I think there are people operating on the national scene who could be called “good guys” by any reasonable standard. Robert Kennedy, Jr. is one of them. I received a letter from him this week, sharing his concern for the destruction of our natural environment – on which we depend for life and health. I will quote from Kennedy in a minute.
But first let me point out that concerns about the environment are not just wild secular extremism. The planet we live on, “nature” and all its potential for life, health, and growth – these are definitely Biblical issues.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. [Genesis 2:15]
This is the dominion responsibility God has given us: “to take care of it,” not to plunder and destroy it.
The reasons often given in defense of human-directed plunder and destruction are:
- human freedom – which has come to mean, do whatever we have the power and the desire to do;
- economic growth – which has come to mean, the responsibility to make as much money as possible in as little time as possible, whatever the cost to other persons or creatures; and
- the Divine command to exercise dominion – which has come to mean domination, exploitation, and destruction.
All of those reasons are false, physically destructive, and spiritually corrupting. We are not free to do whatever we can and want; we have no responsibility to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible; and the dominion command is “to take care of it.”
Let’s get a couple more quotes from the Bible.
The time has come for … destroying those who destroy the earth. [Revelation 11:18]
The book of Revelation is full of much destruction of the earth, but it is not because the Creator prefers it that way. Those humans responsible for getting things to such a place will be held to account for that responsibility.
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration … in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. [Romans 8:18-21]
The “frustration” and “decay” of the non-human parts of creation are not to be increased by human activity. Rather, when humans live in holiness, creation will be “liberated” from those things. I believe “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth” clearly has relevance to this.
Well, you get the idea.
Here are some of Robert Kennedy Jr’s concerns.
The Bush White House is quietly putting radical new policies in place …. [they] plan to treat mercury pollution from power plants as non-hazardous even though mercury is one of the world’s morst dangerous substances. Why? So those plants can keep pumping mercury into our air, where it rains down on lakes and oceans and winds up in the fish we eat.
This will result in
dramatically increasing asthma and heart attacks, hospitalizations, and premature deaths.
I am angry – both as a citizen and as a father – at the terrible price we are about to pay so that this Administration’s corporate allies can cash in.
Three of my own kids – and millions of others – already struggle to breathe on bad air days because they suffer from asthma. Should our children suffer even more to improve ExxonMobil’s bottom line?
I live in one of the 45 states that already post warnings about mercury contamination in lakes and streams. Should our families run an even greater risk of ingesting this terrible poison so that a few corporate fat cats can boost their profits?
“Should our families run an even greater risk … so that a few … can boost their profits?” No, we should not. We SHOULD, in fact (through our government), “love our neighbors as ourselves.”
But Bush will ram it through if he possibly can.
My Christian brothers and sisters, that is immoral BOTH by secular and humanist standards (Kennedy is not a secular humanist, by the way.), AND by the standards of Scripture.
(See the site of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the organization Robert Kennedy Jr represents.)