Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Drury Sequence: Environmentalism

Democratic affinity #1: Environmentalism

"Do you not believe that God cares about the sparrows and even knows when one falls?"
~ Keith Drury

Of course, Al Gore recently won a share of the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-stop environmental awareness campaign. He said his recognition would "change the world's consciousness" about the need for imminent change in the ways people consume the Earth's bounty.

It is fitting that Drury lists the environment first among his Democratic affinities. Care for God's creation transcends party politics. It speaks to mankind's spiritual needs for a balanced life, for bodily homeostasis, and for awe before our awesome triune God. At the same time, Democrats - with Gore in the forefront - have most fully comprehended that caring for the environment calls for a change in our consciousness and a renewal of our spiritual wholeness. But it's not just Democratic politicians who speak inconvenient truths: men and women of goodwill do the same every day in every nook and cranny of our planet.

In four months' time, from October 1989 to February 1990, one of my heroes, Vaclav Havel, went from being arrested as a political prisoner to becoming President of free Czechoslovakia. On 21 February 1990, Havel embodied these truths in an astounding address before a joint session of Congress. It strikes me that Vaclav Havel, long before environmentalism was in fashion as it is now, recognized the spiritual dryness that causes degradation and pollution.

He said, "We are still under the sway of the destructive and thoroughly vain belief that man is the pinnacle of creation, and not just a part of it, and that therefore everything is permitted... we are still destroying the planet that was entrusted to us."

So the call to environmentalism - to loving concern for all God's creation - is, profoundly and simply, a call to humility. May our prayer today be to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord.

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