Monday, April 21, 2008
Sometimes Wishing Does Make It SoA few weeks ago my friend Marigolds2 posted a part of a speech by Barak Obama that defined the environmental responsibilities that face us today, as a moral issue. I wish I could find the post, and the speech, but I remember commenting, or maybe I didn't, since I can't find it, that religious leaders everywhere should be speaking about the environment, speaking about the urgency that faces our planet, and defining it it terms of moral obligation, rather than something that should be regulated by the state. I remember wishing that all religious leaders would begin to speak out about the problems that we will continue to face by doing nothing, and the harm it will cause many of our fellow humans who live in places already damaged by poverty and the cruel forces of nature.
I have to be fair, I was pleasantly surprised by the Pope's speech to the UN.
Indeed, questions of security, development goals, reduction of local and global inequalities, protection of the environment, of resources and of the climate, require all international leaders to act jointly and to show a readiness to work in good faith, respecting the law, and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the planet. I am thinking especially of those countries in Africa and other parts of the world which remain on the margins of authentic integral development, and are therefore at risk of experiencing only the negative effects of globalization.Okay, it wasn't exactly what I wished for, I was thinking of a concerted effort, between all of the Big Five, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hindu, Buddhism, all on one Sunday, or Saturday, or Friday, whatever the particular church day, all giving the same message, all of the preachers and the Imans, the Rabbis, the holy men and women of our time, all of them preaching the same message to all of the people who seek spiritual guidance in the form of organized religion. What if there were a meeting, much like the G-8 Summit, where spiritual leaders got together to address the most dire issues that confront us today? What if you went to church or mosque this week, and your preacher spoke about the consequences of failing to recycle, spoke about how much extra energy it takes to produce a glass bottle, or how much of our trash goes into landfills that shouldn't? What if the priest spoke about large shopping malls and asked that instead of suburban sprawl, we devote more space to agriculture to feed the increasing number of people who are hungry? What if the Rabbi told us it was a sin to drive two blocks to the 7-11 for a hot dog, when we could walk just as easily and save the carbon emissions for something more important like the transport of food and medicine?
What would happen in the world if organized religion began to unite all of the human race, what would happen if they took on such issues as greed and poverty, and pollution, in every house of worship on the planet?
Dream about that. Wish about that. And then after you wake up, dream that our religious leaders will truly separate themselves from whatever state they reside in, and not do the bidding of the state, and begin to preach that all humans are equal, and that war is an abomination not just against God, but against all humanity.
Don't just wish it. Make it so.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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