Friday, May 30, 2008

Sounds of Silence

Hi, PDX!

That 4-years-late White House report on climate change (see previous post) includes the following language:

Finally, climate change is very likely to accentuate the disparities already evident in the American health care system. Many of the expected health effects are likely to fall disproportionately on the poor, the elderly, the disabled and the uninsured.

Increasingly, those categories describe my wife and me.

A February 2002 report by Physicians for Social Responsibility, titled "Degrees of Danger--Health Effects of Climate Change and Energy in Oregon", found much the same. Six years ago...

When the scientists are essentially telling us that climate change comes down to a matter of looking out for the poor and loving our neighbors as ourselves it reminds me of the lyrics of that Simon and Garfunkel song "Sounds of Silence":

And the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls, and tenement halls...

So even the scientists are telling us what would be the Christ-like thing to do. Then why for so long has addressing climate change been considered an idolatrous thing to do by so much of the church? Why is it still in many circles a sound of silence? And why, for God's sake (literally) has that been true of a so-called born again White House? Born to what?

Father, forgive us; for we know not what we do.


Pastor Roger

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Things that make you go, "Hmmmm...."

Hi, PDX!

Last post was 4/15, six weeks ago. Been a hard six weeks, more than I can share or you want to know. All in all, the past year has been the hardest year of my life; and that may be a foretaste of the feast to come, as some church liturgies say. We'll see, won't we?

Got a letter today from Jim Jewell, COO of the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN). I've given them a small donation which gets me a subscription to their quarterly magazine Creation Care. It contains good, thoughtful and helpful writing by people of faith. I recommend it.

Mr. Jewell reported that EEN had applied to display at the 2008 convention of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) held in Nashville in April. The NRB convention staff accepted the application. EEN prepared to go. Then they got notification that the NRB executive committee had reversed the decision of the staff. No reason given.

Think about that a minute. This was the Evangelical Environmental Network that had been denied, not the network of Wiccans, atheists, pagans or Communists. People in the EEN are people who have faith in the Triune God, worship God as creator and take their role as stewards of God's creation seriously. But they can't display to people associated with religious broadcasting. Hmmmm... EEN now plans to buy air time to run Creation Care Minute segments on Christian radio stations. Could be way better than a display at the NRB gig. Bad news turned into good. Hmmmm....

To me, there is no choice but to do the best with what God has given us since we all depend on it for life. So if we take care of creation, don't we help or neighbors who also depend on it? And didn't Jesus say that loving our neighbors as ourselves was parallel to loving God? Hmmmm....

In other news, the Bush Administration was finally pushed into publishing a summary of scientific consensus regarding the effects of climate change. Had been stonewalling on a report that is required by a 1990 law to be produced every four years. Last one was in 2000. Much of the news points us to serious changes ahead, things we should have been addressing as our top priority for years. Hmmmm... Why?


Pastor Roger