-starting now.
(Read the document)

News that the call to action was in the works in January 2006 prompted the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, a group related to the Interfaith Council for Environmental Stewardship and the Acton Institute, to attempt to forestall any global warming policy statement by the National Association of Evangelicals. They sent the group a missive warning them to "not adopt any official position on the issue of global climate change," as "global warming is not a consensus issue, and our love for the Creator and respect for His creation does not require us to take a position." Led by high-proflie evangelical leaders Charles Colson and James Dobson, Interfaith Stewardship Alliance called for the National Association of Evangelicals not to put their name to the document. Richard Cizik, the vice-president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals acceded to their demands but continued to voice his agreement with the statement. The debate within the evangelical community soon hit the public consciousness, with articles in NEWSWEEK and THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Cizik even made it to the pages of VANITY FAIR.

For others in the evangelical community, taking a public stand on issues like global warming just isn't part of the religious plan. Christian broadcaster Jan Markell believes that evangelicals are called by God to win souls for Jesus, not to take up social issues, and that environmentalism distracts from the real mission of the evangelical church.

Watch the video: Jan Markell

And for some on the evangelical community the embracing of causes like environmentalism represents a dangerous move to the left — to partnership with groups with very different views on the core "culture war" issues. Explore the possibilities of that shift in political power in our Citizens Class on Religion & Politics.



Discussion
Although the documentary focused on the evangelical movement's relationship to the environment, other faiths and religious traditions have perspectives on man's relationship to the environment. Different cultures may also have different ways of interacting with the natural environment.

  • As we saw in the documentary, more and more conservative evangelicals believe that it is a Biblical responsibility to care for the environment. The environmental movement has focused on the moral responsibility to care for the environment. Is it the same thing? And what are the implications of this difference in approach to the same goal?

  • About environmental policy, The Cornwall Declaration says: “Public policies to combat exaggerated risks can dangerously delay or reverse the economic development necessary to improve not only human life but also human stewardship of the environment.” What do you think the balance should be between environmental, human, and economic concerns?

  • How does your faith or religion or spirituality affect your perspective of environmentalism or creation care?

Explore more
  • Find out about other faiths' environmental stance
  • Hear evangelical Christian, and chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Sir John Houghton, talk about his faith and his science
  • Additional voices from the debate

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Comments

As we saw in the documentary, more and more conservative evangelicals believe that it is a Biblical responsibility to care for the environment. The environmental movement has focused on the moral responsibility to care for the environment. Is it the same thing? And what are the implications of this difference in approach to the same goal?


About environmental policy, The Cornwall Declaration says: “Public policies to combat exaggerated risks can dangerously delay or reverse the economic development necessary to improve not only human life but also human stewardship of the environment.” What do you think the balance should be between environmental, human, and economic concerns?


How does your faith or religion or spirituality affect your perspective of environmentalism or creation care?

As an instructor of world religion, a concern for the natural world and our environment is embraced by all religious faiths. The problem in America is as old as the native American belief that we don't own the environmnet but must live with it and acknowledge our mutual dependence upon it.

Hearing Billy Graham preaching to thousands I thought, "Do you realize the harm you are doing, dumbing down all those people into believing instead of questioning?" Religions don’t ask questions, they push people to follow a book or a leader. Witness all the blue-collar Republicans who rejected their previous party to vote for Bush because he said he talked with God so everything would be fine. Well, think of the people who'd still be alive if Gore were president, to say nothing of God's world being saved from global warming.

Believers read of scientists going back billions of miles in space and billions of years in time, yet never question how the Book of Genesis fits in with these facts that they presumably also accept. Did God not make the world of dinosaurs, but just the one with people?

If God is in our image, capable of doing all he is said to have done, why has he stopped? Why isn't He making another world, better? Has God nothing to do but listen to millions of infinitesimal creatures pray to him? We say “God bless America," but if He didn't protect us from a tragedy why would he help after it? And why don’t Americans say "God bless Sri Lanka” or “God bless Indonesia?"

We either know or we believe, but not both. We stopped believing the world was round when we learned the facts. Most men look to truth, to incover mysteries, that’s how the world has progressed. The Dark Ages was a world of believers, not scientists.

Would people have the same beliefs if they were born in a different place?

For the all the ignorance, and the wars it creates, believing would better be banned.

This is fascinating. I had no idea there were Christian fundamentalist environmentalists.

Since they wish to preserve what little is left of the only habitat we have, rather than let corporations continue to despoil the earth for profit, I suppose that the Bush administration would label them eco-terrorists.

As an environmentalist and Green Party member myself, I really don't look forward to sharing a cell with a Christian evangelical. But since we both care deeply about the planet which provides everything we need for life except sunlight, I suppose we'd manage to get along.

I cannot know if our world will last just one more day or another million years. That's not my decision. I do know that God has created this incomprehensibly miraculous place for me to care for. Even if I knew it would all be over in one day, I am still called to take care of it as if it might last a million years. John Vissers

Here is my articulation of why I believe fellow evangelicals have had a problem with the long-held conviction that we must "save souls, not the environment."

Any critique of this understanding is welcome.

Evangelicals and the Environment

At long last, the evangelical ship seems to be swinging around on the issue of environmental degradation being a legitimate concern for Christians. Christianity Today magazine recently conducted an Internet poll in response to this question: “Should evangelicals lobby on global warming?” Some 10 percent still believed there was no global warming; 18 percent felt the science was still unclear. But, surprising to me, 33 percent said, “Yes, it is our job to care for creation.” Some 20 percent more felt that caring about the climate was an aspect of loving your neighbor or at least caring about it as a social problem.

Also telling is the declining number of those who say, “Our priority should be evangelism.” Around 14 percent affirmed that position. As an evangelical who writes and speaks on Christian environmental ethics, I’ve often been asked the question, “Isn’t evangelism—saving human souls—more important than caring for the earth?”

This issue is probably number 1 in calling into question the validity of evangelical concern for the material creation—the earth. The trouble is that the question is virtually meaningless as it stands. This can be illustrated by asking another question: “Isn’t evangelism more important than good parenting?” Whereas the first seems to call for an obvious yes, the second does not. In fact, most evangelicals with children would likely answer no to the second question.

The reason is this: Evangelicals have interpersonal spiritual responsibilities that relate to our gospel mission as members of the universal body of Christ—the church, but we also have material creational responsibilities, which we share with all mankind. The creational responsibilities that all people have in common are these: being fruitful by having children and then caring for and protecting them, working so that we might obtain good food to eat and clean water to drink, protecting ourselves with adequate shelter and clothing, being stewards of the earth and its fruitfulness so that it can continue to provide us with what we need to live and remain healthy. As Christians, of course, we want to be health-promoting and healthy servants of God. Our creational responsibilities are implicit in the foundational chapters of the Bible’s book of Genesis, and it can be argued convincingly from these Scriptures that they have priority. If these were ignored, very little evangelism would take place at all—because weak, diseased, or dead people are poor evangelists!

Evangelicals commonly hold that evangelism is primarily the preaching, teaching, and sharing of the words of the Gospel: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son [Jesus], that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. Yet it is not likely that any of us ever spend the bulk of our time doing this. We spend most of our waking hours carrying out our creational responsibilities—which is as it should be. In fact, when we carry out these responsibilities in a way that demonstrates the love of God for both the world of people and the world of nature that He created, we are “evangelizing.” Living Christianly within the light of the Gospel with its good news about the restoration of the good cosmos when Jesus returns is likely to be just as important as articulating the words of the Gospel. Can Christians who ignore the basic creational mandates implied by our Scriptures (like caring for the creation) be “evangelicals” in the fullest meaning of that term?

I was quite impressed with the comments of evangelical John Vissers. I am not a religious person, but do respect everyone's personal choice on that matter; and that is one of the things that makes this country a great one - freedom of choice. John's message to evangelicals is addressing the environment in terms that they can understand and logic they can support. Nice job - I think if folks did more reading to gain an understanding of the issues of saving the environment they, through what ever faith they adhere to, will find it's a perfect fit. As a spiritualist, I believe we are not separate from our environment, our world, our universe, or God. “Do unto others”, really means that you are doing to yourself. "Do unto others. . ." if applied to the "least of the least" - down to the tiniest microbes that keep our soil healthy, or the smallest particles that makes up our water, and skies; will take care of our environment in its entirety. Our world would truly be a happy paradise that provides for all, as stated in Revelations, for a millennium. So, regardless of our religious belief, I say we get busy.

I believe that each of us should spend less time worrying about what the others are doing and more time taking responsibility for our own actions. If we were willing to run for office, stop driving gas guzzling cars and thousands of other acts, the world would be a better place.

There are examples of what individuals have accomplished all around us and yet the average citizen seems to feel that they have so little influence that it doesn't matter what they do.

When I question how God can let so many bad things happen, I just think of all the amazing things that have occurred because of some tragic act. Cancer research in the name of a loved one or physical feats as a result of efforts to overcome adversity. The list is long and the accomplishments tend to overcome the evil.

It sad that it often takes a tragedy to create a victory but lets stop questioning why and join in the effort to make things better.

Is God Green? Good Lord no. Religion is the antithesis of the natural world. Religion began as a flank of agriculture 10,000 years ago. Weaved into the Bible's story is the war and landscape destruction agriculture brought. The discussion would be more real if it started with, "Well...we are all here because of the farmers who unfortunately brought God with them and left the natural world in ashes...Now, how do we revive the natural world and remain well-fed?"

I am an old Oklahoma boy raised in the church of Christ, Green Party member in Washington State and environmentalist. In fact, I originally became an activist over a decade ago because I could clearly see a theology of ecology in the bible. I am utterly disguted with the hypocrisy of the Jerrry Falwels and Pat Robertsons of the world. If there is a hell, they should lay in a supply of ice cubes for they are the wolves in sheeps clothing. They defy God and his creation. God is not about money and materialism and their fantastic theologies of prosperity. The Christian life is about voluntary simplicity, frugality, joy, being humble, celebrating God and helping the most vulnerable, the widows, orphans, afflicted, poor and nature itself. I believe God and Christ Jesus would support the preservation of public lands such as national parks, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges for in Romans it says we need to clearly see the invisible things of God through what has been made. Today, the so-called conservatives seek to privatize and sell off our national public lands system. This is part of the Grover Norquist agenda. But like Jesus with his whip, we must drive the moneychangers out of the temple.

If everyone truly lived by the principles of my faith, the world would be a happier, more green place. My faith says "do no harm to others", to always put the benefit of others before my own, and recognizes the oneness equality of all beings. These beliefs strongly influence my care for our environment and all of the beings who live here. I think many people are very turned off by the divisiveness that seems to come from some religious groups today. Divisiveness ends up harming all of us and our environment.

The Cornwall Declaration is a right-wing religious attempt to address the issues of ecology and environmental protection. They like the word stewardship. Growing from the rabid deregulation branch of the conservative movement they are fearful of allowing concern to grow about any environmental threat.

“Public policies to combat exaggerated risks can dangerously delay or reverse the economic development necessary to improve not only human life but also human stewardship of the environment.” - the Cornwall Declaration.

On the surface this statement is of the obvious. On closer inquiry one can see the devil lurking in the details.

Whenever a group of people act to combat an exaggerated risk there is danger of robbing energy from more productive enterprises. Just look at the Iraq war.

Iraq is a perfect example where an exaggerated risk has drawn the US into the middle of downward spiral, as more human life is cut short and poverty is spread widely in the wake of indiscriminate warfare. The US spends something like $6 Billion dollars per month on Iraq. How many happy, healthy and God loving stewards could we enourage with that money? I would imagine quite a few. Instead we get dead Iraqi children and a dying Iraqi economic, cultural and social structure.

The devil is in the phrase "exaggerated risk." It is too easily used to support pre-conceived notions and poorly founded subjective opinions. We now know that the risks that precipitated the Iraq war were intentionally exaggerated by the Republican leaders. The risks of ecological catastrophes, on the other hand, have been carefully studied by thousands of independent scientists who have reviewed each other's findings in open forums.

For some unknown reason, the authors of the Cornwall Declaration have decided that human-caused global warming is an "exaggerated risk." They have disregarded the clearly articulated and methodically pursued scientific consensus. They don't believe their own eyes. They imagine conspiracies of thousands. Why? Perhaps because they fear that the policies to stop or reverse global warming will impede their holy vision of serving God through prosperity and stewardship, and so they must attack the concept of the risk as "exaggerated."

The crazy thing is that when it comes to global warming, they need not fear. The captains of commerce see the opportunity to create wealth and prosperity in combating global warming. Where the Corwall folks see economic threat, major corporations see money-making ventures (General Electric, Virgin, and PG&E are just a few). The fight against global warming is a great opportunity for us to practice the stewardship they seek to instill in humanity.

And, as the stewards of our ocean bounty have seen, doing nothing can result in the most forceful challenge to the Cornwall ideal of stewardship where there is plenty to go around. If fish stocks decline or disappear then humanity will have lost a major source of food.
Many evangelical christian groups have seen the importance of the global warming issue. Lets hope thos who put together the Cornwall Declaration join in.

How sad I am that when we speak of the environment, it is always re our needs.
At 75 I no longer envision a country of vegans or vegetarians because sadly cuisine is more important to most than the lives of innocent farm animals who live horrible lives in closed airless factory farm types of existence.
What bothers me most is that people who eat meat don't seem to care a wit that these animals suffer. Am I wrong to believe that Jesus does?

I hope some Christians are environmentalists. It always seemed incongruous to me that so many Christians were politically conservative; supporting war, capital punishment, anti-feminist, anti-gay, and so on. Atheists and Humanists are more likely to embrace equalty, civil rights, and environmentalism. I think the conservative religions allow people to feel detached from the natural world. The notion that we can affect change through reasoned action for the good of the world is Humanism.

It is amazing to me that in the face of science and logic that Christians (especially fundamentalists) maintain the positions they do. Blinded by absolute faith they hold on to positions that were formed in the middle ages. How can we trust a religion that perports the concept of original sin from the Garden of Eden that basically condemns mankind, and the earth. They hold us all hostage by their ignorance because they believe in the second coming and that the earth, the flesh is going to pass away anyway and their ultimate "goal" is heaven. Jesus died 2000 years ago, he is not coming back, heaven is earth let's take care of it.

