the Earth neither lags nor hastens

Earth Day was started on April 22, 1970, designated as a day to “inspire appreciation” and “raise awareness” for the Earth’s environment.

It was founded by a liberal U.S. Senator from Wisconsin and an environmental activist from Washington state. Yeah, I’m sure that’s going to get some eyeballs rolling.

Though I wryly claim the political mantle of “radical moderate” it’s certainly well known that I generally approach many socio-political issues from a more conservative perspective than not.

As such, you probably won’t find me at the forefront of many leftist causes. I believe babies should be protected and murderers should be punished, not the other way around.

However, even as a landowning born-again Southerner who voted for George W. Bush (twice!), I don’t see why a day set aside to consider how the Earth may be better preserved need be dismissed out of hand.

Surely the land should be seen as precious to all, irrespective of where you stand along the political spectrum. Surely.

Don’t get me wrong…  I’m not suggesting the Earth be deified, venerated, or even thought of more highly than it ought but I also don’t see how treating the land like a giant landfill makes any kind of sense, even to a bunch of money-grubbing right-wing capitalists.

For those who view mankind as the centerpiece of divine Creation, surely the Earth, by extension, must be seen as his dominion.

Regardless of the self-righteous excesses of a few fringe environmentalist wackos, I hold that it is impossible to be consistent to the Christian worldview and yet take a passive stance towards the wanton abuse of the natural world.

Some cite countless examples of rampant political alarmism and an often toxic atmosphere (pun intended) in dialogues over environmental issues. But I could also reference the long history of industrial capitalism, looking upon nature merely as another thing to be exploited for base economic gain.

In this country we have forged a legacy of selling our children’s inheritance for a steaming bowl of filthy lucre that rots within our bowels. We have been too often blinded by the glittering startlements of material wealth, having succumbed to an animalistic desire to consume, and consume, and consume.

Whatever one’s view on climate change, too many of my brothers and sisters are too quick to chide and mock those who they believe take such views a bit too far…  as many are wont to do.

But they do this while yet ignoring the manufacturing sewage that is strangling the life out of the Chesapeake Bay, the washed-up crude slicks on Galveston Beach, or even the floating island of refuse above the remote depths of the Pacific.

I often wonder if much of the skepticism is based less upon a studied appraisal of the issues and more upon a deep-set desire to continuing to live as though our planet is merely an all-you-can-eat buffet from which we can plunder until we die. Leaving the by-products for yet another generation to endure.

Perhaps seriously interacting with what is occurring globally would force us to take a harder look at how we live, and perhaps see that our day-to-day actions have consequences which reach beyond the white picket-fences of our 10,000 square-foot McMansions.

Is this what our Lord commanded of us to rule over and steward His glorious Creation? Does any parent take delight in their child’s messy room?

Here in the United States (and Texas especially!) we are continuing to live beyond our means, consuming far more resources than is necessary. We are insatiably devouring minerals, forests, and the very soil itself in effect lowering the water table…  all to gratify the appetites of the present tenants of the country.

The Scriptures command us to take charge concerning the Earth (Psalm 8:5-8). Leviticus and Deuteronomy both have explicit teachings for how the Israelites were to care for their animals, as well as their property, and the Revelation tells of the punishment for those “destroyers of the Earth” (Revelation 11:18).

As a man of principle, a family-centered and “traditional values” sorta guy, I think it’s high time for those who talk the Jesus-talk need to snap out of their carbohydrate stupor and start walking the Jesus-walk.

How can we tell others to live in the way that the Bible teaches when we turn our eyes from the inconvenient truths contained within its pages?

I don’t care if you observe Earth Day with a granola bar or a T-bone steak, it’s time to stop heckling from the sidelines and get in the game.

Words need to become actions, and ideas need to manifest into practice. If not for our own time, then for our children’s.

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