Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pray for Climate change

I just got the visit of two charming ladies who asked me if I knew what climate change was, and how it should be stopped.
I recognized them as the seventh day adventists by their nervous smiles, their dowdy clothes, and the bibles clutched in their hands. I was nice to them. I like people who smile, even if they did remind me of two mice sent to knock on all the cats' doors.
The woman who did all the talking told me that climate change was serious, and asked if I knew how to stop it.
I have to admit, that caught me off guard. "There are so many things we have to do," I admitted cautiously.
She beamed at me, and read me a passage in the bible that said, "Our father who art in heaven, thy kingdom come, thy will be done," and then told me earnestly that this meant that God would take care of climate change. All we had to do is pray. "When all the world lives under God's grace, then he will make it a paradise," she said. "We have to pray."
I told her I was praying very hard that Obama would win the election because I was counting on him to tighten up emissions regulations and encourage developement of clean energy sources. In the meantime, I explained, I cut down on my driving, buy energy saving lightbulbs, recycle, and do my best to save water and energy. I said I was confidant in the power of prayer, and that if enough people actually prayed for Obama, there might be a glimmer of hope in the world for climate change.
"I understand that you have different opinions than mine," said the woman smugly.
"That's a start," I said cheerfully.
She shrugged and left, after giving me one of her paphlets.
So, being open minded I gave the pamphlets a glance. Points in favor: they cited millions of years of climate change, so they aren't creationists. The paphlet puts the blame on the greed of humans (in a way quite true). And on the disregard for others. (Again, true when you look at the ecological damage caused by oil and chemical companies in third world countries.)
A lot of the points were true. I was starting to think we might have more in common than I thought. But instead of doing something concrete about the mess we're in, these poor people are falling on their knees to pry to God to help make the world a better place. And here is where our opinions differ. They believe that if everyone follows the same moral compass they do, we'll all end up in paradise. What they don't seem to understand is that morality is the right hand of hypocracy. And greed is always just around the corner, waiting to move in and take a bite. There are many men and women in positions of power who give lip service to morality, and then grant drilling rights to fragile land, who encourage waste and who don't care if the poor and the meek don't have health insurance, a retirement fund, or a roof over their heads.
Relying on God to do your work for you is a pretty shabby excuse for doing nothing. God is like Santa Claus - we all pretend he's there, but we know who really buys the presents.
Well, I'm off to town and I'm car-pooling to save gas, so I have to go pick upi my friends.
Have a great day!

7 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Pray to God but keep your powder dry.

debra said...

We once had an elderly neighbor who lived up the road. One spring, she was also visited by evangelists. She told them that she had her own point of view, and pointed to an area near her driveway. The place was crawling with baby snakes. The people left quickly and have never returned!

John Nez said...

Very interesting insights...

What I don't get about religious fruitcakes is how they can reconcile their overarching obesession with the foetus balanced along with their disregard for the wholesale destruction of the rest of the planet.

How anyone claiming reverence for spiritual things can support automatic assault rifles and go out murdering moose seems highly inconsistent. Borderline fruitcake.

The creationist baloney is too frightful to even begin an argument. How do these people allow themselves to climb on airplanes, or use the internet or believe in science when the rest of their philosophy is from the dark ages?

Why don't they also advocate a 'Flat Earth' philosophy... that malarkey about the world being round is all hooey!

Ugh! I just hope & pray that Obama can squeak by. Thank gosh the polls are tightening up... since that Palin uptick was freaking me out.

Let's see... the nation is nearly bankrupt, all our jobs are shipped off to china, the chinese own our mortgages, all the 'financial banking experts' have been proven 100% wrong...GM is bankrupt, while Toyota is earning record profits... something is amiss with America, methinks.

But people STILL think they want MORE of this republican leadership!

Ugh!

pjd said...

I may have mentioned before that I was privileged to see (and hear) Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak recently. Being an Archbishop, he certainly would qualify as a believer in God.

But he had the whole thing figured exactly the opposite of the two mice you met. He spoke about how God could certainly change the world if He wanted. Being omnipotent has its perks. But God doesn't want to. God wants us to help Him improve the world. God is asking for our help every day, every hour, every minute.

And when you think about it, that's really what Religion (with a big R) is all about: Choosing the righteous path in everything you do.

The trouble is in knowing which path is the righteous one. The "religious right" think it has to do with discrimination, intolerance, and consolidating all power and authority in old, white males (presumably because that's what God is). The "liberal left" tend to think it has to do with honoring diversity, empowering individuals, and lifting up all people.

I personally have little time for Religion. I don't know where the Archbishop stands in terms of politics, but his message was very similar to yours: do what you can to help the Earth, help others, honor and respect everyone. Through this, we are all enriched, and even the Earth can be Saved.

Marcel said...

I appreciate and agree with the original poster's political stance, no doubt. Obama is our best choice for our environmental challenges. I want to point out, however, that if those ladies who came to your door did not affirm creationism in their pamphlets, they are no Seventh-day Adventists. The denomination's own fundamental belief #6 affirms a literal, six-day creation from the Bible.
http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html

Cheers,

Sam said...

Lots of interesting comments. Agree 100%.
Marcel - I wonder what they could be if not the 7th dayers. Will ask next time.

Marcel said...

Sam--not sure, but even if they say they're Adventists, most likely they're a fringe fundamentalist group not recognized by the mainstream SDA church.

Peace.