The reason why religion hasn't seen the environment as a problem that needs to be addressed, is because they're belief is that the world is condemn and will be destroyed regardless. It's hard to get all worked up about a loss cause.

As an Ethical Humanist, one of my core beliefs is reverence for all life and acknowledgement of each human's unique and incomparable worth. This regard for people and life includes an element of stewardship of the Earth, since without its resources, obviously, humans would cease to exist. Instead of being bound by any particular dogma or focusing on the worship of any particular individual, we try to live the highest ethical ideals. Hence the "Deed before Creed" slogan. However, I am more than happy to see evangelical Christians able to incorporate care for the natural world into their creed and worship practices. It gives me hope to know that, at least on this issue, we are not far apart.

I have written 3 books that relates my religious beliefs to Nature. They are summarized in a podcast.Please listen to it:Podcast.wheretruepeaceliesonline.org. Put it in your browser and clikc "go".

We are just in between ice ages and meteoric catastrophes anyway. What's wrong with a little global warming?

My fantisy: We ask all religious leaders and groups to present their god. If this being can create a universe and all its wonders it certainly can appear. Then we give the religious leaders 100 years to bring forth this being. In the meantime humanity will have a moratorium on all punishment that the religious groups might dish out in the name of their god and thus spare humanity from guilt for actually requesting such a darn thing. No religion can in the mean time use its moral god backed rational to indite any human who might have a new concept to help societies,etc,etc....
I could go on and on but the fact is(My reality) I don't believe there is a god. We humans are living a stark naked reality that is profoundly the greatest miracle of this ancient universe and we are wasting ourselves on the luxury of killing our selves at what ever rational we can come up with. The mind is a phenomenon of nature the best that time has yet acchieved. For humanities sake, we have one eternal quest if we are able to break away from our silly and sick (oxymoron) selves and push life into space and into wherever we can. Because, being there is no god, we can't assume that a god will save life from the next cosmic meteor smash or mega volcanic eruption on earth. I choose to save life based upon my understanding of nature from the historic reasoning that some humans have left behind and what I myself have discovered in my own way.(run on sentences)I love them...
I love all life, I love all humanity in general(leaving out certain specifics)I have achieved my own higher states of conciousness but like believing in a god I can't prove it. We have the web which is a step in the right direction.Lets really use this new freedom before it gets taken away.
Thank you for the post space.
John

There is a God.

He loves you.

He made everything that's important.

You need to use your brain and take care of the things you can take care of. Reduce/Reuse/Recycle, etc.

You cannot stop a volcanic winter or ice age or meteoric collision anymore than you can raise yourself from the dead.

You are the proof that there is a God. Miracles--all of us.

You are deceiving yourself to think otherwise--where do your thoughts come from anyway? How do you control what you remember or forget? How can you really know anything at all without some external existence beyond your body?

To love life for itself is nothing. To love it because your maker made it is meaningful. Life without meaning is dust in the wind--and who cares about or loves dust?

When Christ's disciples left from hiding on the third day, after he spoke to them, and went out into the streets of Jerusalem to preach the good news despite the fact that Christ had just been crucified and killed by an angry mob and emerged as changed people who no longer cared if they too were crucified--do you think they'd die for a big whopper of a lie???

Christ is real, God is real, they are the reason for all of the free world as we know it today, whether or not you find them deserving of the credit.

Remember what the Roman guard said of the true Christians: He could tell when he was chasing down to arrest a true Christian to feed them to the lions--a true Christian wouldn't run.

Good luck to you on your spiritual journey and may God bless you and take your heart into his kingdom.

Iam happy to see that people are talking, even if we're not all in agreement. I believe we are all on this earth thru Gods grace and I think we are all stewards of this earth. We should all care about our environment. We need to be concerned about Global Warming and what we will be leaving to our children and our grandchildren. I believe as many other world renowned scientist that we only have 5 to 10 years to drastically make changes and time is running out fast. I belong to a group called the Global Solar Project, you can find it at www.globalsolarproject.org and it offers us a way to greatly reduce our carbon footprint. It is a non profit organization that will help anyone to install a solar system and it will cost nothing more than what your paying right now. We will all feel good if we know we are not contributing to Global Warming. Membership is free and it is a great project. We are also in need of volunteers. So if you are concerned about Global Warming and its comming repercussions and want to help then please come join us and also you can sign up for a solar system, you can help the environment and get rid of your electricity bill. Its a win win situation for everyone. Good luck to everyone and may God be with you....Randy Wakefield

We are to be good stewards of the earth...the earth is a precious gift for all humans to enjoy and appreciate-- not trash. Everything we buy we should think about who made it (paid/treated fairly?), the resources used (wisely?) durablilty (or planned obsolescence?)--you get the picture. Remember, your dollar is your vote (what ever you buy more will be made).

I've been teaching Bible study course on this topic for about ten years. My lecture notes are available from my website:environmental-law.net. Just click on the religion and environmental link on the left side.

Larry

I haven't had time to read all of the comments so hope I'm not duplicating too much. I have spent all of my life as an activist for causes I believe in. This has usually focused on the rights of minorities and the welfare of the poor. I have realized for awhile now that none of the rest of that will matter if we don't get serious about the environment. Many scientists now feel that we are approaching the point of no return within ten or so years. If we make God's beautiful earth unliveable, then there will be no opportunity for any of the rest of it to matter. In addition, the worst environmental damage usually affects the poorest first --- although the rich has better begin to wake up and realize that they won't survive either if we destroy the planet.

Modern civilization does not realize that it is going in circles on the enviro-issue. It is not about the 'environment.' It is about 'nature.' One is a concept, that we can fix like a car engine. The other is alive. As such it needs to be respected, like we are supposed to respect human life. Whatever your stripe, the Earth cannot be managed by eco-scientists or eco-Christians. To save ourselves we would have to reverse our economy and culture. That ain't going to happen. Let's be realistic. We have not begun to conceive that there is any other kind of thinking outside of hubris of our 'evolved' civilized mind. We still think we have control over all life, including something as mammoth as the planet, when we cannot even get one nation-state to act on something as inadequate as the Kyoto Accord.

I think the Bible clearly states we should take care of the earth. We take on issues such as abortions, gun shootings etc..but stand by while the planet is being destroyed. Guess what people, no planet....no nothing to worry about....except for those "rich" elite who can jump planet to go elsewhere.

One of the great teachers in the Unitarian Universalist tradition said, "A faith that is not a sister to justice will lead us to grief." That's the kind of wisdom that informs my work for environmental justice. If we're not working for a healthy and sustainable world for all people - and not just the fortunate few - what kind of "environmentalism" have we embraced?

EXAMPLE: I know many environmentalists who declare that Americans need to "turn down the thermostat" in order to save energy. Al Gore wants to raise the taxes on energy consumption. However, I'm involved with social justice work in my region and I know that there are many people in my town - including some senior citizens - who can't afford to pay their winter fuel bills. If we adopt some of the "save energy" plans now popular, the rich may suffer some slight inconvenience. The poor will be the ones who have to ask, "Heat or eat?"

I'm wary of the soft Romantics who dominate much of the environmental discussion. I'm also wary of the people who want "interfaith discussions" about environmental protection with the discussion restricted to people in the big Western religions. Clearly, folks, if we want to "save the planet" we need to be in cooperation with Hindus and Buddhists and others who are outside of the Western traditions. And, oh, yes, it might be nice to listen to some of the little religions - the ones often kicked aside by missionaries - that are especially concerned about land and justice issues.

Some Christians say, "We're here to save souls, not the environment." That's the big dilemma in Christianity. However, don't be too hard on the Christians or on the conservatives. Personal liberation, personal enlightenment, personal enjoyment - well, call it what you will, it's the real objective in most of the big religions and in much of today's "spirituality." The goal is to get out of this natural existence - or way beyond this existence - into a much better place. The New Age folks are as guilty as any. (When was the last time that you heard a New Age guru talk about the economic and political issues that promote global warming?)

If people of faith want to do some good in the new environmental discussions, they'll need to do some serious reflection, they'll need to move beyond the traditional environmental groups, and they'll need to make some sacrifices. In my area, we have big religious buildings with immaculate lawns and big lighting displays. When churches and synagogues stop the chemical pesticides and cut back on their energy and water waste, I'll shout "Amen!" more often.

The devil is in the details. We must look at the big picture. However, I like to imagine the big picture without man. I always like what I see. So where does that put me and other humans in our need to mechanically manipulate a compex system to meet our wants and needs. We are at the bottom of the ladder not at the top. If we continue our self destructive aggressive approach toward each other and all living and inanimate things, I think we might successfuly put ourself and perhaps other current natural consequences out of the big picture. Will we get green then?

Faith informs our perception of the world just as our experience shapes our faith. The relationship of my faith to creation is best expressed by Thomas Merton in one of his jounal entries as cited below.


From
Entering the Silence: Becoming a Monk & Writer
By
Thomas Merton

When your tongue is silent, you can rest in the silence of the forest. When your imagination is silent, the forest speaks to you, tells you of its unreality and of the Reality of God. But when your mind is silent, then the forest suddenly becomes magnificently real and blazes transparently with the Reality of God. For now I know that the Creation, which first seems to reveal Him in concepts, then seems to hide Him by the same concepts, finally is revealed in Him, in the Holy Spirit. And we who are in God find ourselves united in Him with all that springs from Him. This is prayer, and this is Glory!

Patchwork Films was commissioned by Christians for the Mountains to produce a series of movies covering the subject of Mountaintop removal.

Global warming may be esoteric and difficult to touch, but witnessing thousands of acres of forestland being whacked off the face of the earth and dumped into rivers is easily described as one of the most devastating sights one can ever behold.

Our mission was not based on theology or philosophy. We simply went out to film what once was a mountain range and to interview the people who lived in and around the destruction areas. At the first sight of landscape turning to moonscape our director, BJ Gudmundsson started crying so hard she had to hand off the camera for she could no longer hold it steady.

If you are agnostic you will understand that mountaintop removal makes no logical scientific sense. You may even wonder what higher being would create such beauty then create men with the will to destroy it. If you are a person of faith then you may find the allegiance of religious leaders who oppose eco-justice suspect.

This is not just putting molecules into the atmosphere. This is wanton destruction of the land beneath our feet – and it is coming your way soon. Where there is coal there will be men with dynamite. In the past ten years over 400 mountains have been lopped off and dumped into the rivers below them. To understand this issue you just have to see it.

So. Is God Green? Give the coal companies another decade and the earth will be the color of gray slate and clay and the answer to Mr. Moyer’s question will be no, God is Gray.

The question was, "How does your faith or religion or spirituality affect your perspective of environmentalism or creation care?" As a lifelong, 60-year-old Christian and an active environmentalist since the early 60's, caring for creation is an inseparable part of my faith. How can we love the Creator and NOT care for creation? Some are surpised to see the two linked - I'm surprised that is has taken so long!! Evangelical Christianity, far from being "other-worldly," has been at the forefront of many social movements, most prominantly the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement. Again, if we love the Creator, how can we NOT care for creation? If we were created in God's image, are we not called to be caretakers with God of this world? If we believe in the Incarnation, "the Word became FLESH," how can we de-value this life and the other creatures- "God so loved the WORLD"! St. Francis got it! And
Tony Campolo, a passionate evangelical speaker and writer with a deep social consciousness, gets it, too. Recently, he wrote that St. Francis "helped me to realize that God did not create the animals, birds, trees, and everything else in heaven and earth simply for our own personal enjoyment and use. Francis made it clear to me that everything was created to glorify God and "'to sing His praises forever.'" Certainly, it's Scriptural. Just read Psalm 148, which is nothing less than a beautiful call for everything in all of creation to "Praise the Lord!" Or hear the calling of Psalm 150, the words with which the Book of Psalms concludes" - "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!" Following a deep personal experience of his own connectedness with the creatures of the deep, Tony went on to say, "I learned that the songs of the humpback whales are nothing less than hymns of praise to the Lord. Furthermore, I believe that to interfere with those songs by killing off the humpbacks is blasphemy because, by so doing, we interfere with the worship of the Creator by creatures created to worship God."
Evangelical Environmentalism is NOT an oxymoron, as some suspect. To be an evengelical, to be a Christian, to be a believer in the Creator, we can't avoid the implications for earth-care. Praise God that many are finally recognizing that fact!

I consider myself Christian, though I know that word carries different meanings for different people. To me, I embody being a Christian by striving to be a follower of Jesus. However, given the state of Christianity, if Jesus were here today I doubt he'd be a Christian. I don't evangelize (preach to others), nor do I condemn people who don't believe what I believe. I'm not anti-gay, anti-Islam (or any other religion for that matter),or anti-feminist. Nearly every aspect of my life is spent on trying to be a good steward of the environment, of God's creation. My job, my home life, and my religious life involve "Creation Care". The text I see quoted in this blog several times, "we're here to save souls, not the environment," is nearly as ridiculous to me as the scales of justice shown in the movie "An Inconvenient Truth." If you haven't seen the movie, the earth is balanced on one scale and gold bars are balanced on the other. I'd ask the "Christians" who believe in saving souls over saving God's creation how exactly they plan on saving souls when our world succumbs to the damage we've inflicted? Does there really even have to be a choice here? Is is so difficult to do the right thing? the moral thing? I heard someone say once, "human beings are the crowning achievement of God's creation, but we're not the only jewels in the crown." We share this world with all of God's creatures, and we're going to give it to our children. I don't want to be ashamed of how I left it for my children. Do you?

Thank you, Jennifer.
I've already posted here (right before your post), but I had to express appreciation for your quote:
"human beings are the crowning achievement of God's creation, but we're not the only jewels in the crown." It couldn't be said any better.

I am more a conservative Quaker by belief than any other group. I believe that God wants us to preserve the environment to preserve ourselves rather than our present life-style. My fear for America is the old sin of self-indulgence.

It's refreshing to know that there are other born again Christians who are pro-life on the earth's environment as well, and believe God's word that we are to be stewards of the earth. I believe that means "to take care of" of the earth.

I've been a born again Christian for over 30 years and I've always wondered why other Christians were not more concerned about being better stewards of the God's earth.

"A touch of nature makes all men kin". John D. Billings said this in his book, Hard Tack and Coffee, when he wrote about the daily life activities of the American Civil War fighters. He was speaking about the experience of burying the dead mules. All men are created by God, and, as such, are indeed kin, but occasionally it takes a shared experience to realize the relationship. I too am an Evangelical Christian and believe in the everlasting love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, but it wasn't until my wife and I personally experienced the first hand assault of bio-terrorism, that we understood the vital role of stewardship for the environment that every Christian must accept. I write to you from an apartment in the city because we were brutally exiled from our naturally managed organic cattle farm by the devastating suffocation of greedy industrial agriculture which has no respect for the environment, the livestock, or the neighbors, but rather worships the mammon called the almighty dollar. I invite any brother or sister who would like to experience the kindred to visit us. Thank you, Eric Stickdorn Brookstone Terrace Farm, Cambridge City, Indiana 765-478-5649

I do agree that our earth is precious and we should be responsible stewards. My question for all Christians involved in defending the environment is what about human life? What good is a beautiful, healthy earth without our children (born and unborn), those who are disabled or handicapped, elderly or chronically ill as well as everyone who is healthy? God created our earth for our enjoyment because he loves us. Let us not lose sight of the dignity of human existence in our efforts to protect the earth.

I was really struck by the concept of the "earth as sacred ground." Can anything be more profound, and humbling, than this?

A Long Life on Gods Green Earth. by Michael Levy.

Why is it that most human beings do not get the chance to blow
out the candles on their hundredth birthday cake? Statistics state
not too many people live past the age of eighty. Many trees and
plants have a far more prolonged life than humans. Indeed there are a
multitude of animals, fish and birds that have a longer life span
than humans.

For example;

• Giant Tortoise average life-span of about 200 years
• Oregon Sturgeon average life-span of about 150 years
• Eastern Box Turtle average life-span of about 123 years
• Egyptian Vulture average life-span of about 118 years

Animals, birds and fish can outlive humans without getting sick
and going to a doctor for pills. Could it be our intelligence is all
mixed up in a conceited maze of refined intellectual thinking? Could
it be we really do not need to die a premature death from disease? Do
we have no option other than to declare, there is no other choice
than intermittent illness throughout our lifetime, leading to an
early grave? A few people do live to a ripe old age because they
inherited strong genes and DNA. However, leaving that aside, how does the
average person live in good health, to a fully developed old age, as
nature intended?

I guess most folks believe that our `advancements' in the world of
science and medicine have increased our life expectancy. This is true
to some extent, but it is only true in the context of keeping us
alive in ill health, despite our continuous bad habits and erroneous
lifestyles. We can alleviate the effects of an illness, but the cause
lingers on, bringing with it an uncomfortable life that eventually leads
to a premature, uncomfortable passing. So what can be done to
remedy the situation of being a pawn in a commercial chess game of
beggar thy neighbor, performed in a worldwide playhouse?

Firstly, if we stop polluting the earth with poisonous gasses,
pesticides and a multitude of other pollutants we would need fewer
drugs to sustain our lives. Therefore, it seems sensible to stop
corporations from manufacturing pollutants because of their need to
feed the greed of a few humans, who hold stocks in their companies.
In addition, self-pollution is an outstanding problem and banning poisonous smoking in
all public places, inside and outdoors, is a must-do and long overdue action.

The next move in the appropriate direction to a longer healthier life
would be to educate folks on the correct foods to eat and liquids to
drink. Pure water should be the principal drink and alcohol
consumption should be restricted to three glasses of wine a week at
the most.

All our dietary needs can be met with simple yet delicious whole
foods, herbs and spices that are heart healthily and loved by every
cell in our bodies. Our minds are constantly brainwashed by the
advertising media educating our taste buds to enjoy refined foods
contain high levels of sugar, salt, hydrogenated fats and other
harmful "tasty stuff." These foods are usually all dressed up with
colorants and artificial flavors. What a concoction of poison we have
produced for ourselves. We pay good money to eat foods that bring
about illness, which inconveniently installs us in a box six foot
under the ground, before our shelf-life was due to expire.

Regular exercise can help elevate the onset of many dis-eases and
here again simplicity is the key. Walking and swimming are two of the
easiest and most enjoyable forms of exercise available to most folks.
A few weight-bearing exercises are also useful to keep muscle tone
and bone strengthening.

But the most important ingredient by far in living a long and healthy life
is the way we think. What we need to ask ourselves is "Who is it that
resides inside my head that makes all the decisions for me." If our
minds have become too refined, just like the refined junk foods that
we eat ... that has the wholesome goodness removed ... we could be
left with junk-intellectual- thoughts ... Sophisticatedly refined,
but good for nothing with real value ... A strong spiritual soul will never allow
that to happen. In the bible, God said human beings are to be the guardians of his creations on earth …Who want to argue with God?

Once we start to recognize the true soulful genius that we
authentically are ... that lives outside our ego's perceptions and
opinions ... we will start to change our way of thinking and will
live to the maximum of our allotted life-span. It could well be we
live to 120 years of age in good health, if we do not allow negative,
erroneous thoughts to upset the balance that nature has so
magnificently provided for us all.

If we could only come to realize that we are a cog in the wheel of
nature and if we desire that wheel to keep on turning effortlessly,
we must become one with all that exists on earth.

The sands of time in humanities hourglass is quickly running out and
unless we make the correct lifestyle changes, there will not be any
life left here on earth for future generations to enjoy. So let human beings
take a leaf out of the book of the Giant Tortoise and slow down the
run-away greedy human brain. Let us all enjoy our lifetime swim in
Gods delightful oceans of pure water, gardens of sweet fragrance flowers and beautiful green pastoral meadows.

I am happy beyond tears to learn of a divine wisdom occuring in middle America.

Please forgve me, but I am inspired to paste a recent essay I wrote here.

Pray, Hope & don’t worry.

Essay: Politics as mass hypnosis

Today I experienced an epiphany of sorts about a concept I have been working to understand for many years regarding the extreme division of the inhabitants on this merry planet. My admittedly radical thinking transcends or at least rejects, both the left and the right. I am super aware of points of view and belief systems of all the accepted socio-political positions in the western world from far left liberal pseudo intellectuals to extremist right wing fanaticism. I don't ascribe to any. Each has found just enough “TRUTH” – whether real or imagined - to fuel its invented delusional stance. Collusions on a mass scale of delusional realities fueled by fear manifesting itself as what are commonly referred to as the seven deadly sins: Pride the grand daddy of all sins, which could be defined as the excessive belief in one's own abilities, that interferes with the individual's recognition of pure truth: the grace of God. Pride is also sometimes known as Vanity. Envy ahhh yes, the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation. Or the destruction thereof, so we don’t have to feel inferior which generates yet more fear. Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires. This is escapism. Fueling distraction so we don’t have to feel how full of fear we are. Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body. This is a variation of gluttony providing similar distraction from fear. Anger is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath. This in the modern political world is the typical result of territorialism, and fascism. We are all wrong so we do our best to make everyone else is just as we are or destroy them in order to not fear them as their very existence disrupts the finely crafted fantasy we have so carefully invented in order to support our delusion. Greed is the unnatural desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness. This is the primary American trait and is fueled by the dangling carrot commonly referred to as the American Dream. Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work. Being able to do this while enjoying supreme creature comforts, often at the expense of others, is the penultimate goal and prize of the American Dream.
I admit that I am an anomaly politically speaking as I don't agree and align myself with any one group. But then, anyone who truly thinks left or right democrat or republican actually means anything is a victim of mass multi-generational hypnosis effectively employed by the group truly in power of the modern world on this planet who use divisions of belief systems, borders, paranoia fear and delusion to keep the developed modern world population working for them as debt slaves and fighting wars - which actually achieves two functions: One – The goals for the powers that be - generating huge profits hence power and, secondly it feeds the need for conquest in the general population evolved from ancient territorial rage. I believe it is tragic the way many pseudo intellectual left wing liberals feel the way they do about the power of true faithful Christian religion and prayer. They are actually angry about it as though they didn't get what they wanted and so ridicule what is a genuine offer of love and dedication from a fellow human being at the very least, not to speak of its divine magical power: Prayer and the amazing power it holds is ridiculously effective. I didn’t believe that until very recently. My viewpoints were identical to left wing liberals for most of my life primarily because, it was easy and I was angry at religion. I realize now that it is the people who use religion, either through ignorance, fear or as a tool for manipulation, who have made me truly angry, and that I was confused. You cannot legislate morality is the battle cry of freemason agitators. Freemason’s are essentially the “mafia” for the superpowers behind the scenes and who are not members of any one country. Freedom from tyranny is not what I’m talking about here. We have evolved beyond that now. The issue is not that you cannot legislate morality - the typical left wing stance - it’s that WE SHOULDN’T HAVE TOO!!!!!
Nothing extraordinary, liberalism is just another war chant territorial backlash from angry mobs. In the end all political points of view are fascist. As much as I don’t condone it, Fascism is the purest form of politics and the most honest political method ever propagated in that it was able to bring the source of all fear based hatred out in the open and utilized directly for a political system. It basically states, do what I, your government wants or we kill you and in the case of Nazi fascism they added- And if you're soiled with Jewish genes we're going to kill you anyway. Fascism simply reduced every political stance to its core essence. Liberals like to think they are superior to right wing conservatives. Certainly they are nearly always better educated. Also, for the most part they are more sophisticated and free. But, in the end liberals just want everyone to be and think exactly as they do, and are not at all dissimilar from every other political stance whether they are able to see it or admit it.
Yet when I consider the meaning of the word “conservative” removed from its world of mass collusion – the agreed political context most everyone instantly associates with conservative: The Christian right and that whole mess, I don’t see what’s so conservative about conservatives. As a group they are the most wasteful group of human beings on the planet. And, they’re extremely self-righteous about it, to boot. Hypnotized people are like that… Of course the moral freedoms enjoyed by many liberals is granted by virtue of customizing morality to suit desired needs. Right is not wrong just because Left portends an acceptance of different cultures and race. That is nothing more than spin! A political campaign designed to fuel rage in the working class and poor to garner their support through rage fueled by fear. An agreement needed in order to then use and manipulate them.
I realize that I have a fundamental difference about what is truly real from most people I encounter. I know that there is a truth totally objective to human perception and belief, and that we're afraid of it. As a result we eliminate as much of it as we can from our “world” (i.e. our delusional perception of the world) with self-hypnosis and mass collusion by devising a plausible explanation that we can invest in intellectually and or emotionally and know that we are superior to the other side. Beauty not truth and all that… Or relying on literal translations of ancient texts without a sincere heartfelt and honest questioning, which could bring about a rich understanding of our true purpose here. It is or would very soon become beyond obvious to anyone who has the courage to seek the truth, that OUR PURPOSE HERE is far more than a quest for creature comforts. Life is the battleground of good against evil and everything we do, every decision we make and every breath we take contributes to one or the other. Subconsciously we all know this. Carl Jung knew that! But we choose to run instead. Hide for cover beneath the “7 deadly” instead of traversing the admittedly treacherous road in order to discover and learn the truth of the “riddles hidden beyond the surf”. It is fear of the truth, sometimes by sheer association of the gross misuse of religion by those in power to manipulate the population at large which acts to fuel our animosity towards one another and give religion a negative association which takes away it’s power and purity for the people who would otherwise embrace it and live lives of higher morality, tolerance for their fellow man and love. We assign the role of enemy as evil to each other and feel a great satisfaction that we are doing all we can to be good people, when deep down in the farthest reaches of our hearts and souls, we all know it’s a lie. The reasoning and justifications from every enemy of every war in the entire history of humankind- once the outer layers of that reasoning is compromised, holds the simple argument that we are the good guys and the other side is evil. Towel Heads, Blue eyed devils, Nazis, Jews, Imperialists, Capitalist Pigs - it doesn’t matter - the arguments are all the same because they all rely on mass collusion and self-deception to fuel the self-righteous fervor. But these enemies are false enemies, and we as in “we the people” fall for it every time. False because the enemy is within us when we succumb to fear. But the solution is within us too, only we’re too afraid to see it.
What then can the source of this instigating evil force be? Mankind has asked this question since the dawn of reason. Is there a true evil, which exists outside the mind of man? Were we truly created by God in his image? Are there fallen angels now called devils or demons who roam the earth seeking the ruin of souls to prove a point to God because they are scared shit of him: FEAR! Every level of existence whether psychological, intellectual, spiritual biological chemical or of some yet unknown physical nature operates on the same principal. Einstein tried to prove that scientifically, but wasn’t allowed to finish for some reason. Maybe because then we wouldn’t need faith any longer, as we would all “know” the truth and the game would be over. The endgame doesn’t have to be checkmate. There is enough here for everyone, if we had the willingness to make that simple profound decision. Many forces here prevent this from being a consideration much less a possibility and goes back to the Illuminati, Knights Templar and now Freemasons – All are the same promoting novus ordo seculorum for Satan.
I invite anyone reading this to attempt to prove any of these theories against any other belief system. Political beliefs are delusional realities, which cannot be proved. Each salves the psychic wounds of its possessor and is a matter of either association at birth or taste. Within them there is no right and wrong only right and left. Sadly no one can prove scientifically that his or her approach is real. It's all just war, like viruses fighting for as much of the host as they can win in order to gather strength increasing their survival potential by surrounding themselves with more of their own kind. It is a biological survival instinct run amuck by extreme intellectualizing or blind belief – take your pick – Both are based on and victims of FEAR. Polarization is necessary for all activity to occur scientifically and as all mechanisms, whether political, social, chemical, mental, philosophical or biological, they function on the same principal. That’s the grand scale of what Albert Einstein was trying to prove with the unified theory.
But like I said, my radical thinking transcends both the left and the right. Mark Twain said that, “Democracy is the worst form of government ever invented, except for all the others.” And he’s right, only Democracy is still a lie, and that was his clever poetic Twain way of saying so! Edmund Burke said that No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear. Another pretty smart man named Bertrand Russell said that “Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”
When the shit hits the fan, we should strongly consider the advice of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry.”

The two bundled axes on each side of the American flag are fascist symbols. The word fascist comes from the word fasces which means, "a bundle of rods and among them an axe with projecting blade."

Fascism is a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.


The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between political parties either--but right through every human heart.

-Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn

Caring for the environment should be as natural as caring for our children. Humans are dependent on one another like our animal kingdom. For this, God gave us the ability to reason and an intellect to make decisions. Why is it so hard for people to see, hear, touch and taste the world around them and not embrace it and nurture it like a child in need of love and kindness. We are all one in God's creatiobn. "God save the soul of a dying child,
God save the soul of the earth,
For men are feared and fear the day that may end an ever changing birth"..dm

I want everyone to know I have given up my life,36 years, to making the finest top soil for the earth. In doing so I have invented a prosses to turn everything in the living carbonchain to topsoil.I say this not for promotion but to let you know that there are solution to the problum. www.rockwater farms.com

I am glad that some Evangelicals finally came to understand that the earth is sacred ground. And I hope they keep spreading the word, as they are a mighty force in this country. All life is created by the life force of the universe and should be respected and treated as such........Hanta Yo

It is always disturbing to see theologians quoting a text that supports their errant beliefs, and ignoring or being unaware of the quote that paints the rest of the picture. Yes, the 3rd chapter of Genesis offers God's curse upon the earth, but in Genesis 8:21 God says, "I will not curse the ground any more for man's sake..." Well, we have been given free will, and if God is not cursing the earth, maybe -- just maybe -- He is allowing us to exercise free will to either muck it up or make it beautiful, and the scripture leaves no doubt that we are the guardians of this earth. The earth belongs to God, it is on loan to man. A wise man returns that which he has borrowed in the condition it was in when he took possession of it, and a very wise man returns that which is borrowed in better condition than he received it.

Of course, free will means we are responsible for our actions and a lot of people may be more comfortable blaming God than accepting responsibility for their greedy self-serving actions. Predestination is a convenient scape goat.

As I watched and listened to our spiritual leaders defend and Biblically back up the blatant lack of care and concern for the environment I was saddened. The Bible is full of scriptures that show us how to care for the earth. If the Bible is a guide for us to live our lives then we need to follow it in all aspects of our lives not just those that benefit us at the time. Proverbs 21:20 tells us the foolish devour all that they have. Proverbs 27:23 tells us to be diligent to know the state of our flocks and tend our herds. This pertains to all our natural resources. Proverbs 13:22 advises us to leave an inheritance to our children's children. How many more species need to be removed from future generations before we take the environmental issue serious? Both Psalms 24:1 and I Chronicles 29:11 state that everything belongs to the Lord so who are we to misuse and waste what is not ours in the first place. The scriptures tell us to be good stewards of what belongs to the Lord which is everything! A steward is one who manages someone elses affairs and property. To say that the earth is ours to with it what we want is definately not Biblical. The scripture refernce in Genesis that was used doesn't mean destroy the earth. It says to replenish it.Our words and actions tell people what we really think about the Lord and his word.

"There will come a day when the Son of Man will turn his face from his Earthly Mother and betray her, even denying his Mother and his birthright. Then shall he sell her into slavery, and her flesh shall be ravaged, her blood polluted, and her breath smothered; he will bring the fire of death into all the parts of her kingdom, and his hunger will devour all her gifts and leave in their place only a desert."
"All these things will he do out of ignorance of the Law, and as a man dying slowly cannot smell hes own stench, so will the Son of Man be blind to the truth: that as he plunders and ravages and destroys his Earthly Mother, so does he plunder and ravage and destroy himself. For he was born of his Earthly Mother, and he is one with her, and all that he does to his Mother, even so does he do to himself."
This is from "The Essene Gospel of Peace of Jesus Christ". These are the teachings of Jesus Christ about creation and environment that were intentionally left out of The New Testament. They were hidden in the secret archives of the Vatican but are now available online and in book stores

The people that I work with are doing nothing to take care of the environment. They want cheap gas so they can drive their SUVs. They live far from work. They brag about how cold they keep their house in the summer and how warm they keep it in the winter. Conspicuous consumption is the most important thing. Spend, spend, spend. I have been saying we need higher gas taxes since the cheap gas in the 1990's. I am un-American, because I believe we owe it to future generations to take care of the environment. No one uses cloth diapers today. Americans buy produce that is out of season and shipped from thousands of miles away. Eat lots of meat. I look at our society and realize we are "Rome". We Americans are so focused on gratifying our pleasures. We are running out of time. I think we only have 10 years to turn this around, if we even have that long. Once the methane crystals on the bottom of the ocean melt and the gas bubbles up, I believe we will have reached the tipping point. I get so sad when I think of what we are doing.

The uniqueness of Christianity lies in the word "love." A person who truly believes in the teachings of Jesus understands that love is paramount. The great commandment is that you love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. To me, it goes without question that, out of love and respect, you also love and respect what God has created -- whether animate or inanimate.

"The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof..." Of course the Lord, Author and Creator of every good and perfect thing, is "green" (and every other color); the majesty of the world is ours to preserve and to nurture. Apart from this, we misunderstand our place on earth. Thank you for a wonderfully thoughtful forum to uplift the role of faith in caring for what God has given. Blessings upon PBS, Amen.

I've looked to Seventh Day Adventist on this issue who for over 100 years, have used the Bible to establish man's care for the environment as "stewardship" and social relationship with God's creations--without political rhetoric! Like them, I believe we can individually and collectively care for the earth without having to choose between what politicians or preachers might have to say about it. This is not a moral dilemma, nor a lack of concern for our market economy but learning as people how to value what God has given us.

It's about time Christians woke up and smelled the air pollution. For even scarier TRUTH....See the Nova special...GLOBAL DIMMING.....It will make you CRY!!!!

Nice to see People in USA taking a serious look at the Environment & Global Warming

Canadian

To Rev. Bill Hodgson: Secular scientists don’t answer ultimate questions, they push people to follow a book or a leading school, or an overextended supposition. An earth created by a "rare and random stastical fluctuation in nothingness?" That is the scientific answer-the answer to the ultimate question of meaning. Good try, Jacko--you almost had me. But I will stick with religion versus your dark age of reason.

Nice to see People in USA taking a serious look at the Environment & Global Warming

A Green Canadian

A couple comments for anyone bothering to read:

1. Evangelicals are not the only Christians and not all christians are political conservatives. I was raised with Catholic/Christian values and they led me to strong liberal beliefs.

To make my point... is it just me or do most conservatives care more about unborn American babies than already born Iraqi men women and children? ... which brings me to my next point...

2. If God is green, maybe next he/she will care about human life and have something to say about the damned war in Iraq. (thou shalt not kill, do unto others, etc etc)

3. Despite my disdain for the conservative slants of most evangelicals, I welcome the growing green consciousness in their ranks covered by this program.

I agree with Rick Warren, that it's a "No Brainer" - God is "Green", as well as every other hue seen and unseen. And to Mr Moyer, and to the Evangelical Environmentalists, keep fighting the good fight. I am certain my creator is The Truth, and you are right to seek justice. I will gladly call myself a passionate Christian Environmentalist.
Thank you for an excellent program Mr. Moyer.

Get real! As I have been reading this it is very clear that misinformed people are now utilizing the Love of our Lord to futher the ANTI-HUMAN agendas of these special interest groups. Save the environment and green house effects by reducing the Human population by 70%. Let the trees burn instead of taking care of the land, sowing it and receiving the fruits from our labor and God's beautiful nature. Go back to organic farming only and discontinue the use of mechanical equipment for food production. As far as feeding the hungry....we need to reduce the human population anyway.
These are the things I hear and read on a daily basis. These are the type of statements the enviromentalist extreme are spouting and the sad part about is they truly mean it. Don't cut a tree to build a house and when done properly, reinvigorate the plant life the forest....but take a human life that is defensless at about 38 million a year in the US alone.
Take a good look at what this GREEN movement really means to God's children and know that we can properly farm, harvest and produce on all of lands and be environmentally conscience as well.

What a great documentary! Tri's leadership in this area is something all evangelicals can follow. And his book, "Saving God's Green Earth: Rediscovering the church's responsibility to environmental stewardship" is a great resource for any church wanting to learn how to do this!

This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve witnessed in a long time.

Where in the hell have these people been?

Did GOD create spotted-owls -OR- the lumber industry?
Did GOD create the Appalachian Mountains -OR- the Peabody coal company?

And what in the hell does their understanding, belief, and following of Biblical teachings about responsibility of dominion over GOD’s creation got to do with Shrub, last-half-century Reptil’con or any (American) political value$ / prioritie$?

GOD a cost-benefit analysis free-market’er? Trinity capitalists? Jesus a Liberal?

They have got to be the most lost of GOD’s creation. Cynically deceived, manipulated, and mislead.

Or maybe… just maybe they’re all crazy, or worse.

Suicidal? Re: “eternity -v- three score years & ten”




GOD Bless them for they know not




(sorry that this comment is in no way constructive – far too flabbergasted to be constructive just now – the national dialog / debate indeed – going (not so) quietly mad)

My love of God and my love of the beautiful world he gave us are indelibly intertwined. It is difficult to understand Christians who seem to overlook the significance of the beauty of the earth and our sacred duty of stewardship.

It lift my heart to see Bill Moyers again on television, and my husband Philip feels the same way. Thank you for the interviews and reporting.

As an evangelical, I was especially interested in the "Is God Green?" special. I am very concerned with environmental issues, and it was good to have coverage of like-minded evangelicals.

Two specific comments:

First, I think we evangelicals should change our language from "stewardship of creation" to "covenant with creation." The former sounds dominating, the latter sounds relational.

Second, the comments from the theologian in Florida about God wanting ecological trajedy (e.g., Katrina) is consistent with the notion of divine power that many evangelicals embrace. If God can do anything and is in control, whatever happens must be God's will. I would like to call evangelicals to join me in rejecting the notion that God is in control. Rather, we evangelicals should affirm the biblical theme that creatures have a degree of freedom. If we have genuine freedom, God cannot be in complete control. And this reconcieved notion of divine power may help us realize that we have an essential role to play in environmental issues.

As I watched the "messenger's from God" last night, I remember asking a co-worker,who I consider a true Christian, how do you know who is telling the truth when everyone interprets the same scriptures differently. He told me that you should pray before reading the Bible and ask God to help you to understand what you read.
I have to wonder if some of those men last night asked God for knowledge? I also rememberd that a few years ago when Rover was roaming Mars,and discovered where there had been some forms of water and life, that I asked a local preacher "is it possible that Mars was like Earth, and had humans etc...and the humans continued to sin and destroy the planet so God one day said "enough" and poof! Mars became the red glowing planet! And, how can any human with just a little bit of brain, not think that with all the humans and human waste, the cutting down of trees and everything green, the pollution from industries, all the automobiles around this world not affect our environment and in return not create some natural disasters!

I watched the program last night and was enthrolled. As a Christian, sold-out for Jesus Christ, I have always felt a little, sometimes a lot at odds with many of my Christian friends or the Christian community at large. I am a quasi-environmentalist. I recycle just about everything, spend as much time as I can outdoors, re-use materials, but.....I drive a big pickup! It's a gas-guzzler and I make no bones about it. We've got horses and so it's a necessary evil. But I try to keep it parked as much as possible. Other Christians don't have this troubled "spirit" about "consuming devices" like I have. They don't think twice about hauling their kids in a large SUV instead of a just-as-roomy, yet smaller mini-van. To an extent, I don't even think the gas price surge had much of an effect on their outlook. It's strange, this desire to consume, waste, throw-away. It's so unlike Christ. It's weird how we humans believe on thing and habitually do the other.
When I heard the gentleman speak of not using a feather to dig coal, I nearly fell from my futon! That scripture in Genesis doesn't give God's people wholesale license to RAPE the environment. I believe there is a direct connection with what we Christians allow to be done to the environment and our hearts as stewards of EVERYTHING; money, children, marriage, politics, and, yes, the environment.
I believe that Christians oftentimes feel that if they take a stand on the environemnt, they are setting-up an idol. I don't understand this reasoning. We have absolutely no idea when Jesus will return, therefore we better plan to leave this planet in decent shape for our children and their decendents, rather than practicing this scorched-earth, eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we go to heaven attitude. If we study history, we see all sorts of examples of how Christians felt strongly about an issue but over time, changed their perception. Slavery, at least to southern Christains, would be one example. Killing the heretic has subsided, fortunately.
I don't see the act of evangelicals taking a stand next to secular environmentalists as selling-out to liberal godlessness. That's a myth. People will believe or not believe in Christ, but Christians won't be very effective in the Great Commission unless they begin linking arms with people other than themselves.


As a Baptist child in NY, yes they have them there, in the 40's until young adulthood, I was influenced by a pastor with not just faith and conviction but with a questioning mind. Of course that probably made him a liberal. He physically interposed himself as a young man in a corrupt mining town in PA between the evils of gambling, prostitution and yes illegal booze. His life was threatened but after several years of getting the moribund other churches to help, cast the bad folks out in an election. Not by Evangelicals but just decent people who felt helpless alone. The Evangelical agenda has so distanced me from Christianity that all I see is a herd of sheep repeating some litany or another which is propogated by whatever antichrist they follow. They have no sense of outrage over Dafur, East St. Louis, Congo, or the fratricide which we started in Iraq. There is no sense of outrage over the pollution of our world which, if they really believe it, is a gift from God. God said that man would have "dominion over the earth and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea and the animals" This is a huge obligation which most Evangelicals ignore in favor of talking about "Gay Marriage", "Abortion" and the certainty that whatever their creed or screed is, is the law of God as revealed to whatever hating, angry, sugar syrup egomaniac that they follow like sheep.
Look at clean water, clean air, it helps the entire planet and everything on it. Surely if God made it and God gave it to us, we should honor it above all else and then worry about the rest of the ills. Starvation and institutional rape and child prostitution and exploitation comes in a lot more ahead of Gay Marriage. A war based on lies and deception by an antichrist is in any sense un Christian and unGodly. It causes death and misery to millions not just to those who died or are maimed daily. This is another form of polution that destroys the air and water of a major part of the earth. If the Evangelicals REALLY follow CHRIST, then they need to shut off the Robertsons (Diamond mine king and human rights violator) and Falwell and others who really teach intolerance and distrust of anything but their point of view. This rant is generated by a sincere desire to see Evangelicals start to see the world in less apocolyptic terms and move toward dealing with what truly is destroying their God given treasure. Faith without acts is a sham. I am nearly 70, a veteran and I love my country. If you take him literally, Jesus was a Liberal.

ALL creatures on earth praise God. He loves all the things that He created. Let us please Him by taking care of the things He loves. He gives us gifts everyday, we should give Him the gift of a beautiful earth. Let us stand together, hold hands and show them that we mean it! No more destruction of His world!

