Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm Tired of Keeping My Mouth Shut

So when I received an email today, sent from a member of the SFO Regional Council, asking me to watch a "compelling" video about the environment by Al Gore, I recycled a few of my blog posts (how "green" of me!), did a little research, and responded. I might have to take some heat for this, but if I'd kept my mouth shut, I couldn't live with myself (or my family. My kids watch and learn from what my husband and I say and do.)

So here's my response.

"This video may be “compelling” but Al Gore’s position as an environmental doomsayer is less scientific than theatric. According to this article, which links to this piece from the London Daily Mail, Pope Benedict XVI has repudiated such fearmongering. In fact, the planet Mars, as well as other planets in our solar system, is also experiencing “global warming” at this time. Climate change is real, but it is not entirely under human control. Climate change happens all the time, on every planet.

Al Gore is not the environmental Messiah that he purports to be. And his voting record and position on life issues, once he reached the U.S. Congress, is abysmal.

Have you visited the website and checked out the committee members? They include Sierra Club, which is a pro-choice organization by its own admission.

Saint Francis of Assisi has apparently come to be considered the Patron Saint of Earth Day, ecology, and all things "green." But the green movement does Francis no justice when insistence is placed on "green for green's sake."

The only thing the Francis was interested in for its own sake was God.

Yes, he had a great reverence for Creation--the earth, nature, the sun and moon and all the animals, plants and trees. But his reverence was born from his awe of the power and creativity and genius of God. To Francis, every bit of God's creation reflected God's glory--and that is what made creation something to be revered. Francis saw God's glory, power, creativity and genius in everything and everyone, and strove to act accordingly. Let us remember that while it's great to reduce waste, recycle or reuse what we have, and try to create less garbage, the reason we do this is to treat God's creation with care--to be good stewards of what we have been given. It's not enough to be "green." We should also be grateful.

We cannot sacrifice Francis’ deep message on the altar of ecology.

Pope Benedict has spoken about who Saint Francis really was. He's not just that guy in the birdbaths. He's not some enviro-hippie.

Benedict XVI said he wanted to correct the “abuses” and “betrayals” that distort the true character of Saint Francis. And to recall the false view of Saint Francis, Benedict XVI needed just two words: “environmentalist” and “pacifist.” ...The truth of Saint Francis – the pope emphasizes – is his “radical choice of Christ,” the conversion awakened in him by the words of the crucified Jesus: ‘Go, rebuild my house.’

It's not about peace protests. It's not about ecology. It's not about blessing our household pets.

Being Franciscan is about conversion. All the rest is incidental.

In the spiritual travail that the young Francis was living through, he perceived these words of vocation and mission as being in the first place an invitation to carry out completely the conversion that had already begun, making his own the concern and plans of Christ for his Church.

So our priority, as Franciscans, is to ask ourselves how we can better turn ourselves toward God, and serve Him in our daily lives. That's what conversion is about--turning TOWARD God."

Wish me luck. I've got that Veggie Tales song, "Stand," running through my head right now.

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