Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth And Religion
by thinkforyourself, Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 04:08:10 PM EDT
It is the duty of all religions and beliefs and the duty of those who have no religion to respect this planet and cherish its gifts. It is a human duty.
As someone who also believes in the words of Jesus Christ and a supreme being from whom all good flows, the well written article above illustrates perfectly what we as Christians should be doing to protect and preserve this planet, but it doesn't stop with just Christians. And that is what I was taught in my life as a child growing up in a church.
I grew up in a home where church was an integral part of our lives. Every Sunday from the time I was five years old I went to church with my parents who were also very involved in it. I went to Sunday School, was confirmed, served as an usher, a Church Council member (a post I was unanimously elected to five times,) and also sang in my church choir for 10 years as one of their lead soloists. I also started working when I was 15 as a teacher in the Community Summer Bible Study School where I taught 3-5 year olds, and did that for about three summers until I went to college.
I was also very involved in all church functions and even at 12 was debating going into seminary to become a minister and talked to my Pastor about it. (And at least in my faith, women becoming ministers wasn't looked down upon. ) I even remember him visiting my father to tell him I would make an excellent minister if I decided to take that path... Of course, I was twelve, so that then changed to nurse, to professor, to, well, you get the idea. ;-).
And as I grew and experienced more of life and became more aware of organized religion and how it works, I became much less attached to it and more spiritual in my beliefs. For me now the Earth is my church, and I feel a deeper sense of spirituality to it as there is no one between me and my beliefs, and am teaching that to my child. I have no regrets about my involvement with the church when I was younger though, and treasure many of the times I had there because of the good people who were like an extended family to me. It was also through my church that we did plan events surrounding the environment. We did an annual cleaning of our local parks, we held events at our church that showcased the link between Christianity and our Earth, planned hikes, picnics, and other events that showcased the beauty of this Earth. In other words, we lived the words of Christ, which to Christians are the words of humanity.
However, churches as a whole have not been cohesive and aggressive enough in the call for stewardship of our planet, and that is truly the call that is most important now. Not hearing warnings from a Pope about politicians who believe in pro choice, or the church using its power to subjugate women, stifle scientific debate, and use their money for political purposes. The church (particularly the Catholic Church) has become too corporatized of late, and it has forgotten what its true purpose is, which is to preserve our planet through stewardship.
Therefore, as with politics that has been corrupted, so has it become the same on many levels in organized religion. It is then incumbant upon Christians, Jews, Muslims, (and yes, Agnostics, Atheists) and all others who have strong beliefs about our responsibility to our planet to now speak out about going back to what religion as a whole is supposed to espouse. This is truly the one issue that should also be drawing all religions together, not spurring them into perpetual war.
I believe religious leaders across the spectrum need to come together to discuss this climate crisis and to decry the practices of those who use the church as a shield for their political agenda which takes the true spirituality and closeness we would otherwise feel with God and our planet away from the experience. The political apparatus has had such control over the churches around the world, and that is one reason why I believe teaching true stewardship to our planet has waned as it has, which is also one good reason why Thomas Jefferson was so rightfully passionate about the wall of separation between church and state.
Therefore, for churches to now show and see an Inconvenient Truth and pass it's message on to their congregations regardless of belief is imperative to the continued stewardship of our world and in inspiring people to make changes in their lives that exemplify those beliefs that will save our planet for future generations.
Just think of it in this simple term: Would Jesus if he were alive today work for EXXON and be donating tons of money to those who work to defile this planet and make war unneccessarily for their own benefit? Or would he be a man preaching about love, peace, and the preservation of our planet through sustainable living? Should we not then as Christians emulate his words and deeds?
As a woman of spirituality I say emphatically yes, we should be emulating his words and the words of others throughout history who cherished this planet and worked to see it preserved for us. We cannot become blinded to those forces that feign loyalty to the words of Christ or any other religious leader but whose actions are the antithesis to those words, for that is now becoming dangerous for our continued existence.
An Inconvenient Truth is then also a call for all people of good conscience regardless of belief to see the urgency of where this world now stands on a moral and spiritual level and to use our collective spiritual power to heal her. It is the catalyst, and we must now be the messengers if you will, of a message that is timeless.