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Working Papers or "Veniam Pro Laudo Peto"
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On Christistian Environmental Ethos

Sunday, March 05, 2006
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Praised be Jesus Christ!! Now and Forever!!
And now you get to see my Christian environmental ethics position paper. Don't you feel lucky- or not. I am finishing a position paper on another topic in ethics as I write this little note but needed to take a break for a minute to process what I want to say. So I decided to publish another previous paper to give me a chance to think about something different and also give you something more to read. Later in the week I might come back and add the proper links to the papers published though right now I do not have the time.
I do still want to release a new blog and post the final posting on this one however that is not a priority over the next couple days I think. I am trying to limit my internet time to less than 45 minutes a day for non school related surfing- such as email and blogging over this
Lent and even then only certain days a week. I guess since I suggested this to you I should joyfully lead by example. Please keep us in your prayers.
In His Merciful Heart,

Ed



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Corporate Global and Environmental Responsibility:



I feel that that the over riding Christian Ethical consideration in Global and Environmental Stewardship should be simply drawing upon the commandment of Our Savior to love one another. For if we apply that rule to considerations concerning environmental issues we would have to insure the prudent stewardship of the environment for future generations while still utilizing creation to help feed the citizens, in body and soul, today. We feed the hungry not only from the obvious fruits of creation animal, vegetable, sea life, clean air and clean water but also by insuring that the glory of God's creation[1] can help feed the souls[2]. Responsible prudent stewardship[3] encompasses not just today's generation but subsequent generations[4]. If we damage the environment to the point that future generations of God's children will not be able to breath clean air, drink clean water or obtain quality food then I feel we are breaking the commandment by Our Lord Himself to love one another[5]. Obviously due prudence must be taken with our actions or lack of actions. The created is always subservient to humankind and ultimately to God. The world is a wonderful beautiful creation[6] however alas it is a creation of Almighty God[7] we must therefore always place environmental policies and ideas in their proper place. Christians must always reject any notion which places creation in a status of God[8]- such as the pagans have done in the past.

I feel also that in environmental policies that sometimes there is not a right or wrong answer- that is if sin in anyway is not involved as a result of action or lack of action. Some issues in environmental policy are not ethical decisions in the manner which we have been examining them. Possibly in these (and only these) situations a utilitarian dimension needs to be considered. That is only however in the occasional time when the conditions set above. As a novice to Christian ethics though I freely admit that I could be very wrong on this approach and so I submit to your judgment and wisdom[9].

Stewardship of the environment in the context as I have presented in the previous paragraphs also includes the ethical and humane treatment of animals. Once again due prudence is required as many times this degenerates into giving animals greater rights than human beings. Do we need to as best we can not inflict needless pain and suffering on animals- yes. Do we care for animals to the extent that human beings do not receive care or food- absolutely not.

I feel that I must address a point that was brought out in the text book concerning "environmental mystism". Having studied the lives of numerous Saints of God including St Francis of Assisi[10] I feel confident in saying that while St Francis and others loved God's creation it was a very small part of their spirituality as a Christian- as it should be. Francis and others were always focused upon the Crucified and Risen Jesus Christ. Yes he could see the glory of God's creation[11] around him- as we should all- however Christ Jesus[12] remained the focus of his life after his conversion. I think the author agreed with me on that- I think it is some radical environmentalists who while wanting to adopt the occasional environmental tones of St Francis miss the mark concerning who Francis knew was the most important One- Almighty God. We all need someone near and close to God to pray for us- as our brother and sister- just as we ask each other to pray for us. Even radical environmentalists need a big brother to pray for them to help them run the race to Christ. I know that John and Charles Wesley[13] who I look to for inspiration rode the circuit as preachers and I would imagine also shared in Francis's love of creation however, they too would always want the focus to be upon Christ Jesus. Unfortunately, people miss the picture that either our brothers or sisters in heaven or here on earth would never want us to take our focus off Our Lord Jesus Christ. I guess it would be like someone taking a statement in a sermon about baseball out of context and missing the point of Jesus Christ. Sorry though, I am just saddened when I hear people venturing off so much and taking there eyes off of the Jesus Christ that I (that we) love so much. Environmentalism is alas just a science like any other field and they are all subject under the Science of God in Theology.[14]

I believe mankind is progressing to the point through God's Grace and Mercy in the various sciences that we now have the ability to be better stewards of creation in our energy policies. Cleaner and safer sources of energy that will help all of mankind need to be utilized and that have a direct relationship in the love another rule. If we are burning fossil fuels which pollute the environment through consumption, production, acquisition or in toxic accidents then we are not really showing love to our brothers and sisters in the present and future. Once again due prudence is required in the gradual change to cleaner sources so as to not put an undue burden upon God's children. However some sacrifice may be necessary to insure the long term environmental stability of the Earth and God's children.

Humankind faces great challenges to meet the needs of a growing population.[15] However, God has provided us with the technological and intellectual know how to easily feed and care for as many children of the Most High that He brings into life. It will be mankind's responsibility to provide for the needs of some with the resources of others and visa versa. What one population has in the way of certain resources another can use so that all of God's children can share in the bountiful harvest that He provides. However those with a particular resource must never be so selfish with it or with pricing that the rest of mankind suffers. This applies to food resources and energy resources. We must be bold in our decision making concerning environmental and global policy and always place mankind's trust[16] and hope[17] in Our Lord Jesus Christ- the Incarnate Word[18] who with the Father and the Holy Spirit created us and the world that we share.[19]



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[1] Jn 17: 24; Rom 8: 19-22; et al.

[2] Ps 29: 2; Ps 45: 11; et al.

[3] Lk 12: 35- 38; Lk 12: 42; Titus 1: 7; et al.

[4] Joshua 22: 27; Ps 22: 30; et al.

[5] Jn 13: 34-35; Rom 12: 10; Rom 13: 8; Gal 5: 13; Eph 4: 2; Heb 10: 24; 1 Peter 1: 22; 1 Jn 3: 11; 1 Jn 4: 7; 1 Jn 4: 11-12; 2 Jn 1:5; "Deus Caritas Est", Pope Benedict XVI, Rome, 2006.

[6] Rom 8: 39;

[7] Gen 1, 2; Jn 1; et al.

[8] Ex 20: 1-6; Dt 5: 7-10; Mt 22: 34-40; et al.

[9] 1 Kgs 19: 19-21

[10] "Life of St Francis of Assisi", Goffine's Devout Instructions, New York, 1896; Life of St. Francis of Assisi, Butler’s Lives of the Saints, New York, 1991; et al.

[11] Rm 1: 20: et al.

[12] Jn 17: 24

[13] "An Account of the Life of John Wesley", Foxe's Book of Martyrs, 2005 (initial publication 1553- 1558).

[14] "Summa Theologica", I, Q i, A 7, and Q ii of the promium and prologus, I & II, St. Thomas Aquinas, A.D. 1225- 1274.

[15] "Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good", United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Statement, Washington D.C., June 21 2001

[16] Prov. 3: 5

[17] Ps 42: 11, et al.

[18] Jn 1: 14

[19] Gen 1-2; Jn 1; Mt 13: 35; Mt 25: 34; et al.
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