Thursday, November 15, 2007

Minnesota Monitor's Quote of the Day Coulter and University of St. Thomas

I laughed a good laugh. Here's why. Minnesota Monitor has a post about the campus recycling program's web page on Environmental Stewardship at the University of St. Thomas. Here you will find quotes from popes, presidents, writers, the Bible, Jesus, politicians, many different voices. Some explain the problem of environmental stewardship, that it's simply more profitable to not limit the use of resources, most of the others speak with caution and responsibility. For example:

We must strive to become good ancestors.

-Ralph Nader

If we play the Sesame Street game to find the "thing that doesn't look quite like the others," Minnesota Monitor stumbled upon this gem:

God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.'

-Ann Coulter, Fox-TV: Hannity & Colmes, 20 Jun 01

Now, I hope there's a very very small minority of people who use that reasoning. I would say, if I put on a Christian apologist hat, that the decree from God that man has dominion over the plants and animals and things which swim in the sea, does not mean, "rape it, it's yours." A king has dominion over his kingdom. That doesn't mean "rape it, it's yours." Dominion implies a sense of responsibility. Sure, you get to call the shots, but you can not abuse your authority without consequence. So, as human kind, we have a duty to the environment. This is the majority point of view of the quotes on UST's site. Who knows how Coulter's quote got in there? But, I do think that it does bring to light a base reasoning come people may have when trying to oppose an attitude of Environmental Stewardship. We don't need to be responsible. God said we could do what we'd like with all the things which fly, crawl, and swim
, and I'm not going to let some hippy tell me I can't built my parking lot because it would cause an increase of pollution in the water supply.

Personally, I don't think we need the Bible to justify environmental stewardship. It makes as much sense as not shooting yourself in the foot. But, using the Bible to justify the indifference towards environmental stewardship, is irresponsible, and I'd say is poor reading. You don't need to be told from any politician, comedian, playwright, religious leader, or president that environmental stewardship is critical. Will it lead to an end of global warming? Who knows? But, there are immediate benefits of having cleaner air, and cleaner water. Also, the development of cheaper energy will make the largest difference to countries without stable power generation, or a reliance on unstable fuel sources. Whether it makes a huge dent in the warming of the planet, the side effects of the effort are so great. It's just a shame that the side effects are not as powerful of a motivator as global climate change.

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