... about the Christianity and Environment blogs
I recently published a somewhat longish and, I suppose, tedious blog titled Christianity and Evolution. Then, in Another Point of View, I quoted some of Sue Monk Kidd's thoughts (and not necessarily mine) on how Christianity tends to devalue nature. First, although neither garnered as many comments as my PANTing LEGacy, I would like to thank people for their contributions, a few of which deserve to be blogs in their own right. I would also like to respond, briefly at least, to some of the comments.
The point of both blogs was not to debate (see Anonymous comment on Another Point of View — and please feel free to identify yourself; as long as people keep it civil and don't flame each other, you are welcome to say what you wish without fear of reprisal) whether lobsters, salamanders, or bugs should be considered to be equal with humans. Rather, I attempt to raise the general consciousness of the Christian community. I am addressing that fundamentally flawed view which so obviously misinterprets the Genesis account: that the earth is our gift to do with as we please. While I don't argue the gift part exactly, I find myself strenuously rejecting the historically typical Judeo-Christian notion that we should blindly do whatever it crosses out minds to do with this gift: ravage forests, degrade the soil, dump raw sewage into the sea, etc.
I rather like Powerdpuff's extension of my argument: that G-d created humans to tend the earth in His stead. We are to care for the planet as we think G-d would care for it. That's the real message of the Genesis account in her opinion and in mine. We don't have to debate whether squirrels, for example, are of equal value to man, but if we tend nature in a G-dly manner we will surely not consider it our domain to behave like this man:
That evening when the man left to go the church (that's right, church!), I went about the yard throwing open the cages and feeling the most delicious sense of glee as the squirrels shot out and up the trees, making riotous leaps through the branches (Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, 106).
Perhaps such accounts don't horrify you, but they do me. I am not upset by the man's wish to protect his garden from those pesky varmints, but I am profoundly disturbed by his most dreadful solution and by his cavalier attitude to creatures whose DNA are more like his than he would care to admit: "Mice and men share about 97.5 per cent of their working DNA, just one per cent less than chimps and humans. The new estimate is based on the comparison of mouse chromosome 16 with human DNA. Previous estimates had suggested mouse-human differences as high as 15 per cent." (http://www.vetscite.org/publish/items/000605/)
Katt believes that we should take Genesis with "a grain of salt," and I choose not to quibble with that either. My concern is not whether it is to be taken literally or with a grain of salt. My concern, rather, is that huge populations take it quite literally indeed, and I address myself to them. I contend that if you do take the Genesis account to be literal, then you have all the more reason to be very kindly disposed to the care of nature, for that is God's commission to you.
While speaking of Katt, I encourage you to visit her blog, The Far Horizon. Her most recent entry, The Forces of Nature, contains a plethora of quotes that are synchronous with this theme that I recently and somewhat surprisingly find myself dwelling on. She has also published two blogs on The Wisdom of Native Americans, part 1 and part 2 that I heartily recommend.
The Far Horizon is a unique blog. Katt primarily posts series of wonderful quotes on a given theme and usually blends them with exceptional, complementary images. I frequently find this thematic blending of images and quotes to be quite poignant and think that you might too. For the record, I am adding The Far Horizon to my blog links.
Once again, thanks for your comments. I consider this topic to be very important and thought that I should highlight and address some of the fine remarks that were posted and decided that, in this instance at least, I could better accomplish that in a regular blog entry rather than by replying in the Comments sections. I trust that no one finds my comments about comments to be offensive in any way.