Expanding the base
Over the past months, the one consistent theme in my posts is the need to expand the base of opposition to the policies of Richard Pombo. I have talked about the hook and bullets crowd, about Latinos, about the California Delta. Today I would like to add one more idea, one more constituency that we should be calling on to have success in this campaign.
The media likes to focus on the differences between the positions of Pombo and challenger Pete McCloskey re the Endangered Species Act. This is an easy story. The author of the old vs. the man who would "improve" the act or "eviscerate" the act, depending who who is doing the spin.
There is one group that has been relatively quiet on environmental issues in recent years, and that is the Church. That too, is beginning to change. Within the past year we have seen the emergence of a movement among religious leaders of all faiths to take a stand about out custodianship of the planet. This includes our policies regarding endangered species. The movement is tied together in an organization called the Noah Alliance.
The Noah Alliance publishes a lot of material on their web site, from sermons to articles and essays to songs and hymns. The theme is clearly articulated in a publication of Creation Care magazine: Protecting God's Endangered Creatures.
This suggests that opposition to Pombo's policies may also come from the pulpit and we should work to make that a reality. A leader of one local congregation told me that he thought most environmentalists to be well meaning idiots. I wonder about whether he is truly living in God's creation.
The material available from the Noah Alliance comes from evangelical, Presbyterian, Jewish, Greek Orthodox and other traditions. Perhaps we all need to be talking to our pastor or minister about the church's role in preserving our creator's work.
Let me close this by quoting from Bishop Irineos Pop of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
But when we look today at our world, we see a very different picture. Humanity's rebellion, pride and greed has shattered the primordial relationship of Adam. It has ignored the Church's understanding of our role as priests of creation. By doing so, our world is facing a crisis of death and corruption to a degree never before experienced.
We must attempt to return to a proper relationship with the Creator and the creation, in order that the survival of the natural world can be assured. We are called to bear some of the pain of creation as well as to enjoy and celebrate it. That means to perform Liturgia "extra muros", the Liturgy beyond (outside) the walls of the church, for the sanctification of the world.