ALL creatures on earth praise God. He loves all the things that He created. Let us please Him by taking care of the things He loves. He gives us gifts everyday, we should give Him the gift of a beautiful earth. Let us stand together, hold hands and show them that we mean it! No more destruction of His world!

I wished Bill Moyers had asked Dr. Calvin Beisner if he thought his cost-benefit analysis approach to pollution was pro-life.

Beisner said that cost-benefit analysis should be part of deciding how to tackle pollution.

Do they perform a cost-benefit analysis regarding pro-life decisions? Do they analyze how much it costs taxpayers for young women to keep babies they can't care for -- putting the burden on states and the federal gov't to take care of not only the baby but often also the mother?

No, they don't. They don't look at costs for preventing abortions and they don't look at costs for issues like Terri Schiavo.

But Dr. Beisner is ready to nickel-and-dime the costs of deadly pollution. Why? Because Dr. Beisner is a capitalist first and a Christian second.

In the battle over corporate money, Christianity and pro-life values take a backseat.

And it's that inconsistency that bothers me. Taking the moral high ground means you have to sometimes face down corporations and their bottom-line, and say "This is wrong." But even among Christians, money talks.

Excellent program asking "Is God Green?" It should help people realize the difficulty in trying to base life decisions on the Bible or on a belief in something they call God.

I was infuriated by the so called evangelical right's point of view.
Do they really believe they can destroy the earth because they think they are going to heaven?
It's scary to think these people are leaders of a religious movement.
Psalms 37:29 clearly states that the righteous will posses the earth and RESIDE FOREVER upon it.
The Bible mentions that earth is God's footstool(Isaiah 66:1) Out of the trillions of planet in the known universe God has chosen earth as His footstool.Doesn't that say something about how God feels about the earth?
I am so upset about what I saw one the program it's difficult to concintrate.
I mean,while they are "vigorously subjecting the earth" who's benefitting from this vigorous subjection?
It not the people of the ilands who are loosing fields and crops to rising waters caused by melting glasiers.Of childern who struggle to breath because the pollution from fossil fuel activates asthma.(Can you inagaine using all your strenth to draw a breath? Sounds like hell to me.)
I can't believe the callousness of these people.
I have not been to a seminary nor have I gone to any of the schools of biblical higher learning.
But,I do read the Bible and as Bob Dylan once sang"you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."
I don't need an expert to tell me we are in trouble.
Come on!We had hurricans in South San Francisco!
As far as who rules the world 1John 5:19 states that the whole world lies in the power of Satan.
When Adam chose to eat the fruit he decided he was able to tell right from wrong better than Jehovah could so man was given the opprotunity to follow Satan and what we are experiencing is the result of mankinds self rule influenced by Satan.
When this earth is turned back into a paridise there will be no doubt that man cannot rule.That's why things are as bad as they are and about to get worse.
But for all those who are sucking our God given natural resources and "subdueing the earth" leaving nothing for mankind except poison for air and toxin for water check out Rev.11:17,18.
Read'em and weep.

I'm still reeling (honest!) from watching Calvin Beisner last night. I am intensely curious about one thing - does the Beisner household recycle?

As a longtime resident non-citizen who travels to other parts of the world often, I find the religion v/s science debate in this country alternatively strange and scary.

All of this reinforces a concern I've held for a number of years - whoever Joe electorate of this country puts in office holds unimaginable power over the citizens of the rest of this world. Rep Jane Doe of Heartland USA can in effect control whether a Mexican farmer must buy GM seed; whether a Ghanian woman can get contraceptives; whether a Seoul resident better go out and buy a gas mask. Unfortunately, what got Rep Jane Doe to office wasn't any of these things - her electorate has probably not heard of those countries - but her "principled stand" for or against the local LGBT chapter. Should the electorate of any country have this much power over the entire world esp when the electorate is unaware of its power/effect and the world can't do anything about it?

I believe we should be good stewards of what God has given us, but there is absolutely no proof that mankind has had an affect on the "global warming". I don't want to argue about the planet warming, it has; but there is no proof and no way to proof man's effect. Any scientist who spreads this rumor has an agenda other than pure science.

Last night's airing of IS GOD GREEN? was well with my soul! Praises for the healing power of Bill Moyer's QUESTIONS and the ripe fruit of introspective people across America! Lots to say about the show and mostly, just amazed to see so many brothers and sisters who are allowing the opportunity of our global crisis to awaken them to the messages of love and care for themselves, each other and the creation!
I grew up in rural Southwestern Virginia, was raised in a Baptist church that never talked about the environment and longed for shared concern and connection with my family as I became a budding environmentalist. My family had their roots in the church, which has a great influence on the innerworkings of the family, even when those members are no longer active in the church. My family found me strange and abnormal when I began to cultivate my interests in organic food, natural health care and other lead ins to the environmental movement.

In the show I realized there must be a number of people who are just like me… having a kinship with nature that was finding no voice in the church as the people behind the scenes of the church worked for political power and for an agenda that robbed the members of the church and their families of the truth of the teachings of Master Jesus.

I came to Northern California in October of 2001, leaving family and community of my hometown back on the East Coast. It has very much been a pilgrimage towards a unification with the Divine… a direct connection that informs me of the message of both God the Father and the Mother Earth.

The early Christians built their temples on top of the temples that had long been in service to the Goddesses of the prehistoric period. The awakening that is happening among us now is born out of the promise that was created those many years ago by those temples which served as portals merging…

A Divine mother aspect has been in the process of merging with the Divine Father who carries the message that we are given the choice to experience the Source of Oneness and that love, Divine Love, is what will allow us to experience it, live it, know it fully, as it is One source that created all.

Our experience of Divine love is the way home to the Divine. Love, as the Bible teaches us, is not going to be found in those who serve power and who seek to experience power over others.

Those who hear the truth and give their full heart to live that truth from then on know the glory of God and now live the promise of the Heaven Within… already they are casting off what has limited them and are living the life Christ told them was possible and available to them as they embody the truth of Divine Love.

War, battling, fighting, will not liberate anyone or anything and serves only to deepen the entanglement. A war against global warming is the opposite of resolving the issues of global warming so that future generations have the earth to care for, enjoy and receive nourishment from. A fight only enlivens the unhealthiness in everybody… feeds it… enslaves everyone further to the darkness… this is why Jesus gave the example to those who would carry on the teachings of putting the sword away when the Roman soldiers came to take him… he repaired the ear of the man who was there to put him into bondage… and Christ fulfilled a very specific Divine mission that had been given to him to die on the cross and overcome death by means of the power of the Resurrection… Christ was also provided everything he would need to awaken to what awaited him beyond the cross…

Even those who pollute and destroy are loved by God and will also, as do we all, have to awaken to the consequences of their choices. Only God knows what lives in the secret chamber of their hearts. God will bring them to justice in a way far greater than our minds can conceive and we have the choice to pray for their complete transformation and awakening. What we do, what actions we take in regards to these people, need to be what God informs us to do and not our actions taken from our choices alone… This will allow God to direct this situation of Global Warming.

Anyhow, I’m grateful that many of the people who left the church in the past 30 years because the church was not able to see the importance of the creation may find common ground once again. A homecoming perhaps? And I’m grateful that those folks who are spearheading the profit driven pollution are having the (spot) light shown on them. I’m grateful that people all across the country are seeking a deeper and direct connection to God for themselves. I’m grateful to know that the healing power of love is far greater than I can even imagine. I’m grateful to see a story that speaks to why my family and community and I had to go our own way all those years ago. I’m grateful that we have the resources to support our awakening to care for the earth so that we have tools at our fingertips to change the course we are on.

Thanks Bill! Great Work!
~Gayla

I am a believer who firmly believes that one cannot separate their faith in God from the care of His creation. As Christians, we should be good stewards of everything that has been entrusted to our care (relationships, time, finances, the environment, etc.). I think that the Evangelical church needs to understand and embrace the fact that environmentalism is NOT a liberal political agenda. It is the responsibility of every person who calls himself a follower of the Creator to care for the created (Genesis 2:15).

This program was tremendous. I wept just thinking of the idea that this group of Christians might be heading closer toward the God I know. A God that does not want children to be kept inside because they may develop asthma; a God who created rain to provide fresh water to everyone, not just those who can afford to live away from toxic pollution; and a God that still believes GREED is a sin. I haven't felt so (tentatively)hopeful about the environment in years.

God reveals another miracle: purportedly extreme right and left humans find common ground in nature.


The question I would like asked to the anti-green fundamental Christian leaders is, 'What is the downside to trying green?'


Even if global warming doesn’t improve, we’ll still have cleaner air and water, and many new jobs and industries; oil and car companies will gain through selling alternative products. So why not test the hypothesis? We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.


Hinduism says all of life is sacred. We are admonished to follow 'ahimsa' (ie, not causing trouble to humans, animals, or nature - in action, word, and in thinking). God is in all things and all creatures - all is created by God and ultimately God or spirit is at the source of all things (like atoms are at a subtle level of all matter) - so everything and everyone IS God.


Humans' duty is to keep things sacred, make life more sacred, and enjoy God’s creation while living in harmony with nature’s laws.


The suggestion in the show by the anti-green religious leaders that we can just do what we want because God is responsible for all destruction, ignores all common-sense. It would be as irresponsible as saying ‘I'll just ignore my baby and do what I want because it is God’s responsibility to keep the baby alive or destroy him. Humans have a pact with God to preserve and protect the helpless. In Hinduism, God tells us the way to come closer to God is to care for God's children and creation


There was an anti-green claim made in the show that the Bible warns to not be caught up in nature and forget God. This was framed as an either-or choice. Yet people can love God and God's creation at once; seeing beautiful nature makes you think of and thank God – these ideas are not mutually exclusive.


As long as we think of and thank God, He or She is never out of hearts and minds, and we grow ever intimate with the Almighty.

See Revelation 11:18.

God does love the earth.

Well done program on issues that have been developing over the last year. Praise goes out to Rev. Cizik and the Evangelical Pastors highlighted in the program, who continue to listen, and speak out. They are continuing a voice that goes back to the founding of our Country. A voice early on proclaiming religious freedom, care for our neigbors and future generations. They are answering God's call to bring light to darkened spaces.

As a life-long Christian & life-long "tree-hugger" I have never understood why so many of my fellow Christians seem to think so little of the Earth.

The first, and really only, reason I registered to vote is to put people in office who have a respect for the world God made. Without a healthy world, what have we to leave our descendants for whom we fight for their right to be born? How logical is it to be pro-life but not give them a world that's worth being born into? How are we loving our neighbors as God commanded, when we are, as Richard Cizak pointed out, destroying not only our own environment, but theirs as well. Taking care of the earth should be a foregone conclusion, especially to Christians.

I'm thrilled to see this movement of environmental responsibility among Christians taking place. I'm certain that such action is God's will.

I jumped for joy at the sight of evangelicals having found rationality in nature and seemingly translating this new found view into political action. Wake-up folks! If we let the industrialists spoil this earth God will not be pleased and neither shall we be able to live on it. Thank you Bill Moyers....you are doing well my friend whom I have never personally met. Keep it up!

Thank God for Bill Moyers.

A great subject and story. You know, as more scientists delve into their work and the farther and deeper they go, the more they see God at work; in the microganisms, in the chemical reactions that occur, etc... There's as much chance as a 'cold day in hell' as there is that this planet was created by chance, from some "Bang in the past".

If christians are honest with themselves, and they read the Bible, we brethren in the Lord must be good stewards of this planet and of our bodies.

"The earth was not given to us by our parents, but was lent to us by our children." Responsibility.

Thank you, Bill Moyers,yet again, for programs that make me think.
I wonder if we have not come full circle - back to the belief system of Native American Indians who inhabited this land before "capitalism" became the way of life here. Somewhere I read that the real cycle we demonstate is "love, hate, destroy, love again". It would serve us well to study how indigenous groups related to the earth and their place in the Divine Plan.
It IS about Mother Earth, and the ultimate belief that all life is sacred.

The Bible says God will not contend with mankind forever. Because of the vast sins of the human race, I do believe we are slated for extinction. This might happen in just six years. Yes, by the hand of God, I do believe we will be hit by an asteroid. I also believe we can pray and ask Him not to do that. I ask Him not to do it, for the sake of the lesser creatures. But...let us face it. We're out of control here. After the two World Wars, our days were numbered and we are living on sheer grace at this time. Time is running out.

Too many people are living their lives as though they are not part of the creation, oblivious to the effects of their actions on the poor and even their own pocketbooks. Not even black water coming out of the tap seems to make a difference to some.

We try to find satisfaction in materialism, and buying and owning things, most of which end up in the trash heap in less than 3 years after being purchased. Then we stress out about how to pay for it all.

It seems appropriate to me that people of faith are involved in this discussion since deep-seated spiritual problems seem to be at the root of many of our environmental problems.

I want to compliment the evangelical Christians who have taken a stand regarding the protection of our global enviroment. God has given us a wonderful gift and it is up to us to respect and protect this gift. Showing this respect to all of God's creations is telling God that we love him. All people have a right to use their free will, that God has given us, to foster good.

No one should be alienated by their faith for having their own thoughts and opinions. Religion is food for the soul and should encourage the unique qualities of each person; not try to control and supress the individual.

I still remember being a small child and feeling apart of my environment. I feel just as we should nuture each other we need to nurture, meaning do what is best for, the earth. One aspect of religion which really bothers me is it's tendency to teach people how to judge others. I find that following the teachings of Jesus helps me be a much better person, than trying to follow the techings of the entire bible. After all isn't it Jesus' example we, as christians, follow?

This morning I was contemplating this show and wondered if the fact that the U.S. is overwhelmingly a society of consumers and not creators has effected our ability to understand that the Creator loves his creation, and wants us to also love and care for his creation.

How does my faith affect my environmentalism or creation care? Recognizing the Holy in everything, my deep respect for the interdependent and interrelated web of all existence (yes, I am Unitarian Universalist) causes me to walk as lightly as I can upon this earth.

I try to consider the outcomes of my everyday actions:
-how much gasoline, paper, water, electricity am I consuming?
-how will my decisions and actions affect the silent majority of the world?
-how can I decrease my personal footprint on this fragile planet?
-am I eating as low on the food chain as I can?


