There has been a lot of talk about our responsibility for the planet. We cause a lot of damage in the course of living our lives. We contribute methane to the atmosphere as we live, process food, and die. The many animals that we breed, tend and eat contribute methane to the atmosphere as they live, process food and die.
We generate technology, then throw it away when it no longer functions. We do not build our tools and toys to last. We do not repair and keep our tools and toys. Our technology represents reformation and reformulation of the Earth’s substances in ways that have never happened before.
We make huge amounts of new substance, contribute huge amounts of new substance to the planet, and throw away huge amounts of new substance. Styrofoam and other foams that do not decompose, the plastics that offer so much convenience and the oil and gas that gives us so much mobility makes us happy while it all makes the planet sick.
We have severed ourselves from the Earth, from other life forms and from each other. When we immerse ourselves in the waters or play in the snow, it is with so much attention toward thrills, getting to somewhere, and kills that we do not appreciate or respect the land and life.
But how does our religion come into it? What is the connection between our faith in God and the Earth?
Genesis 9:8-9. Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish my covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you – the birds, the livestock, and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you – every living Creature on the earth.”
Genesis 9:12-13. And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will he the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
The richer we get, the more space and singularity we demand. We want the largest lot and the biggest house that we can afford for two and four person families. We turn away homeless family members even though we have plenty of room for them. We get into situations where there can only be one person to a car and multiple cars to a family.
We produce tons of waste in ways that we treat as rights when they should be treated as very costly indulgences.
Job 12:7-10. But ask the animals, and they will teach you; or birds of the air and they will tell you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you; or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the lord has done this. In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
We strive to improve our comfort and our ease at the expense of the Earth. In the process, we cover the Earth with concrete and road surface. We section off the Earth and make parts of it unavailable. We do not want to pay the taxes to support the people who protect our national parks and natural treasures from our greed and foolishness.
Lev. 25:23-24. The land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.
We eat the meat of animals who have been horribly mistreated by greedy producers. We enjoy medicines and cosmetics that profit those who torture animals. Help those who investigate and stop the wrong treatment of animals. Stop those who fight in favor of the wrong treatment of animals.
Ezekiel 34:2-4. Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not the shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you did not take care of the flock! You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.
We have changed the course of waterways, drowning history and sacred lands. We have created deserts where forests and croplands once flourished. We have polluted the air and the waterways in ways that will take decades of no humans to clear up.
Yet we distance ourselves, excuse ourselves and fail to take responsibility. Bless those who speak up. Bless those who fight for industrial restraint and respect for the land. Yet the people who fight for the environment are attacked and ridiculed. Stop the attackers and stop the ridicule so that we can correct the damage that we have benefited from and caused.
Isaiah 24:4-6. The earth dries up and withers, the world languished and withers, the exalted of the earth languish. The earth lies under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt.
Jer. 2:7. I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and you made my inheritance detestable.
The most wonderful way to be in touch with the Earth is to grow a garden, swim or wade in an ocean or river, walk in a forest, and watch the ways of the indigenous peoples of the world. Ask what crime the zoo animals committed in order to be sentenced to confinement for life. Go to a real farm and look at the animals that we eat, then ask about their natures, their qualities as living things, and their personalities.
Fight those who advocate the coldest, greediest, cruelest and most deviant religious and political movements in our recent history. Stop the charismatic creeps before they take control and force us into lives of cold blooded self interest.
Peter 3:17. It is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right, rather than for doing what is wrong.
Psalm 37:34. Wait for the lord and keep his way.