Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A great moral issue of our time

The Washington Post had a story yesterday about the National Association of Evangelicals, and specifically about its position that "creation care" or environmental protection is an important moral issue. This doesn't sound like much until one realizes that other prominent evangelical leaders have attacked the organization for their stance that taking care of the Earth is important.

I would go further. Taking care of the Earth is part of feeding the hungry and caring for the widow and the orphan. When we pollute the water and the ground, we destroy their ability to feed us, to water us. And that destruction falls hardest on the poor. Over at Quiet Paths, Christine notes the impact that Ethanol production has had on food and feed corn prices, and the effect that has had on the price of tortillas in Mexico. "Solutions" that cause greater suffering are not terribly workable.

Here in Maryland, we are facing the destruction of the Chesapeake Bay, the Mother of the Waters, with blue crab, oysters, and native fish all on the decline. Recently, an invasive species, the Snakehead fish, was dumped into the Potomac system. And of course, we have the usual pollution problems in big cities.

I want to hear why the lives of children not yet born are more important than the lives of millions who struggle with the poisons we have released. It's wrong to stop the child from being born, but perfectly okay for said child to be mercury poisoned from fishsticks? Or sent to another country to take their resources in a terrible war? It's terrible for two men or two women to love each other, but it's okay to foster the scarcities that have all too often led to wars?

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Blogger Don said...

Thank you for your concern and well written piece on the need to take care of Mother Earth. Peace.

3/12/2007 8:15 PM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

I find it frustrating to hear high-minded rhetoric about the life of the unborn that is not accompanied by a genuine concern for the life of the child born into poverty, or for a concern for that child once grown past 18.

And my own belief on the moral high ground in the gay marriage debate is that we've got to stop state promotion of a particular religious idea of marriage. My own belief is that it is wrong to deny the benefits of marriage to some class of folks, creating a situation where isolation and marginalization are made easier. When my brother visited me a few years ago during a gay pride parade in DC, I worried myself sick when he didn't turn up for dinner on time. (He'd met a friend and lost track of time talking.) In my mind, I was terrified that he'd been attacked and hurt, and was perhaps in a hospital or something. And that's not an unreasonable worry: friends of mine have been attacked, and one was badly enough beaten to require hospitalization. And the police weren't particularly interested in tracking down the perpetrators. I just don't see how wanting some basic civil liberties for my friends and family can possibly be wrong.

Clean, potable water has become rarer. We've overfished our waters and poisoned the earth we grow our crops in. So of course we have wars. We have wars to control oil and water. In our search for easy solutions to our energy addiction, we are interfering with our own food supply.


3/13/2007 5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said and timely. I see much discussion rising concerning the issue of earth care. We are, after all, called to stewardship not exploitation. That however is not the view of some evangelicals who feel all is predestined from the beginning. It is quite a different mindset and one that is fairly weighted towards 'getting yours', i.e., making money.

3/13/2007 8:47 AM  
Blogger Little Black Car said...

I thought that taking care of the Earth for future generations WAS taking care of the lives of children yet unborn, but maybe I was wrong. (Yeah, I know what they mean, but there has to be something here for them once they're born, right? Can't have them coming home to a contaminated planet.)

3/13/2007 11:36 AM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

The idea seems to be to simply deny wholesale that there is a problem with the environment at all, so that focus is maintained on a couple of issues that support the official agenda.

Drives me nuts.

3/13/2007 12:18 PM  

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