I just watched an episode of one of our favorite shows, Vice on HBO. It’s a video version of the acclaimed and ground-breaking investigative documentary magazine Vice, founded in Montréal in 1994 and now operated from Brooklyn. Vice comments on the condition of the world as they really are. It’s as free of political spin as I can find.
This episode was “The Resource Curse and Deliver Us from Drought.” The first segment, about how the discovery of natural resources in Papua New Guinea has resulted in the Resource Curse affecting them is worth a Blog too, and that will come one of these days. I want to focus today, more briefly than I usually do, on the second segment, about the horrendous Drought in Texas and the utter denial of most of that State’s politicians and people about the situation. Here’s the debrief… see the full episode on HBO!
(By the way, in this and most of my Posts, clicking on the pictures will usually give you further information on the topic.)
The parts of the exposé about the deliberately obtuse elected officials so far in the pocket of the oil / energy industry that they consciously and with full malice aforethought lie to everyone denying the human role in global climate change are old hat.
What is my interest today is the Evangelical Christian response shown in the episode. Mostly, they also refuse to accept as fact Global Climate Change. They appear to do this because, for some, it contradicts their non-scientific religious views that God directly controls the weather in some kind of anthropomorphic, rather than God’s having created natural laws to operate in a discoverable fashion. More mainline churches (Eastern Orthodox, Roman and Eastern Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, Church of the East, Anglicans, High Church Protestants) understand that there is no real conflict between religion and science, and that God has given us reason to figure the world out.
These Evangelical Protestants are sincere and good people, and as the episode says, they turn to the only authority figure not in the pockets of the oil and gas industry for help: God. They pray for rain. And that’s good, but not good enough.
It reminds me of the old sermon chestnut that I have cited many times in my talks and workshops. It goes like this in a classic version from Comedy Central, slightly adapted:
It was flooding badly. As the flood waters were rising, a man was on the stoop of his house and another man in a rowboat came by. The man in the rowboat told the man on the stoop to get in and he’d save him. The man on the stoop said, no, he had faith in God and would wait for God to save him.
The flood waters kept rising and the man had to go to the second floor of his house. A man in a motorboat came by and told the man in the house to get in because he had come to rescue him. The man in the house said no thank you. He had perfect faith in God and would wait for God to save him.
The flood waters kept rising. Pretty soon they were up to the man’s roof and he got out on the roof. A helicopter then came by, lowered a rope and the pilot shouted down in the man in the house to climb up the rope because the helicopter had come to rescue him. The man in the house wouldn’t get in. He told the pilot that he had faith in God and would wait for God to rescue him.
The flood waters kept rising and the man in the house drowned. When he got to heaven, he asked God where he went wrong. He told God that he had perfect faith in God, but God had let him drown.
“What more do you want from me?” asked God. “I sent you a rowboat, a motorboat, and a helicopter.”
In Texas, land of by ancestors, and in fact, all over the world, God is saying: “What more do you want from me? I sent you science as a tool to figure out the natural world. I sent you climatologists who have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that humanity is not fulfilling its duty of stewardship of your planet, and I sent you the technology to produce clean energy.”
But the sad punchline is that we are not listening. We continue to vote in the same people, because those politicians know that if they scare the people with the boogeyman of Hippies, San Francisco liberals, and the wedge issues of Gay Marriage, Abortion, and Undocumented Immigration they will distract them from the much more serious real issues that threaten our very existence on this planet. Just so that the Politicians have plenty of Mammon in their pockets. They consume everything like locusts, which are a plague. They are part of the Kleptocracy. (And I know, the other side is problematic too.) Kleptocracy, by the way is Greek for “Rule by Theives,” κλέπτης – kleptēs, “thief” and κράτος – kratos, “power, rule.”
So my dear Texans, whence my family comes, and everyone else, including yours truly: Wake up! Listen to what God is really saying, vote the jerks out, and join together to resume good stewardship of this most wonderful planet we have been given! It is a disgrace that these politicians continue to hold office. They and their ilk are either befuddled or liars, and therefore, their father is the Father of Lies and the Master of Deception, or as St. Ignatius of Loyola says, “the Enemy of Human Nature.” I don’t care which Party politicians belong to, just so they are good, rational, capable and honest people who can help solve our global problems.
The Fifth Rosicrucian Manifesto, Appellatio Fraternitatis is clear that Ecology is the most pressing problem in the world. There will be no more humanity to have spirituality and humanism if we don’t solve this.
Steven A. Armstrong
Tutor, Editor, Consultant