10 March 2008

Religious Environmentalism

Thanks to bex over at Bexhuff.com who cites the following religions that are officially coming to the environmental discussion table. Several of these groups are even beginning to refer to environmental issues now as a ‘moral’ issue. As Mormons, are we generally uninvolved in environmental issues because the current leaders of the Church are largely silent on these issues? If this is the case, are we favoring the “commanded in all things” approach over the “anxiously engaged” approach?

“Thou shall not pollute the Earth…so the Vatican has told the faithful that they should be aware of ‘new’ sins such as causing environmental blight.

In recent months, Pope Benedict has made several strong appeals for the protection of the environment, saying issues such as climate change had become gravely important for the entire human race.

Under Benedict and his predecessor John Paul, the Vatican has become progressively ‘green.’
It has installed photovoltaic cells on buildings to produce electricity and hosted a scientific conference to discuss the ramifications of global warming and climate change, widely blamed on human use of fossil fuels.”

Southern Baptists
“Several prominent leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention said Monday that Baptists have a moral responsibility to combat climate change -- a major shift within a denomination that just last year cast doubt on human responsibility for global warming.

Forty-six influential members of the Southern Baptist Convention, including three of its past four presidents, criticized their denomination in a statement Monday for being "too timid" in confronting global warming.

‘Our cautious response to these issues in the face of mounting evidence may be seen by the world as uncaring, reckless and ill-informed,’ the statement says. ‘We can do better.’”

Several prominent evangelical leaders and pastors are emerging through written bestsellers, “calling for ‘creation care’ on global warming and galvanizing church members to address Third World poverty and disease…‘Today there is a strong evangelical center emerging that agrees that a biblically balanced agenda has to include pro-life, pro-family, pro-poor, pro-racial justice, pro-creation care and pro-peacemaking,’ said Ronald Sider, president of Evangelicals for Social Action.”


CatherineWO said...

I think a large part of the problem for LDS Church members is that environmentalism has been seen as a liberal/Democrat issue, and, unfortunately, many Church members view the Democrats as the enemy. I think attitudes would change if a) more leaders spoke up about environmental issues and b) if the the Church were to adopt more environmentally friendly policies in its own buildings. As I have spoken with people directly, I have found it pretty easy to make the case for protecting the environment as a moral issue, but I think many people just see it as a political issue and haven't stopped to think about it on a personal level.

Mellifera said...

Yeah... or people could think for themselves... nah. ; )

I had an intro-to-ecology class at BYU that was required for the zoology major... which was mostly composed of premeds who didn't give a rip but still had to go. It was interesting to watch them all go from being cynical and bored to feeling pretty strongly about ecological issues, because they saw it discussed in a non-political context for once.