Onward, Christian greens

Anna Barela is a longtime Sacramento resident active in community service and freelance writer with a day job in accounting

Reducing our carbon emissions is an urgent priority, and I will do whatever it takes to help. Whether or not global warming in particular is our fault or of natural causes, it doesn’t take a scientist (or an asthmatic who can no longer breath our air) to look around and see that our lifestyles are destroying the Earth. I am behind any cause to reverse this effect, and I am sick and tired of hearing my Christian friends tell me that, as a Christian, I should not bother with caring about the environment. They look at me with a dead-serious expression on their face and say, “God’s just going to destroy it anyway.”

Is this a serious argument? Have they really convinced themselves this is a valid excuse for inaction?

If you believe the Bible, you believe God created the planet as the center for the existence of life. He labored for six days on a creation so grand with such purpose that we should not so quickly dismiss the first five days. Humans were the final piece, the icing on the cake; Earth was the foundation layer. It is evil—sacrilegious—for us as a society to continue down this path of destruction. We need to have a little more respect.

The Bible does allude to the ultimate demise of this spectacular creation, but never instructs that it happens on human terms. Perhaps we should heed the warning, rather than take it as a license to kill. The Bible is full of warnings. Old prophets’ warnings, such as Isaiah’s warnings to God’s people to change their ways or be killed, were certainly not instructions to hasten the consequences.

It is time to face the fact that the current slow death our planet is undergoing is driven by economics, not God’s plan. It is greed and hunger for power that continue to exploit Earth’s resources. These qualities do not reflect godliness. The excuse that God has ordained it is just that: an excuse. It is a cheap cop-out for so-called Christians to feel justified in continuing to live a lavish American lifestyle that would not be sustainable without the ongoing death of the natural world and its poorest human inhabitants.

We should all be ashamed of ourselves. We need to stop right now and walk—no, run—the other direction toward harmony with God’s creation.