Sunday, June 04, 2017
Sunday Reflection: God and the Earth
With President Trump pulling the US out of the Paris Climate Accord, the discussion of how we relate to our environment is getting amped up again. Part of that discussion-- within Christian circles-- is about the faith requirements relating to environmentalism. Some argue strongly that we have a moral duty to protect the Earth. Others counter that God gave man dominion over the Earth, for it to serve our purposes.
The whole thing seems awkward to me. This, like a number of other hot-button political issues, is not something Jesus directly talked about. He talked about the death penalty, for example, much more directly than he talked about the environment.
That doesn't mean that the precepts of the faith, however we perceive them, shouldn't influence our view on environmentalism.
For me, much of what Christ taught emphasized one key attribute: humility. It is a difficult teaching, but he did it over and over again in urging self-sacrifice and service of God and our neighbors. If humility is at the core of the faith, doesn't that mean that we should be humble in how we approach the Earth? In that we should sacrifice to maintain it for God and for others? There is a self-centeredness in choosing (possibly) cheaper energy given the environmental costs. Humility pushes the other way, and we should, too.