I incorporate small things into my daily life such as using public transportation or walking as much as possible, using manual doors instead of automatic ones when I am able to, buying fresh, local produce and groceries instead of commercially grown international imported food, using both sides of paper when printing documents, storing them electronically instead of physically. I also vote my conscience, pick up trash along my way, write to companies to urge them to reduce their packaging load on retail products and donate money to organizations that support my principals.


Until we have global justice, including justice for our planet, we cannot expect peace. Discovering the reasons we are in trouble is important; blaming a particular religious sect is not just useless, but counterproductive. Working together, increasing true, loving community among peoples, speaking for and in solidarity with the ignored and underrepresented, working locally while thinking globally to affect positive change every minute of every day is the only way to peace. As Gustavo Gonzales says: “To know g-d is to do justice”; and “There can be no peace without justice.”

Blessed be, Amen, Shalom, Namaste.

Singing in faith and working for justice, Beth

I sometimes wonder if the folks in power who knowingly make unprincipled decisions- usually for short term gain- honestly believe they and their families are somehow immune to the consequences of their actions. The polarization of America has paralized the it's ability to adapt, and I agree with many of you here that the root of all evil is fear. Fear creates the need to chose sides. Fear drives the desire to "be right" rather than communicate. How can the USA expect to get anywhere in it's global relationships when it's veiwed as a schoolyard bully? I believe we're at the crossroads and it could go either way, but if we don't start looking at the global implications of our selfish ways we're going to pay a price. Whatever happened to enlightened self-interest! I've always felt that the best argument for taking care of the environment is simply WE LIVE HERE. When we, collectively and as individuals, cease to allow politicians on both sides of the aisle the ability to manipulate us through fear (read "hot-button issues",terrorists, gas prices,etc.) and demand cooperation and accountability, then and only then will we be able to effect change. Otherwise we're f**ked.

BTW, I don't know what Bible everyone else is reading but I pulled out the trusty old New American Standard and lo and behold the very first sentence says,

"In the beginnig God created the heavens and the earth..."

Doesn't that say it all?

Peace

I felt a deep appreciation to Mr. Richard Cizik for his courage and integrity in participating with Bill Moyers. To me, the look on Reverend Cizik’s face reflected new found hope, yet an awareness of the awesome forces aligned against survival on Earth. Clearly evident from the Reverend was the bravery of certain enlightenment and commitment of purpose in the face of overwhelming resistance.

Though I was raised to be, I am not a religious man. Yet the exchanges between he and Mr. Moyers resonated deeply and gave me an almost unfamiliar sensation of hope -- that humanity might yet be prolonged. I’ve never known how to define my own spirituality, though I am sure of it. If, by acknowledging the challenge that a beneficent God must surely present – “Survive on this plant that I have given you!”, then the evangelical community can help counter the sense of futility that characterizes modern times. In a time of bitter division, the message of Reverend Cizik can help build bridges into a future.

Were I to pray, it would be that Reverend Cizik can maintain the tremulous aura of hope that touched me and I suspect, many others.

My spirituality allows me to take a look at the Christian movement for the environment and say:

"This story should have been a continuation of the Jack Abramoff-Grover Norquist extortion racket.

Scroll down to the blue insert on Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist:

http://www.channelingreality.com/The_Coup/movement_politics.htm

E. Calvin Beisner stated on your program that all that was important in his life was "Christ crucified." The problem is that Mr. Beisner and his fellow "muscular Christians" care nothing about the crucifixion of future generations of all life on Earth, which will come about because of our profligate and profane use, misuse and abuse of the finite resources of the world. Beisner and his minions are really no more than stooges and mouthpieces for the religion of consumerism. Their real god is unfettered capitalism.

I am an English professor who has taught a lot on environmental issues, and I am also a Vineyard member in Atlanta.
Thank God the Church is finally making the connection between God and the earth. The word "rule" in Genesis has been grossly misinterpreted for far too long. To "rule" does not mean to dominate and exploit; rather, it means to nurture, to take care of. This is our true charge.

When God said, we shall have dominion over the earth, he did not mean that we should dominate the earth in a way that destroys it. A CEO has dominion over his company, does he destroy that company? I can not believe that the Christians from Pastor Robinson's church actually needed confirmation from God thru His word to recycle and care for the environment. Recycling is a no-brainer. If God didn't care for this earth so much or the animals in it, why did He create the heavens, birds, fish of the sea and all other animals before He even created us? I agree that the word rule and dominion has been grossly misinterpreted for far too long. Laurette

The following quote from Dr. Beisner just proves what I have understood about most Christians my whole life. They are going to heaven by grace alone, not works....for a minute Moyers almost had them caring about the other life on this planet, but in the end they never change. I was raised Catholic and I was taught that you would end up in hell if you weren't a "good samaritan". I quit going to church when I was still a kid but I have always tried use the "golden rule". As long as you believe you are saved, you will be? Not in a million years. There is no saving any of us now. We didn't listen when we were in the garden of Eden, and we aren't listening now. Soon we'll be at 'One with Ninevah'. Just check out the Oct. 2006 pics of the ozone hole at NASA.com.
Beisner's rude!!!!

DR. CALVIN BEISNER: Well, historically, an evangelical person is a person who is committed to the gospel, particularly as it's been understood coming out of the Reformation. A gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone rather than by our doing good works, which are, instead, the response of gratitude to God for the saving work of Jesus Christ.

Ah, yes. The Christian bashers now use THIS forum
to attack the Jerry's and Pat's of this world- the religious right. If anyone thinks about it; there is no group of people more attacked than the religious right. Not blacks, or any other religion for that matter. Ever realize that??Since the NT focuses on the NEXT LIFE more than this one; and says "blessed are you when people persecute you, jump for joy; for your reward is great in heaven."
Then religious right must be flying; for no one is more persecuted than them- in this country. I am NOT against environmentalism but am sick of people who try to call themselves Christians, trying to generalize the bible and manipulate what Christ's words are all about. Like 'it's all about the creation'. The New Testament (and Christ) said the next life is so much more important than this one. And anyone with any common sense can see that
where one ends up for the next MILLION YEARS is mathematically almost endlessly more important than where one ends up in these 70..... There is:
no comparison. Jesus said,
"Let the dead bury your own dead." and such. "..you go proclaim the kingdom of heaven.." ... (The next life is what's most important.)
I'm the only one I see here backing up what I say about the bible. And, as far as the religious right goes (which I'm NOT a formal member, by the way) CHRIST
left us with this: "Now go and spread the gospel to every creature... those that do not believe will be damned." Not very tolerant, by the way, is it??? Who says what a real Christian is?? Christ says who a real Christian is.. He left us with that last direct quote; and the religious right is the only ones I see that are doing that. "Go and preach the gospel to every creature..."
That's the good news about the next life, anyone can see.
By the way, you are utterly wrong, pal; about Genesis and the science of the big bang(cosmology). It lines up amazingly; "The Science of God", by Alan Schroeder.
Par exemple: in the 60's, all the physicists got together and decided that Genesis was wrong; that the universe was infinite and had no beginning. Genesis stated that the universe is finite and had a beginning.
Well, new evidence for the big bang 'beginning' came along after that, and I'll let you figure out the rest.. There's also a total parallel with "Genesis" and the radiation left over from the big bang (before it became transparent at around 380,000 years).
It's all in that particular book and much more.

Mr. Cizik on Moyers show "accepts" a scientific consensus that global warming is real. There are other much more well established scientific consensuses. For instance: Evolution is real, the earth is billions of years old. Just as there is overwhelming evidence for human induced global climate change, there is overwhelming evidence of evolution and that the universe was not "created" or designed" Thus rendering the whole bronze-age imaginary man-in-the-sky thing called variable judiasm, christianity etc. meaningless. Mr. Cizik thankfully, finally is helping dismantle this ridiculous superstition that holds millions of my fellow human brothers and sisters in bondage.

What is the evidence that the universe is not created??? There is none.
That doesn't mean the universe was created AS IT IS. That means the incredibly precise properties of the BIG BANG were created and as conducive to life, of course.
As a matter of fact: no one at all can ever explain why the properties established at the Big Bang are so severely fine-tuned for life. No one, no scientists, of course;
can explain how the relationship between the strong nuclear force and electromagnetism is such a precise number that is; only with this exact number allowing life in this universe.
Also, just another of at least 6 too extremely precise numbers of the properties of the universe at the Big Bang ie. "in the beginning": each proton with a mass 1,836 times that of the electron.
Of course, if it were any less or more than exactly 1,836; atoms would be totally different than molecules!! And that's just one extremely precise number out of a good half dozen or so.
This, of course; lends to the Creator being in control of all this.

"Most physicists would rather attempt to
describe the universe in ways which require no explanation.
And since science can't *explain* anything - it can only
*describe* things - that's perfectly sensible. If you
have a universe which has always been there, you don't
explain it, right?
Somebody asks you, 'How come all the secretaries
in your company are women?' You can say, 'Well, it's
always been that way.' That's a way of not having
to explain it. So in the same way, theories which
don't require explanation tend to be the ones
accepted by science, which is perfectly acceptable
and the best way to make science work."
Now who's the ones with 'pie in the sky' ???
That's from Cosmic Fingerprints.

In addition to this extreme fine tuning that's so endlessly hard to explain:
if the universe were expanding any slower; then
no stars, no planets, no life. Expanding any faster;
no life either. And how precise is this number??
10 to the 120 power.
That's what I said!
(B. Joel line.)
I guess God is in the details...

Also; One of the facts the "Science of God" points out is in Genesis, it doesn't say "then, God created life" (speaking of evolution). It says, "From the earth, life sprung." Even Genesis recognized how perfect this "earth" planet is conducive to life with it's plate techtonics, large moon, and being right S M A C K in the habitable zone. "Life sprung forth from the earth."
This shows my first statement here correct; that God did create the universe, even though it evolved into it's massive state as it is now.
The universe was fine tuned for life from it's inception.
The earth (and indeed the universe) had within it the necessary properties for life to flourish, as created from the time of the Big Bang.
You know, it's funny: Einstein constantly referred to God the Creator. "Could God have created this world differently." AND MORE.
So did Darwin, which I bet alot of people (misled by his first followers) didn't know. Charles referred right there in his writings about "THE CREATOR OF [His beautiful array of life].."
But his followers never seem to mention that, noooo.

And before I go; Genesis recognized so much more too.
It gets all the order of life right; plant life, aquatic life, animal life-
3,000 years before paleontologists discover it's so. Genesis also says
that God created the heavens and the earth. The heavens come first...
But most importantly: everybody knows that time passes so much differently around a black hole (for example) than it does here on earth. (I'm adressing how Genesis says the universe is six days old.)
So in differnt parts of the universe, a day's time can pass the same as a thousand years on earth. (Oh, that sounds familier- ah, yes;
it's in Psalms....) Now, at the very beginning of the C-r-e-a-t-i-o-n of the Big Bang, there was a time and place of quark confinement; where pure energy became matter. In short, time passes at that point a million million times faster (different- that's 10 to the 12th power), than time on earth.
So: 120 million earth years lasted a mere hour there. Well, when we apply that to 15 billion earth years: the way time passed AT THE FIRST CREATION OF MATTER...
WAS EXACTLY 6 DAYS!
How did writers of Genesis know this??
The because the Old and New Testaments are the revelation of God, the CREATOR. And anyone who doesn't believe that most likely has some serious illogical anti-supernatural bias going on.
And that's no jive. People always prove that that's exactly what they have when they try to say that anything supernatural is the least likely.
Modern scholars prove (their anti-supernatural bias) when they throw a black bead automatically on each supernatural event....
Now, in all logic and common sense: who are you going to follow? (On the New Testament.) An archeologist on the front lines digging up evidence from the 1st Century (when Jesus walked and talked) right there (where He walked and talked). This archeologist on the front lines of evidence and proof concluding that "Luke should be considered one of the greatest historians." ??
Or some modern scholar 2000 YEARS LATER tossing beads in a bowl just saying 'I just don't think it happened.' not basing it on anything at all.
(Except their own subjective pure and simple anti-supernatural bias ? ?)_

Now, everything I have asserted I've backed with facts and MULTIPLE sources.
I don't see others doing that at all recently.
I could say that the ones in bondage for millions of years are the atheists and unbelieving illogical folk.
('Bondage' sound familiar here?) And I could back that up too.

One more time: I'm sick and tired of people opening their mouths and saying things in general without backing them up- especially if they're so incredibly FALSE.

I enjoy being the total REALIST that I am.
I think everyone should be one!

Read Genesis again -'......, God saw that it was good'.
Our body,mind and spirit are all his creation , AS IS OUR PLANET - ensure that ALL these arenas are kept as pristine as we can for His glory.

I enjoyed the "Is God green?' program. As an indigenous Christian Environmentalist EJ activist this world of Bill Moyers and the whole evangelical movement is new and exciting to me.
It's interesting that when we talk about evangelical that those in the higher echelons are all white men. When I think of evangelicals I see a sea of different colors.
What I think is more powerful is that I think a lot of folks know God and know we are stewards responsible for the unkeep and health of our planet and just need to know where to plug in to and do the work but I think it is the extreme control and judgement in the church that keeps some petrified from doing what they know and would love to do. If the movement mirrors those in power that are counter to our beliefs i.e that do not take care of their own brothers and sisters in their own country then it's just simply not appealing to join in.

