Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Earth Day Week: Pope Francis Feels Combating Climate Change is Christian Duty

Earth from Space with Stars

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey Flickr Page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/6143809369

The old button from the Environmental Club days which I just happened to find on Earth Day! It is a little beat up (particularly the ends of the ribbon), but no worse for the wear, I think. And it is one of the few items that I have left from those days, so it carries a lot of great memories for me! Nothing Changes Until You Do!

Here is a picture of a very similar logo, with the same message, that was on the t-shirt that I purchased from the BCC Environmental Club and, if memory serves me correctly, may even have helped to make. There were a few projects like that which club members, myself included, were regularly involved with. It has been so long, however, that I no longer recall specifically if I actually helped to make these or not, although I do believe so, since I remember seeing the process of the t-shirts being dyed. In any case, I loved this t-shirt, and have kept it ever since, even if I do not regularly wear it. Since it was part of my experience with the BCC Environmental Club days, as well as more generally having an environmental theme, it seemed appropriate to share it here. 

"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed."

~Mahatma Gandhi

"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future."
~John F. Kennedy  

Why does it seem that, for many, being a good Christian means specifically ignoring what is best for our planet, and voting against what is best for it? How charitable and spiritual is that?

Well, that might finally be changing.

Pope Francis I, who seems like a very cool Pope so far and, frankly, a breath of fresh air, seems to take a different tact when it comes to the environment then a lot of other Christian leaders, who seem almost to view the Earth as the property of mankind and, thus, subject to whatever the hell the owners want to do with their parcel of land, no matter how potentially detrimental this may be to the health of the planet.

Pope Francis took a decidedly, refreshingly different approach last year:

“Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.” 

Now, that does not sound like so many Christian leaders here in the United States, who almost seem to feel that doing anything to preserve the natural Earth is tantamount to Godless communism and evil.

Francis went further, even. He likened the destruction of the Earth - of God's Creation - as a sin! Here is some more of what he said on the subject:

“But when we exploit Creation we destroy the sign of God’s love for us, in destroying Creation we are saying to God: ‘I don’t like it! This is not good!’ ‘So what do you like?’ ‘I like myself!’ – Here, this is sin! Do you see?”

He referred to Christians as "custodians of Creation" who needed to have a healthy admiration and sense of wonder for the “beauty of nature and the grandeur of the cosmos”.

Finally, we are seeing and hearing something quite different from the general indifference with which too many religious leaders in the past have ignored the subject of environmental degradation.

Now, let's see if this has a widespread impact among the world's over 1 billion Catholics!

One way or another, however, I do want to say how refreshing this is! Pope Francis seems to me to truly be a man of the strongest faith, and one who does not overlook any aspect of that faith, and who does not leave his faith open to many (if any) contradictions.

Here is the link to this story:

Pope Francis Makes Biblical Case For Addressing Climate Change: ‘If We Destroy Creation, Creation Will Destroy Us’

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