Scripture Calls for Protection of Nature
Many people assume that conservative Christian values are to exploit nature without regard to the consequences.
But Pope Francis disagrees. As MSNBC reported last week:
“Safeguard Creation,” [the Pope said], “because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!”
“Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude,” Francis said.
“But when we exploit Creation we destroy the sign of God’s love for us, in destroying Creation we are saying to God: ‘I don’t like it! This is not good!’ ‘So what do you like?’ ‘I like myself!’ – Here, this is sin! Do you see?”
This is not the first time that Pope Francis has stressed the importance of protecting nature. In his inaugural address, he said:
Please I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill, let us be protectors of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.
And this didn’t start with Pope Francis:
In response to Pope John Paul II’s … 1990 World Day of Peace message entitled Peace With God the Creator, Peace With All of Creation, the full body of U.S. Catholic bishops adopted their first statement on the environment, Renewing the Earth: An Invitation to Reflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic Social Teaching.
The call to protect nature isn’t limited to modern day Catholics … The Bible is full of calls to protect nature.
Here are 5 examples:
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
– Genesis 2:15
As for you, my flock… Is it not enough for you to feed on good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?
– Ezekiel 34:17-18
The land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.
– Leviticus 25:23-24
I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and you made my inheritance detestable.
– Jeremiah 2:7
The nations were angry and your wrath has come. The time has come for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great – and for destroying those who destroy the earth.
– Revelation 11:18
Notes: Both conservatives and liberals want to live our lives without being poisoned. We agree on safe food, clean water and a healthy environment. For example, polls show:
- A large majority of Americans want strong food safety rules, and want genetically modified foods to be labeled
- Most Americans are worried about water pollution
- Americans don’t want to be exposed to toxic pollutants
In other words, we all know that fouling our own nest is a bad idea.
There are other surprising teachings from scripture. For example, religious leaders have slammed the criminality of the heads of the big banks; and the Bible teaches – and top economists agree – that their crimes must be punished, or else things will get worse. And see this.