I Believe 3 Things

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Written by Rev. Fletcher Harper

I believe 3 things about the relationship between religion and the environment:

First, I believe that people’s most powerful experiences of God almost always happen outdoors. Pastorally, most religious leaders don’t know what to do with these experiences—whether to reject them as “worship of creation” or to approach them hesitantly, uncertainly.  I believe religion must embrace them to be a force of ecological good.

Second, I believe that capitalism as currently practiced tends in an addictive direction and shapes individuals to believe that consumption is life’s purpose.  Until this style of capitalism changes, creation is at risk and people will be stuck in consumerist bondage until they realize that spiritual freedom and moral decency come, in part, through responsible consumption.

Third, I believe that oppressed communities around the world suffer disproportionately from environmental degradation, their health threatened and their access to power over their won environment denied.  I believe that religious-environmentalism must include political activism to create safe, healthy environments for communities of color and poor communities, and seek greater power for these communities to protect their environmental health.

Rev. Fletcher Harper, in Love God, Heal Earth by Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham, pp.153-154.

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