Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Greening of the Church

I don't know what to make of the burst of environmentalism coming from the Vatican, the Anglican Church and others. On the one hand, respect for God's creation makes perfect sense as part of a Christian message. I think people should respect what God has given us.

However, that's a million miles from the silliness of buying carbon offsets or saying that "God doesn't do waste". The Rev John Owen, leader of the Welsh Presbyterian Church, went so far as to remind the members of his Church that "the nativity had a minimal effect on the environment". I don't know how he can say that, what with those three kings (& you know they brought their entourages) traversing afar, I'm not so sure the nativity had that small a carbon footprint.

If the Christian Churches are serious about tackling climate change, then how 'bout they start with their own organizations. Why do priests in Ireland all seem to live in separate houses? Talk about wasteful. Why can't two priests in one parish share a house? That's just for starters.

Why are churches heated (particularly in Ireland or Britain)? There's no need. Most people come wearing heavy coats when it's cold. I can't tell you how many times I've been in heated churches where the doors are left open. And, why is any church air conditioned (I've come across this many times in America)? Again, there's no need. Okay, it's hot & sticky – deal with it. Why all that artificial light during daylight?

I'm all for the Christian message against greed and gluttony, both of which are very wasteful. It's just that the Churches are crossing the line into the ridiculous and, even, possibly economically disastrous. Keep the perspective right.