Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"The Greening of Faith" Browns and Decays

According to former LA Times columnist Larry B. Stammer, Former Senator Rick Santorum's stance runs contrary to his church's established teachings on the issue.

The explosion of environmental anxiety is a mere cover-up for more centralized, state-sponsored power grab.

In truth, both Catholic officials and the son of Pennsylvania coal miners advocate the expansion of state power for moral means, a conflicted concept which undermines both the proper role of government and individual liberty, the one matter that government is meant to respect and protect. Environmentalists are convinced beyond reason that God's creation requires man's intervention in order to remain alive and thriving. Despite the expansive directives from the Catholic hierarchy, Santorum's respectable dissent actually places his more in line with his party on one issue and also demonstrates a necessary independence of a politicians who seems intent on weakening the health distance between church and statecraft.

Regarding the proper role of man in the environment, Scripture teachers a different understanding of this earth, contrary to the hypervigilance of interest groups. In preparing the Temple for the Lord, King Solomon needed wood, and lots of it:

"And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need: and we will bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem." (Second Chronicles 2:16)

After Solomon took all that he needed, the forests of Lebanon were restored to their previous splendor, enough that Ezra could commission cedars from Lebanon to rebuild the temple:

"So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the Sido'nians and the Tyrians to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant which they had from Cyrus king of Persia." (Ezra 3:7)

Even the Psalmist glories in the wealth and splendor of Lebanon:

"May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may men blossom forth from the cities like the grass of the field!" (Psalm 72:16)

Later, he praises the Lord for His power and provision in caring for these majestic forests:

"The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon which he planted." (Psalms 104:16)

God has created nature with the capacity to replenish itself (cf Genesis 1 and 2). Man's efforts to safeguard the earth through his crude efforts or legal vanities, doomed to fail. The United States has witnessed a surge in the growth of national forestry, apart from the overreach of the state and interest groups to micromanage the earth.

On a side note regarding the state protecting anything -- contrasting with Scriptural teaching -- even anti-clerical deist Thomas Paine in "Common Sense" resorted to the Scriptures to combat the rise of governmental hegemony. Before castigating the folly of the Israelites, who wanted a king like the other heathen nations, Paine drew upon the example of Gideon. After defeating the Midianities with a victoriously diminished band of 300, he refused to rule over the tribes of Israel, exhorting them to recognize the Lord as their king. This assertion, displacing man-centered rule, runs afoul of the growing dicta, ex cathedra leanings, and papal bulls of the Vatican, all of which trumpet the need for super-national -- not supernatural -- rule in the world.

Of course, the greater the state power, the greater the coercion, the greater the threat to individual autonomy and . . .religious liberty. The United States Catholic Church is already enduring the corrupt influence of government power as engine of moral change, as the Patient Care and Affordable

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