Why God Hates Al Gore: Judeo-Christianity and Ecology.
God‘s version of protecting the environment.
There are many that think the wholesale disregard and destruction of our environment began with the industrial revolution in the early 19th century. To make matters worse there is a large sect of people who refuse to acknowledge that there are environmental issues such as global warming, the poisoning of the water we drink and the air we breathe.
Damaging the environment began in earnest about 5000 years ago, when the Urban Revolution was in its infancy. As small farming communities began to grow into cities more natural resources were needed for building, transportation, provision of food, commerce, disposal of waste, etc. Even then many thought that mother earth and her resources existed for no other reason than to serve mankind. But why did the majority of the population think this way? In order to answer that we need to pay a visit to my old buddy Christianity and his wacky father Judaism.
Judeo-Christianity essentially tells us that it’s just fine and dandy to exploit our environment. According to the bible man was created in god’s image, and everything on earth was created by god to use at our discretion. This passage in Genesis 1:28 reinforces the religious philosophy that man is above nature:
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Early western science further perpetuated the idea of man’s separation from nature by developing a method of finding answers that is still used today. During the scientific revolution in renaissance Europe, many scientists such as Keppler and Galileo concluded that in order to understand nature and unlock its secrets, it must be studied as an outside observer, not as a participant. Of course, many of the renaissance scientists were products of Christian universities; virtually every institute of higher learning was administered by the catholic church. Go figure.
What’s interesting about Christianity is that it steals heavily from other polytheistic religions (and yes, I consider Christianity polytheistic: Christians worship god, jesus, and the holy spirit, a total of three divine beings, thus it is polytheistic not monotheistic.) Polytheistic religions revered gods and goddesses to define their role in nature. Each deity represents a specific aspect of nature and was worshipped in the hopes of giving order to the natural occurrences that were out of their control. It’s not a secret (except to most Christians) that Christianity incorporated pagan beliefs, spirits, and ideals in order to control more people and gather more wealth.
In no other religion with the exception of possibly Confucianism is there a common thought that man is beyond all other things worldly: Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism all make it very clear that god created man as a part of nature, not separate from it, and that we all have a moral responsibility to interact with the environment and treat it like the precious commodity that it is.
So how do we save the environment? The ideal proposition would be to do away with religion and to revert back to the ways of the Native American: In other words understand the fact that we are indeed animals participating in a very fragile circle of life where natural harmony means everything. That’s not going to happen though. Christian schizophrenics will continue to listen to the pious voices in their heads and wrap themselves in the straight jacket of salvation to justify poisoning our planet until it is little more than an uninhabitable piece of rock. The answer is that there is no answer: As long as we place ourselves above nature in the name of god and capitalism, we’re doomed. I apologize for not having a joke here, but it’s all I’ve got.