A politically inclined titled show, Is God Green? depicted a narrow minded view from so called bright Christian evangelicals! Their followers are blinded by those famous and colorful evangelical leaders’ narratives via media by their interpretation of the Holy Bible. Mr. Incik has it right all together. What does it take to believe? Physical observations...of devastated streams from a man made pollution, an soil erosion from man made subdivisions, child’s diarrhea from unclean vegetables, a warm stream created by a man made heat source, child’s asthma from air pollution, weather changes from man made thermal variations from agricultural/industrial productions, killing of fish from dumping of pollution(human waste) in ocean, killing of man from bad potable water, I have witness it all since 1950s and these are just small number of examples. Have you seen the changes with your own eyes too? Do you not believe what you see before your own eyes but yet you "walk by faith not by sight"? There is no need for scientific results because our common sense demonstrates that man destroys what God created via bad behaviors and thoughts (reason). Can you decipher man's impact on God's blessings? Must a disaster strike before a man's heart be changed? I ask you? When I was growing up in a vegetable garden in Japan, human waste was used as a fertilizer. As a child my hand dug into a patch of carrot/tomato/greens, a worm grew in my stomach causing it to come out of my mouth a number of times. That unpleasant experience during childhood years taught me an important lesson in understanding the relationship between what we produce and what we intake. We all need to understand the relationship between human behavior, gathering of food, and the environment of soils and moisture. Unless we care what goes into our body as well as understanding the process of food chain and how it affects us all, we are not beginning to care. The relationship of what we produce into the atmosphere (pollution in a form of air bacteria,thermal and humidity,etc.)is another area of devastation (I don't want to bore you with scientific explanations because a reasonble person can relate to what he observes and experiences). We live in a more fortunate historical environment than the time Galileo lived because our relationship with God is not dictated by political evangelicalism (group thought)? God blessed us with good things of earth; yet we abused it for so long(no, don't blame on population growth), we simple lost our hearts to care God's creation. If man desires to be fruitful and increase in number and care of creatures as God expected us, the goodness God created can be sustained and we will be blessed also. Alternative is not an option. I say, enlarge your heart in understanding God’s words through your behaviors and witness to the weakest link of humanity, the man’s sinful nature and a lack of understanding of God’s knowledge. God created Adam in the Garden of Eden as a farmer to care for orchard in an ideal environment. God gave Adam a choice, with an introduction of freedom of will (permission to choose). As we all know that we are sinful by nature,we take an option that is not beneficial to us due to our ignorance. I am hopeful that man can alter the blessed earth through the witness of the devastated environment in a short span of our history. Therefore we must act on God’s message, Love the Lord with all you heart and soul and mind and love thy neighbor as yourself. Let our souls live forever.

I just wrote an explaination of how I am both a born again Christian and an enviornmentalist, but after reading some of the comments from the non-Christians, I erased it.

We are not all narrow minded freaks, like Pat Robertson. He just happens to have a tv show that is backed by a lot of money, so that is the opinion you hear. Just because I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and that God rocks, does not mean that you should put me in a box and refuse to work with me on a committee. Now who is being narrow minded?

When I go to environmental commission meetings, I don't wave a cross and ask for confessions. I sit there and stress out about how we are going to increase participation in recycling here in Backwards-ville, Arizona, and when am I going to find time to study to become LEEDs accredited, when I live 200 miles from the closest LEEDs "group". Believe me, when it comes to "spreading the word" and helping people, I will be nowhere near you Mr. NON-Christian enviornmentalist. You will have to catch up with me in India or Kenya (where my presence has been requested) for that.

India or Kenya? yeah, the born again Dark Age is frightening... I dont know what is worse the spread of global warming or christian thirld world ignorance.

WE WERE LAWLESS PEOPLE, BUT WE WERE ON PRETTY GOOD terms with the Great Spirit, creator and ruler of all. You whites assumed we were savages. You didn't understand our prayers. You didn't try to understand. When we sang ou praises to the sun our moon or wind, you said we were worshipping idols. Without understanding, you condemned us as lost souls just because our form of worship was different from yours.

We saw the Great Spirit's work in in almost everything: sun , moon, trees, wind and mountains. Sometimes we approached him through these things. Was that so bad? I think we have a true belief in the supreme being, a stronger faith than that of most whites who caused us pagans... Indians living close to nature and nature's ruler are not living in darkness.

Did you know that trees talk? Well they do. They talk to each other, and they'll talk to you if you listen. Trouble is, white people don't listen. They never learned to listen to the Indians so I don't suppose they'll listen to other voices in nature. But I have learned a lot from trees: sometimes about the weather, sometimes about animals, sometimes about the Great Spirit.


I am not native, but I keep reading a book called 'Touch The Earth' compiled by T.C. McLuhan in 1971 and the quote above is taken from it. pg 23

What do Christians, in general, know about nature except how to insulate ourselves from it thus distance ourselves from it's spiritual message? I keep on seeing the word 'stewards' which to me sounds like zoo-keepers, dominant, hierarchical, condescending.

That's why I'm in some agreement with the comments from 'Citizens Class'. Why don't we ask the Native Americans? Or probably natives anywhere.

I have seen God. To those who post about ignorance of the religious, I say that the only thing you can know is the Love of God. And you cannot imagine what it's like. It is not your fault for not seeing it. I had no idea either.

While it is true that it has changed my life, I can't stay in that presence all the time. I'm back to being human with a life-changing memory. So I think the laws of science are pretty solid again having mostly lost the basis of comparison. But I know that I don't know it the way I knew God's love.

So I ask experts, who are experts by their presence with God in nature and for centuries of expertise based on that, for advice.

And I would ask scientists how to effect that advice.


god is shit so fuck off

This is such a great thing the evangelicals have begun since 2006. It is so wonderful that people are listening to the voices of others. I say it is about time that we began the process of protecting the earth. What a wonderful organization to promote the welfare of the earth and the people living on its crust. I say that if this is what it takes, by people of faith to speak out in order for us to recognize all of the bad habits were accustomed to then more power to them and where do I sign up.

Reading through the comments, I found myself returning to the question... a few times. I really feel that some comments were off subject. The question seems to be asking how my beliefs affect my view on the environment not how they effect my views on OTHER people. I have a strong spiritual belief which can be summarized as a culmination of religions and philosophies from around the world. Regardless of the word God, Spirit, Creator, Allah, Universe, Energy or any vast number of other names for the concept of a higher power, they all encompass, to me, the idea that we are all connected at the most fundamental level. So far my experience has shown me, whether I am dealing with the homeless, mentally ill, highly devout, environmentally militant,eco friendly, or utterly environmentally ignorant, I can not see past the fact that everyone on earth are my neighbors and human family. The earth continues to get smaller, and we have no choice but to interact with each other. Idealism says that we can experience life, spending only time with like minded people, reality says that we are rich in diversity. My attitude remains... what is MY responsibility. I can offer education of environmental issues, information for those that request it but most importantly I can take personal responsibility for my ecological footprint. I owe it to the generations after me, the human, the plants and the animals. I am of the opinion that I don't have time on this earth for fighting over personality differences. If someone is willing to recycle, do it. If someone is willing to conserve water, do it. If someone is willing to protect habitat, do it. Everything makes a difference and reminding people what they do RIGHT rather than wrong inspires people. I remind myself that whatever can be done, do it, and do it now.

As I watched this video, I was becoming more angry but I'm not sure as to which side. I do have a very deep faith in God and truly believe he is the creator of all things. To have religious and political sides arguing over this is really pretty incomprehensible. We need to take care of the environment in order for us to survive. Do I agree with the methods of radicals, no. Do I do what I can to keep the enviornment clean so that my children and grandchildren will have a safe and healthy place to live, yes. I have to wonder where common sense has gone. Why can we, the U.S., spend millions and millions of dollars on redecorating government offices, buying overpriced supplies because Staples isn't on the government list of vendors, and not on protecting our living space. I understand about jobs, family, and making a living. We need coal, lumber, and the ability to take of our families but we also need to replace what we can. Don't make it a political issue, it is a human issue. If someone can take the time and money to plant new trees or rally for safer living environments, God bless them no matter who they are, however never forget that other people make their living by mining or logging. The government could be spending the millions and millions on providing solutions instead of decorating offices.

As Renaissance scholar Lynn White famously wrote in 1967, “We shall continue to have a worsening ecologic crisis until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no reason for existence save to serve man.” His words remain true 40 years later, when religious conservatives in the United States view resource extraction as an inalienable right. Our natural resources are under growing threat from a torrent of new laws that encourage mining on federal land, weaken protection for species, habitat and wetlands, accelerate deforestation, and promote drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of earth’s few remaining pristine areas.

For millennia, peoples of nearly all cultures have been taught that humans are special in the eyes of their god or gods, and that the world is made for their benefit and use. This is made clear in Genesis 1:1, which states:

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

To further prove our superiority, and denigrate all other living things, God goes on to say:

Of all visible creatures only man is "able to know and love his creator." He is "the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake," and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God's own life. It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #356)

The bible is extremely clear on the point that the Earth’s resources were put here for our benefit, for us to exploit, for us to use as we wish.

Then there is the Biblical admonition to increase in number to fill the earth. When written, in times when death rates were high, the population small and resources abundant, this mandate was easily justified. With over 6 billion people now calling earth home, the divine mandate to multiply might now be viewed in a different light from when promulgated 2000 years ago. Yet the Church remains unyielding. The official Church position was reaffirmed in 1995 by Pope John Paul II, who condemned all artificial contraception as a “conspiracy against life.” To their credit, 80% of Catholic couples in their reproductive years ignore the Pope on this issue; sex provides a powerful incentive to discount the ramblings of a celibate old man. But the Church’s position has real and tragic consequences, even if the laity rebel.

In Latin America and Africa, Bishops officially object to the use of condoms, instead recommending abstinence to prevent AIDS. The Bishops steadfastly hold this view even in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 26 million people are infected with AIDS, and more than 3 million more new infections occur each year. In Zambia, nearly 20% of the adult population is infected. Still, the Bishops loyally follow the Pope’s mandate.

But a rapidly-spreading AIDS epidemic is certainly not the only consequence of religious morality imposed on the question of family planning. Unwanted pregnancies in poor countries condemn women to an unrelenting cycle of poverty. Only when women gain control over their reproductive destiny and have access to education can the cycle be broken. But the Church, with a concerted campaign against condom distribution, actively seeks to prevent women from gaining such control. This policy contributes directly to the suffering of millions of people relegated to hunger, disease and illiteracy. The war against contraception, without concern for short-term suffering and the long-term consequences for human survival, is another sign that religious morality is deeply and tragically flawed.

This explicit religious mandate to exploit natural resources remains clear and unambiguous, in spite of recent efforts to harmonize religion and environmental sciences by numerous academic and international organizations, including The Forum on Religion and Ecology, the largest international multi-religious project of its kind, and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, founded in 1936 by the Vatican to promote scientific progress compatible with the Church’s teachings.

The argument used by those seeking reconciliation between religion and environmental protection point to the integrity of all creation, or reverence for all things created by god, insisting that religion and concern for the environment are not only compatible, but have been so all along. Those are welcomed sentiments. In fact, as is frequently the case, the Bible contains contradictory passages about the natural world, reasonably allowing for such an interpretation. Old passages can also simply be reinterpreted to fit the facts or to be compatible with newly adopted ideas. Pope John Paul XXIII said in 1961:

Genesis relates how God gave two commandments to our first parents: to transmit human life—‘Increase and multiply’—and to bring nature into their service—‘Fill the Earth, and subdue it.’ These two commandments are complementary. Nothing is said in the second of these commandments about destroying nature. On the contrary, it must be brought into the services of human life.

But the harsh facts of human history belie this benign revisionist interpretation of the meaning of “subdue,” and the preponderance of unambiguous passages in the Bible giving mankind dominion over nature’s bounty argue against any idea that religion is environmentalism in disguise.

Most Christians will tell you in any debate that they are against, at the close of their speech they will say "Not on God's green earth." It's usually meant to be on God's current green earth and not the Green earth that we hope to preserve. Following Pres. Bush's Compassionate Conservatism, Christians will side with him on the issue of withdrawl from the Kyoto Protocol because he feels it restricts businesses from lining their pockets. These Christian followers of Bush feel that the deteriorating of the ozone layer is something that just has to happen or it happened on its own. No, it's just all the harsh chemicals from businesses that keep the GOP running that is causing the slow death of the earth. If we were all to be good Christians, I think we should start now and fast to preserve God's creation.

On November 3, the Rachel Carson Spirit & Nature conference being held in Pittsburgh, PA will bring the national – and indeed international – dialogue regarding religion and earth stewardship to the Pittsburgh area.
Of course, earlier this year, the National Evangelical Association teamed up with Pulitzer prize winner and scientist E.O. Wilson to call on the U.S. Government to take global warming seriously. Indeed, the Evangelicals have an Evangelical Environmental Web site- http://www.creationcare.org/resources/sunday/actions.php - that offers advice on using non-toxic lawn care, cleaning supplies, buying hybrid vehicles, etc., as a way of practicing their faith – linking such efforts to passages in Scripture. Richard Cizik, the NEA head of governmental affairs, was on Bill Moyers’ “Is God Green” show a while back. All over the country, more and more interfaith alliances are looking to their earth stewardship teachings and going green.

In Pittsburgh, we have a growing list of world religions tackling climate change and green, sustainability practices. The Felician Sisters facility just received LEED silver status. The United Jewish Federation has long had an environmental committee, and is involved in the Pittsburgh Green Government Task Force which is charged with developing solutions for the city to reduce energy consumption and pollution through alternative, sustainable practices.

While Carson never spoke openly about her specific religion (baptized Presbyterian), she often talked and wrote about the spiritual benefits of nature to mankind.

A multi-faith panel will discuss world religions’ earth stewardship teachings and Rachel Carson’s environmental ethic:
Live in harmony with nature
Preserve and learn from natural places
Minimize the impact of man-made chemicals on natural systems of the world
Consider the implications of human actions on the global web of life.

Also, three workshops will feature Green Chemistry and Sustainability: Change of Heart, Mind and Direction; Evangelicals and the Environment; and Green Building for Faith Communities.
The conference keynote speaker is Cassandra Carmichael, Director of Eco-Justice Programs for the National Council of Churches. Additional participants include Reverend David Carlisle, Springdale United Presbyterian Church; Nusrath Ainapore, Islamic Center of Pittsburgh; Sharon Pillar of Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, Dr. Indira Nair of Carnegie Mellon University, Doug Gouge of the Zen Buddhism Center of Pittsburgh and Dr. Elisa Beck, member of the United Jewish Federation Environment Committee. Workshops will be held by Dr. Terry Collins of Carnegie Mellon University, Michael Sider-Rose of Pittsburgh Project and Sister Mary Christopher of Felician Sisters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Province.
Visit www.rachelcarsonhomestead.org for more information

I believe that we are spending to much time wonding about what others are doing and not paying attention and taking responsiblity for are own actions. Well we drive are gas guzzling vehicles, burn are garbage instead of recycling, or smiply throwing are trash out the window because you dont want it in your car, by do this you are only herting yourself in the long run.
So if we all would join a community group that is already taking the time to protect are enviorment and animals, you will feel better about your self plus your helping your community become a better place.

