God is Green: Faith and Environmentalism
On Earth Day, I am always especially moved by NASA images of the beautiful earth. As a person of faith, I am also moved that such an awesome creation was made and given to us by such a generous God.
Though the vocal Religious Right has gets most of the mainstream press for their rabidly anti-environmentalism agenda, most of us Judeo-Christian faithful believe strongly that environmental stewardship is a moral imperative and, yes, biblical:
You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart.
This means one of the ways I observe my faith is by lovingly and respectfully caring for God’s creation within the limits of my best abilities.
And I support others who legislate and lobby for my government to do likewise. Here are just a few of the organizations working toward a message of Green Faith:
CIPL seeks to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. This ministry intends to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard public health, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all.
Heavy reliance on fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) together with ecologically damaging land use patterns have produced grave threats to justice, peace, and the integrity of creation. The related challenges posed by global warming and climate change are unprecedented in human history.
The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) is a non-profit organization that seeks to educate, inspire, and mobilize Christians in their effort to care for God’s creation, to be faithful stewards of God’s provision, and to advocate for actions and policies that honor God and protect the environment.
Judaism has a tradition of ethical concern for both the natural resources that support life, and the financial resources that support religious and educational projects. Both are called “stewardship,” and both imply conservation. Wasted energy is not only poor stewardship of funds, but wasted natural resources, causing unnecessary pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The impact of climate change falls heaviest on the world’s poor. As Catholics, our faith demands prudent action. Our cars and power plants, more energy consumption and waste-we’re leaving a bigger carbon footprint. Scientists tell us that means more climate change. Here and around the world, it is the poor who will be hit hardest. With more droughts, floods, hunger and joblessness. As faithful Catholics, we have a moral obligation to care for both Creation and the poor. Pope Benedict XVI insisted, ‘Before it is too late, it is necessary to make courageous decisions’ to curb climate change.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons