Monday, December 29, 2014

Message of Science & Religion - Western - 3

I. Introduction

In today's post I will discuss aspects of a subject matter area where (what seems to be) the majority of scientists and religionists have found substantial agreement.

This development is furtherance of the subject discussed in the first post of this series as follows: "Science and religion both tell us of future catastrophe and a way out" (Message of Science & Religion, cf. Civilization Not Busy Being Born is Busy Dying).

II. An Ancient Seed Now Grown Humongous

In terms of religion, "Armageddon" is an ancient notion that has shaped cultural trances down through time all the way to our current culture (Viva Egypt - 2, The Universal Smedley - 2, Choose Your Trances Carefully, The Peak of Sanity - 3).

Regular readers know that in recent posts I have looked at the scientific side of the subject of climate & war catastrophe (Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch, 2, 3, 4).

III. The Nitty Gritty

So, in today's post I want to discuss some aspects of the religious side of life, because this subject impacts upon billions of people (List of Religious Populations).

To assist in grasping the issue, for reference I will use the Pope's upcoming official declaration (Edict on Climate Change, Think Progress) as well as the opposition to it by other religionists (Koch Operative Opposes Pope, Koch Operative is of Cornwall Alliance; Note: Eastern Religions also have environmental concerns: What Kind of Intelligence Is Prescience? - 2).

IV. The Opposing Views

The scientists are very unified in their discoveries concerning global warming induced climate change, with about 97% of scientists verifying its human origin, but with about 3% not agreeing that it is of human origin.

Religionists argue that "God would not have created creatures or a creation so weak that they would suffer their own extinction" while dominating nature as they multiplied as commanded:
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in His own image;
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
(MEV Bible, Genesis 1, emphasis added). The Pope has said that these Bible verses are not a license to destroy or pollute the Earth:
Pope Francis made the religious case for tackling climate change on Wednesday, calling on his fellow Christians to become “Custodians of Creation” and issuing a dire warning about the potentially catastrophic effects of global climate change.

Speaking to a massive crowd in Rome, the first Argentinian pope delivered a short address in which he argued that respect for the “beauty of nature and the grandeur of the cosmos” is a Christian value, noting that failure to care for the planet risks apocalyptic consequences.

“Safeguard Creation,” he said. “Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!”

The pope centered his environmentalist theology around the biblical creation story in the book of Genesis, where God is said to have created the world, declared it “good,” and charged humanity with its care. Francis also made reference to his namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi, who was a famous lover of
"Oilah Akbar" vs. "God is Great"
animals, and appeared to tie the ongoing environmental crisis to economic concerns — namely, instances where a wealthy minority exploits the planet at the expense of the poor.

“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.

Francis also said that humanity’s destruction of the planet is a sinful act, likening it to self-idolatry.
(Climate Progress). The Pope's detractors, both inside and outside the Catholic Church, take exception:
Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance, a Religious Right group that specializes in promoting pollution, has been well-paid by the Kochs and other polluters to say things like this:
[to believe in climate change] "really is an insult to God ... and it will eventually lead to tyranny."
Here's what he gave the Guardian for "balance":
Francis will also be opposed by the powerful US evangelical movement, said Calvin Beisner, spokesman for the conservative Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, which has declared the US environmental movement to be “un-biblical” and a false religion.

“The pope should back off,” he said. “The Catholic church is correct on the ethical principles but has been misled on the science. It follows that the policies the Vatican is promoting are incorrect. Our position reflects the views of millions of evangelical Christians in the US.”
This is interesting on several levels.

1) Beisner is not Catholic, so why would a reporter ask him about the Pope? Other than that he is sure to return your email/call, since that's his job.

2) Beisner's grift is getting polluters to fund his propagandizing of white conservative evangelical Protestants like himself. Preaching to the conservative choir is a solid meal ticket these days. But it's not a Catholic choir in this case.

3) A minority of US Catholics are right-wing conservatives, and some of them have lots of media cred. Were none of them available (on presumably short notice) to espouse climate change denial?

4) Why would Francis care what "millions of evangelical Christians in the US" think about his endorsing the climate change consensus? If he thinks it's the right thing to do, he will do it, even if millions of American Catholics oppose him.

5) The "false religion" bit is ironic, since that's a charge evangelical Protestants have been aiming at the Catholic Church for 500 years.

Besides the encyclical, Francis plans to convene a summit of world religious leaders and speak to the United Nations General Assembly, all with the goal of influencing a major UN meeting on climate change in Paris next year.

Climate change will become a much bigger story next year, in good part due to Pope Francis.
(Daily Kos). This boils down to the reality that the science based warnings from government (Government Climate Change Report, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) are accepted by the Pope.

It is also an issue of religious hermeneutics, i.e., interpreting the meaning of religious text (e.g. Wikipedia: Hermeneutics, Hermeneutics For The Blogosphere).

V. Future Developments

That the Pope is anti-Qil-Qaeda is not a problem with Oil-Qaeda operatives, but when the Pope publishes his edict, that will trouble Oil-Qaeda and its cohorts.

Oil-Qaeda has controlled governments for a century and does not intend to give up without a fight (The Peak of the Oil Lies, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

In the U.S. where fundamentalism is strong, the Pope is likely to be portrayed as a "false Christ" by some (Cranky: Who is Mystery Babylon, Not so Cranky: Who is Mystery Babylon the Great?), but not so by other non-Catholics (Well Reasoned: Who is Babylon?).

So, expect a religious war of words in the form of Oil-Qaeda propaganda, as well as resistance to it.

VI. Conclusion

As pointed out by the links above (e.g. Viva Egypt - 2, The Universal Smedley - 2) the Armageddon doctrine of religionists has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The onslaught of climate change around the world, brought on by the terrorist organization ideology of big oil is to be resisted.

It does not matter who resists ... religionist or scientist ... because the catastrophe being produced by dirty fossil fuel advocates endangers us all.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

"Sympathy for the Devil", by The Rolling Stones


  1. Thanks for your thoughts on this Dredd. i saw an article the other day that claimed Pope Francis is charging a billion Catholics to address climate change and thought:
    "it's a little late for that, padre!" Now that it's all baked in to the cake of civilization - and we keep adding more and more icing (pollution) every day - sooner or later the cake will collapse.


  2. Where was the 'savior', religion, when we needed it?

    Or science for that matter?

    As Tom indicates, "it is never too late" does not work when it really is too late.