A Sinful Environmental Holocaust! Seriously?
If there were a Mother Nature, she'd be unhappy
You would have thought the Church had learned its lesson with Galileo — at least in public relations — when it comes to science. Tying theological doctrine to empirical, and therefore highly fallible, observation and theory is bound to lead to grief.
The lesson, though, has not been learned. Take the case of Charles Cardinal Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar (a.k.a. Burma). In a voice loud enough that others might hear and quote him, he said, “Today we find ourselves faced with an ecological holocaust.”
Holy conflagration! A holocaust!
Why, everybody knows holocausts are bad things, ecological or not. True, when looking out the window, the environment doesn’t appear very holocaust-like. But perhaps there are gradations of holocausts? Maybe the fact that the earth’s average temperature last year didn’t match precisely the earth’s temperature from the year before that is a kind of mini-holocaust? A holocaustlette?
His Eminence lists a number of holocausty things he says are wrong. He complains that the earth “overheats,” that there are “thousands of environmental refugees,” that “climate change is an atomic bomb waiting to explode.” Of course, strictly speaking, all of these claims are false.
Perhaps he was just misinformed, or perhaps the problem lay deeper. Let’s hear the good Cardinal:
It is a very delicate moment. Pope Francis has raised a great shout loud against this impending disaster talking about modern sins, the ‘ecological sin’ made individually and collectively by humans who destroy Mother Earth.
We can allow that destroying “Mother Earth” is a sin, but the good news is that since no man has destroyed the earth, and no man can destroy the earth, there won’t be a lot of this sin about. Do you know how much it would take to destroy the planet? Well, let me tell you: a lot. Something on the order of pushing Mars out of its orbit so that it intersects with Mother when she isn’t looking. Kapow!
Anything short of that isn’t likely to do more than irritate dear Mother. (Dear Mother Earth, are we on a familiar enough basis I can call you Mom?) Think: the best giant rocks from space and strings of awful dyspeptic volcanoes have done was to cause a few long-forgotten species to hand in their dinner pails. Does anybody really miss trilobites?
Mom has always recovered from these non-man-made setbacks, which is a good reason to think she always will. Plus, it takes only the scantest knowledge of physics to grasp that there is no way man could ever match the destructive power of giant rocks from space. Or of angry chains of volcanoes. Or even of viruses. Our puny efforts are sufficient to slaughter millions, maybe even billions, of each other. But destroy the planet? Please.
In short, Mom will not disappear until Our Lord returns and starts the whole shebang over from scratch, an important point to remember. One wonders if Cardinal Bo remembers.
He said, “Humanity has broken the pact with nature, and that’s why it is a profoundly moral issue: an ecological original sin, who needs an ecological conversion and an ecological evangelization.”
Now this is a strange thing for a Christian leader to say because humanity never had a pact with “nature.” Does anybody remember signing a contract with Earth Mama? You also cannot commit a sin against a rock, let alone be tainted from birth by the “ecological original sin” of our distant forefather sinning against a rock. There is no such thing as an “ecological original sin.” It’s either sloppy speaking or simply false.
Mankind does have an irrevocable pact with God in which God gave man the earth. A gift He notably did not call “Mom.” God said, “And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.” That order came in covenant form, too. The real rainbow pact, and not the modern perversion of it.
Multiply, He said? Yes. As in have babies. God wasn’t into “population control.” Bring forth abundantly? Well, sure. As in providing the stuff we need for existence. No sense being on the planet if all the restaurants are closed.
Oh, sure, there have been plenty of screw-ups, folks who the crude, vulgar, but accurate expression describes, crap where they eat. That’s real sin, but it’s sin because of what their greed does to other people.
Cardinal Bo appears — I say only appears — to believe it’s possible to sin against a nonexistent Mom. Which sounds like paganism. Calling for an “ecological conversion” also sounds like paganism, as does calling for an “ecological evangelization.” His Eminence also in his speech calls for “ecological justice,” which sounds like he wants to put the squeeze on somebody’s wallet.
Whichever way you look at it, these words sure don’t have the ring of orthodox Christianity to them. How could a Cardinal, a Prince of the Church, speak like this?
The Vatican has more than its fair share of pagans roaming its halls at the moment in an advisory capacity, unfortunately, and maybe some of their errant and false philosophies are rubbing off on the prelates who get too close.
But that’s only a theory. Maybe you have a better explanation.