There is a heated dispute about the source of global warming. Some might say it is just something that is inevitable, and there is nothing we can do about it. Some might say that big corporations are destroying the earth's environment, yet others say it is an act of God. I believe that no matter what the reason for its demise, we do all still live on this planet. We should do everthing we can possible to change the course we are headed for. Somehow there has to be a compromise with big corporations to modify how they run their busineses. As far as individuals go, doing our best to be aware of our way of life and making changes when necessary will definitely slow down the process that seems ever so inevitable.

The video portrays two extremes of evangelical Christian churches. One is portrayed as absolving themselves of all concern for the environment and the other as focused only on environmental issues. The truth probably lies somewhere in between. When we look at God's Word and take in context we see that, of course, we are to take care of the earth, as we should with all God's gifts. But to preach environmental issues from the pulpit is overlooking the church's main purpose, which is to preach Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, our only hope for heaven.

I believe that it is everyones responsibilty to keep our enviornment clean, and our air pure to breath. Recycling is a way to start keeping our land fills from filling up so fast. Second we should either carpool, ride our bikes, walk, or take a bus to work in hopes of keeping the air pollution down. We need to stress the importance on childern from little on up that littering on roads,sidewalks, playgrounds,or even lakes will destroy the beauty of our wonderful country. If you want a clean and safe enviornment for our future generations we all need to step up and help.

I believe that it is everyones responsibilty to keep our enviornment clean, and our air pure to breath. Recycling is a way to start keeping our land fills from filling up so fast. Second we should either carpool, ride our bikes, walk, or take a bus to work in hopes of keeping the air pollution down. We need to stress the importance on childern from little on up that littering on roads,sidewalks, playgrounds,or even lakes will destroy the beauty of our wonderful country. If you want a clean and safe enviornment for our future generations we all need to step up and help.

The issue of global warming is transparent. The Earth heats and cools all by its' lonesome as part of its life cycle, and what we as humans are doing here is moot compared to the cosmic forces already at work beneath our feet. However, that does not mean we should crap all over the landscape and keep adopting this "Let someone else worry about it" ideology, which has already punched holes in our ozone layer and sickened hundreds of thousands. I embrace the Native American half of my heritage, which states that we live -with- the Earth, not simply -on- it, and until everyone on this ball realizes their mindset is in the latter, nothing will change.

My faith affects my perspective of environmentalism and creation care because it has taught me that we have dominion over the earth. Some people might interpret that as control over the earth and in some aspects that is what it means, but it also means we are in charge and responsible for it. So we have to take care of it because no matter what happens to it whether it is good or bad we will be held responsible. So we better do our best to take care of it.

I feel that my faith has taught me that we need to take care of the earth or someday it wont be here. global warming is worsening everyday and we try to make changes on that, with fuel efficent cars but i still dont think we are doing enough to make a big impact. i just hope that there are more drastic procedures taken to help better the earth rather than make it worse. because if we dont make a change here we are slowly going to be killing ourselves.

I believe that each individual is responsible in doing their part for being green. I think this particular video "Is God Green" emphasizes too much on religion and god. We all live on this planet together and we should all take care of it "together". The earth has been here for a long time. Longer than us and if somthing happends to it, it will heal itself. It is just human ignorance to say that we are killing it.

I think the God does things for a reason. Yes we do help in the aiding by human mistakes such as oil spills and things of that nature yet like the one man said in the video if God wanted to stop hurricane Katrina he would have. We can help by doing out part in helping with the enviroment, but much of it is in Gods hands.

I believe that everyone should do their share in keeping our environment healthy. Personally, I believe God has a plan for everything and what we are doing at the moment is what God wants us to do. We are moving into the direction he has lead us in and he will help us along the way. I think its wonderful that religion and "going green" are coming together. God created the earth and they both play a major role in my life. We all live on this planet and I believe it shouldn't matter if you believe in God or not we need to take care of our environment.

I believe that it is important to care for our environment. Whatever your religious believes are, we all live in this world, so we should take care of it the best we can. I believe that the bible teaches that we should be good stewards of the earth. However, being a christian I believe that the whole creation was cursed as a result of Adams sin and that its in a state of decay. Rom 8:18 talks about the bondage and decay of the world. My main concern then, is not with a temporary world that will no doubt perish at some point, but rather with eternal matters. So yes, we should care about the world we live in and take care of it, but we should worry far more about eternal things.

I am not even going to get into this whole "God" issue with the environment. I feel that each individual person is responsible for doing their small part in helping out. Yeah, we should worry about the planet, and try to take care of it the best way we know how, but I don't think that this should be our prime focus in life. I think "going green" is great and all, but just why does religion have to be a part of this?? Can't we take responsibility for our own actions and stop just saying everything is in "God's" hands?! Maybe it makes people feel better and justifies why the world is like it is, but I think it's a lame excuse. It seems everyone just wants an easy way out of things, and are quick to find an answer to everything, even if it's one that doesn't entirely make sense.

The relationship between God and the envrironment is apparent, but often times unecessary to use as an excuse for the problems that society has caused. According to scientific studies, the Earth has undergone many ice-ages and warming periods through-out it's life cycle. Of course global warming is partly caused by burning of fossil fuels, harvesting milions of trees, and many other's, but what people tend to forget is that everything happens for a reason...but it's our resonsibility to take care of what has been given to us, the environment! We only have one people, so let's stop blaming one country or another and just start fixing what we can! God or no God, science can speak for it's self along with religious believes, and not only Christianity, but Buddism, Hinduism, and many others. The whole world needs to start justifying what we need to do and what we can do instead of why we haven't.

Is God green?
First we need to look at what being green really means. Does it mean recycling, composting, taking care of the environment, or being environmentally friendly? Or is it all of the above? For many people it means different things. For most people it means being environmentally friendly to leave the world nicer than we found it, to preserve the resources and not take more than we can recreate from the earth.
So is God green?
Well, lets look at God’s actions in this world.
God recycles, we can see this in the way he formed the way the water circulates through the earth in the water cycle. God reuses, God doesn’t waste. He doesn’t have to recreate water each time it rains, it “re”cycles itself with the temperatures of the earth which he keeps in balance.
God composts, we can see this in his plan of decaying and fertilization of once living things. When God laid his plan for this earth he put into place a system of what happens when animals, plants, and even humans die. What would happen if God had not put into place the system of decaying and breaking down of the body? Our world would be piled up with a lot of dead carcasses. But God created a system to help give nutrients back to the earth. For example take the issue of dying fish. If the fish didn’t decay, after awhile the rivers would be filled with nothing but dead fish, but because God created a system of decay and absorption the fish become nutrients that feed the rivers. In fact, so much so, those hatcheries that have dead fish will scatter the carcasses in local rivers to help nourish them.
God has a way of keeping his creation in balance. For an example of balance, look at the fish that live at the very deepest parts of the ocean. God created them to live in an extremely dark cold atmosphere; he even put permanent lights on one species heads so they can see in the dark. Talk about a plan. But what would happen to those fish if the temperature changed. They would probably no longer survive. What happens to a lot of God’s creation if things are thrown out of balance? Well that is what is happening when we over use the creation God clearly told us to protect. We have been called as human beings to care for God’s creation as seen in the book of Genesis. We have a duty as Christians to fulfill this obligation.

I do not see how Christians can justify separating themselves from the responsibility of caring for God's greatest gift. I am a Christian and it is so funny to watch other 'Christians' who think that making money and supporting huge corporations is their godly duty. If He wanted the earth to be filled with huge skyscrappers instead of mountains...He would have made it that way!

The cross over between God and what we ourselves, Gods people, are doing to the Earth are separate issues as far as I am concerned. I also believe that the only role politics play is trying to get you to vote for them or your money. They do not truly care about what you think or feel as long as they have power. It really is sad that we have either democrats or republics. I feel that the people that have to drink the contaminated water in the mountains of WV are victims and that democrats and republics as well as Christians and non-Christians should all care and want to make the world safe for all. I also feel that there are a lot of areas that were not touched in this film that leave you wondering what or who to believe or side with. Guess I will have to do some more research!

As a Catholic and a believer in God, I believe God created heaven and earth. I believe God created this land for us to use repectfully and to pass it down to our children the way we found it. Although the United States is one of highest ranked Industrialized countries in the world, it is also one of the most wastefull. It is sad to see these big corporations move into an area and not respect the envirionment. It seems like most of these companies could care less about what they have spilled into the water, or put into the air after they have made their millions and moved on. I don't believe God created earth for corporate or political gain. It is good to see that some of the companies, and people today are making a change towards a "green" world. As the old saying goes, 'Take of it, and it will take care of you."

In answer to the titular question, no, the Bible god is not green.

Gen 1 has him telling humanity to subdue the entire Earth and to dominate all life. The word translated as "subdue" literally means "to tread underfoot". That is hardly an earth-friendly attitude.

Gen 2 then turns around and tells humanity to guard the ground of the Garden.

But it should be noted that mankind is only told to take care of the special land in the Garden, but to treat the remainder brutally and domineeringly.

From the Cain & Abel story, the Bible god is seen as prefering dead animals to dead plants. Why desire the death of any life at all?

Why order the whole sacrifice system?

Why allegedly destroy most of the planet with water, and promise to do so again with fire?

Why have Samson tie foxes together by the tails, only to run to their deaths in the fiery fields of the Phillistines?

Why send an entire heard of swine to their deaths over a cliff, for the sake of the exorcism of one man?

Why kill thousands of fish in one day, in order to prove the Christ's miraculous power?

Why tell Christians to hate this world and the things that are in it?

No, the Bible god is not green. He's red: red with the blood of all those whom he has ordered killed, and red with the anger that would inspire such orders in the first place.

Those religionists who feel compelled to extend Gen 2's instruction to guard the land to the entire Earth should be advised that they are, much like the Pharisees, partaking of the traditions of man rather than the commandments of the Bible god.

And good for them!

I am a Christian.

I believe that in Genesis that God gave us the role as caretakers of the garden and the animals. I believe God would want us to love and respect this gift (Earth) he has given us.

I work on a organic csa co-op farm. I grow a lot of my own foods, make homemade stuff, recycle, ride a bicycle to work and back, I buy local and do fair trade. I am familiar with my local farms and get most of my foods like eggs, grains, meats and such that way. These are just a few of the things I do to try and care for the environment.

I try to stay informed and find ways to make differences.

To not care for the planet in which we live and from which draw enjoyment and the elements for temporal life is stupidity.

To believe, in the light of Scripture, that there is any ultimate future in this world
is denial.

"So who's to say we'll end up destroying ourselves?"

Someone had written: “Francisco, I’d like to think that you’re entirely wrong and that it’s mankind’s imagination that will indeed save the whole of creation. I know we haven’t done a very good job up to now, but even we, in our arrogantly finite, infinitely arrogant wisdom, must surely see we can’t go on as we are. I’d like to say all that, but then, I’m constantly reminded of just what a dumb species we truly are, so who’s to say if we won’t end up destroying ourselves or not.”

“dumb species”?

Better said, “disobedient, rebellious, proud, vain, perverse, destructive,,,,,, spiritually dead, braindirtyed educated clones who continue to feed their “imag”inations ;-(

It was ignorant, unlearned so-called ”savages” who testified:

“A Simple and Spiritual Life is the only Life that will survive”!

A testimony which is in perfect harmony with The Life example and The Teachings of The Messiah, Life and Teachings He received of The Only True GOD(The Great Spirit), Father(Creator) of ALL!

You wrote, “Who’s to say if we don’t end up destroying ourselves”?

Already said, by The Creator, HE WHO is going to “destroy those who destroy the earth”! (Rev11:18c) And as The Messiah testified, so it is you have “seen” that the “multitudes follow the broad way to destruction”!

Btw, The Messiah, He testified that the words He spoke were not His words, but they were the words of The Father(Creator) WHO sent Him”!

Sadly, as of now it seems you are of the multitudes ;-( Those who would rather live, or desire to live, the “american(worldly) dream”, which is to exist and believe in, mankind’s “imag”ination ;-( Simply, “ease of life” has had it’s way with you ;-(

So it is that the multitudes, yes even the porverty stricken, believe the LIE that is “ease of life”, rather than receiving “a love of The Truth ;-(

Sadly, The Truth that is Creation sufficiency has given way to the lie of self sufficiency ;-( And so it is that the multitudes but serve “time” in the prison that is this world, and those who won’t, or can’t follow their destructive ways, they look upon as the dung of the earth ;-(

So heed The Call to “Come Out of her, MY people”! “Come Out” of that which is of this world, that which is of the “imag”ination, and especially this world’s systems of religion!

Get Real! Life is Spirit, yet only that Life which is in and of The Creator(GOD, Great Spirit,,) is Real, and only that which is Real is Forever!

Choose Real Life!

How many roses have you stopped to smell while piloting one of this world’s unguided missles, the ones they call automobiles?

And how many have been killed along the way ;-(

And for what purpose?

Yet, there is hope!

For Miracles do happen!

So there will be those who experience The Miracle that is receiving “a love of The Truth” and who take heed unto The Call of The Only True GOD to “Come Out of her, MY people”! They will “Come Out’ of this world(babylon) and it’s systems of religion.

“Pure religion before GOD The Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the world.”

Simply, all other religion is impure and defiled!

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(stress) that is of this world, for “the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one” indeed and Truth…….

Truth is never ending……. thedestructionoftheearth.wordpress.com

This discussion needs to be taking place across the world, not just in Christianity and not just in America. What about Buddhism and Daoism in China, or Hinduism and Islam in India and Pakistan. These are developing countries where a great deal is at stake.

www.sustainablechina.info

Dad poisoned the minds of his children with his irresponsible television viewing choices.
Among other things.
Dad is liked, so expect the intent was not there. However, I suspect the same cannot be said for his wife.
Case in point:::Neighbor's driveway sidewalk chalk art consisted of a girl's name, a smiley face, other innocent, child-like offerings.
In our driveway our kids drew body outlines, like those one would find at a murder scene.
And all his son spoke of was guns, hunting and killing.
The father's irresponsibility was manifested in how the son spoke when he was younger. Just ask his former teachers.

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Like fluffy clouds on a gloomy day. You rule. Thank you.

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God is soul of every that have life.

Green : Yes
Religion : No
Environment : Yes

My soul is my god.

Prashanth SK
nCash Infotec MLM Software

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