11 June 2010

environmentalists and religious devotion

As of this writing the world is watching Day 52 of the BP oil spill somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. Although some of the impact is being driven out-of-porportion, it nevertheless is a catastrophe that should have been handled by now. The current administration is showing all the marks of ineptitude, incompetence and ignorance on how to handle the crisis. A number of attempts have been made to solve the problem . . . to no avail. Although I am not interested here in making a statement regarding the oil spill, assigning blame, or proposing a solution, there is one aspect of the political situation which has caught my attention.

When the President was elected in 2008, it was on the shallow and repetitive mantra of hope and change which seemed to inspire people to warm and fuzzy feelings. This guy was put out there as some type of messianic figure for the nations, often with Christians leading the charge of using language once reserved for Jesus alone to describe their etherial feelings toward this new administration (see my prior thoughts on this phenomenon here). This man, of course, is not messianic in any sense, even when people are enthralled with definition-less words like hope and change.

One of his leftist policies was/is the commitment to environmentalism. Not simply the responsible actions of industrialized nations to care for creation, but the liberal over-stepping of agenda which ultimately leads to humanity's subjection to nature. It doesn't take very long to see that this level of environmentalism becomes its own divinity, often being held by people who otherwise have no use for a god - being atheist toward a creator but showing great religious devotion to their cause (cf. "replacing god"). Now, this might appear to be too harsh a critique of those who focus on naturalist care and cause. But before judgment is passed, look for a moment on the current crisis.

The President is now being aligned by all sides for his inept response to the oil spill, not just by the conservative right wing but also by the liberal left. Why? Mostly because they have made their god the environment and they are presently unwilling to sacrifice their sentiment for a would-be messiah that was supposed to advance their agenda . . . not regress it. But that is precisely what is happening with the incompetence-on-display, and those who have made earth their divinity are more devoted to Mother Nature than they are to nature's supposed messianic figure. Remember, this was the guy who promised that the oceans would recede because of his presence and leadership in the world.

Reality demonstrates that the oceans will not bow to his command either.

Interestingly, there is a lesson to be learned in all of this - especially for the church. For the past couple of years I have sat and listened to the rhetoric of hope and change ramble through the religious communities, being given credence by flimsy Christian voices of supposed leadership as they promptly ceased their critical thought processes and drank the Kool-Aid of this propaganda machine. This was a terrible sight, no doubt.

But what makes things infinitely worse is that while some factions of people who were on this bandwagon have refused to allow this now-uncovered-deception to go unnoticed, many in the church are still thinking that this could be the one - as though Jesus is nothing more than a Morpheus in need of a Neo in these last days to make God's will happen. While the environmentalists are willing to put their devotion to creation above anyone who would stand in its way, a good section of the church is unwilling to put their devotion to the Creator above those who do not seek to promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We should. For, after all, it was the Creator who gave these inalienable rights which some in this nation still remember properly.

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