Jan 24, 2010

Religion and Environmentalism

We have always wondered why there is no organized religion based on the association of God with Nature(and of course Man being a part of Nature)and the natural outgrowth that Enviromentalism offers in making Man work more closely with Nature.

Many religions seem to focus solely on Man and his relationship with God but it is pleasing to see that in this article from NYTimes.com(Pastors in Northwest Find Focus in 'Green' by William Yardley 1-15-10) that some churches in the Northwest of the USA have embraced how environmentalism can not only grow the church but fit into the religious dogma.

Across the Northwest, where church attendance has long been low but concern for the environment high, some church leaders and parishioners are ringing doorbells to inform neighbors — many of whom have never stepped inside the sanctuary down the street — about ways to conserve energy and lower their utility bills. Some view the new push as a way to revitalize their congregations and reconnect with their nearby community.....

Religious leaders have been preaching environmentalism for years, and much attention has focused on politically powerful evangelical Christian leaders who have taken up climate change as a cause. Yet some smaller, older and often struggling mainline churches are also going greener, reducing their carbon footprint by upgrading basement boilers and streamlining the Sunday bulletin, swapping Styrofoam for ceramic mugs at coffee hour and tending jumbled vegetable gardens where lawns once were carefully cultivated......

Several mainline church leaders in the Northwest said environmentalism offered an entry point, especially to younger adults, who might view Christianity as wrought with debates over gay rights and abortion.

With shrinking support generally among some organized religions worldwide the "Greening of the Congregation" does seem to offer the twin results of realizing that religion should be about more than just Man--that Nature is important and leading a life that respects Nature by teaching Man to conserve energy and use only what he needs can also honor God.

This is really very similar to a more Puritan/Quaker mentality that was the the basis for the first Christian religion in America. Not the gigantic overdone mega-churches we see now in many areas of the USA.

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