Conservationists can learn a lot from religion

  • Article by: GREG BREINING
  • Updated: May 19, 2012 - 5:27 PM

Religion and conservation wander a wilderness of alienation. If only they could see their common signs.

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pdxtranMay. 19, 12 5:32 PM

It's only certain fundamentalists who see environmentalism as "paganism" or take the "have dominion over the Earth" passage in the Bible to mean "grab all you can" instead of "care for it like a wise ruler." Some of the local churches in the Twin Cities have an interfaith organization, Congregations Caring for Creation, which focuses on environmental concerns.

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arielbenderMay. 19, 12 7:45 PM

As long as certain religious people continue to believe that "God will fix everything", there's not much common ground.

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davehougMay. 19, 12 9:56 PM

Which is more awesome. A God who spent 13.7 Billion years getting ready for me to come along or a God who spent 6,000 years? The more I know of science, the more I am in awe of those ancient sheepherders who wrote Genisis.

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my4centsMay. 20, 12 4:49 AM

The problem for conservationists comes from the fact that they take their scientific data and twist it to push an agenda. They take data like an increase in greenhouse gases, especially CO2, and say that these must be causing global warming. They generally refuse to acknowledge the possibility that increasing temperatures have caused an increase in greenhouse gases. Higher temperature will naturally lead to more plant life and more water vapor. I'm not saying that either cause and effect is true or has been proven, but as a rule the conservationists have. They have gone beyond what the science tells us and assumed a cause and effect that allows them to limit and control others. There is more of an alienation between conservationists and science than there is between science and conservatives or religion.

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pdf123May. 20, 12 6:52 AM

I think the picture is more complicated than Breining and the speaker project. At the grassroots level, people work together on common goals even though they think differently about things philosophically. I am a secular progressive, and I love hunting and fishing, and I'm in good conservationist hunting and angling groups that have a fair number of fairly conservative people, whose philosophical outlook is about being "god's stewards". I think about the forces of evolution and human history in my wonderment and participation in nature. Of course, we are bound by a common desire to continue to have quality places to hunt and fish. The people who cause problems are the ones who insist on a particular worldview or philosophical context surrounding the action or lack thereof. Some "extreme green" people do this, and of course many fundamentalists let their religion obliterate scientific evidence or assume that earth's bounty will always be so regardless of what people do.

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stephenkrizMay. 20, 12 7:32 AM

If a friend painted you a picture and you spit on it and threw sewage on it, you would be disrespecting the artist, as well as the picture. God has painted a beautiful picture for us called the Earth. If we pollute it and dump sewage on it, we are disrespecting the creator. Apparently, some pseudo-Christians on the right-wing of the political spectrum don't get that.

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mnpls123May. 20, 12 7:39 AM

logic, reason, and common sense working with faith, beliefs, and persecution? I don't think so. I think the author has the title wrong and it should be what can religion learn from conversationists. When something horrible is happening, you don't try to "evolve" it to a better place. Sometimes you just need to say stop. If the churches had taken this approach with their priests, they might actually have some credibility left.

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PaleriderMay. 20, 12 7:49 AM

Religion is based on belief and faith; conservationism is based on scientific facts. There is nothing wrong with having beliefs and faith, but it does not replace fact based science when dealing with reality. There is no common ground.

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mark79May. 20, 12 8:32 AM

Conservationists have a problem, and that is that their cause gets engulfed by radical environmentalism. Far left elements have co-opted environmentalism to advance their agenda of ultra-high taxation and ultra-high regulation, a government-centered society. Conservation is a common sense cause that everyone identifies with, but common-sense programs like repurchase of critical animal habitats and deforestation get derailed by far left lunacy like Kyoto and Cap and Trade. Conservation is the common sense approach, what today is called "environmentalism" is basically lip service to advance socialism.

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my4centsMay. 20, 12 8:43 AM

Palerider - When conservationists can scientifically explain what has caused the global cooling and warming periods of past ages, and verify a man-made cause for the minuscule warming we've seen, then many of us will quit looking at conservationists and environmentalists as their own religions. Meanwhile, Christianity is faith based on an historical record. The empty tomb and much of Jewish and early church history is more reliable than the global warming theories and scare tactics.

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