Somehow, through the past few decades, many of us conservatives (note the verb “to conserve”) have been bamboozled into thinking that protection of the environment (almost now a dirty word; let’s call it Creation) is a liberal cause.
That happened because, in near-desperation to hear and join the voices of those who share our societal views, especially when it comes to abortion, homosexual “marriage,” and religious rights, many of us have turned to “conservative” politicians and commentators who — while espousing a pro-life stand, and also correct ones as regards religious rights and gay matters — are also, however, staunch promoters of hyper-capitalism (there are other kinds) and as such are staunch defenders of corporations, including global oil ones. We often listen to Exxon more than Scripture.
Thus, what is good for oil companies (and environmental regulations decidedly are not) is for many conservatives the righteous course. Greed is good.
This is a major disconnect — cognitive dissonance — for in fact protecting God’s Creation should be considered a premier pro-life issue, since pollution harms all forms of life, including that of many unborn humans (a first sign of problems at toxic sites is often miscarriage).
And while defending nature against mankind’s intense assault is something often linked to Pope Francis, who is seen by many as a liberal (and in many ways is), environmentalism was just as strongly advocated by his two conservative predecessors: Saint John Paul II (who spoke often of nature) and Benedict XVI (known, we seem to have forgotten, as the “Green Pope”).
It’s true that radical environmentalists are at odds with a pro-life stand when they also advocate artificial contraception and abortion (for population control). Or when they embrace a New Age approach to Creation (honoring it as “Mother Earth”). We can see why a number of conservative Catholics have gone all-in with the opposite side!
But in doing so — in heading to any extreme — we miss some major “signs of the times” and perhaps what is coming in the way of purification (a.k.a. chastisement).
For it has been as if, with these hurricanes — with earthquakes, with surges of Caribbean sea, with puffs of volcanic smoke — nature rebels not only against the gross sin of abortion and other anti-natural immorality but with what is being done to nature itself.
In Texas they have detected chemical compounds in pastureland near factories that are so foreign and complex, these compounds, that chemists don’t even have names for them!
On Fox News two weeks ago: “Even as the Lone Star State began to dry out, the stagnant water pooled in streets and drenched into carpets continued to make life perilous. ‘There’s no need to test it,’ Houston Health Department spokesperson Porfirio Villarreal told The New York Times. ‘It’s contaminated. There’s millions of contaminants.'”
In Florida, the most variegated wildlife habitats in America have been startlingly degraded — barrier islands ruined for the sake of McMansions and condos, islands designed by God to serve wildlife and protect the mainland (against storms).
This is no political football.
It has to do with degradation of what God created.
Another recent news story: “Researchers who tested tap water from around the world found that more than 80 percent of the samples contained microscopic-sized plastic fibers — including from President Trump’s New York City home, they said. The contamination is particularly high in the United States, where 94 percent of faucet water is affected, including in samples from the U.S. Capitol and the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency.”
How can such degradation conceivably be classified as Christian?
Does anyone really see Jesus smiling as He looks at a smokestack billowing a black plume near a school or fish belly-up from ocean contamination?
A question: are these disasters thus pointing to nature vomiting out our technology?
“Harvey.” “Irma.” “Maria” and “Jose” — Mary and Joseph. Another quake near that nuclear reactor in Fukushima. Another quake in ecologically ravaged, litter-strewn Mexico, the day before, on September 19, the feast day of LaSalette.
In one secret there:
“The seasons will be altered, the earth will produce nothing but bad fruit, the stars will lose their regular motion, and the moon will only reflect a faint reddish glow. Water and fire will give the earth’s globe convulsions and terrible earthquakes which will swallow up mountains, cities, etc…”
At Medjugojre Our Blessed Mother once told the seer Marija Pavlovic: “Satan is strong and wishes not only to destroy human life but also nature and the planet on which you live.”
And so it goes.
In 2006, Pope Benedict said that the first sign of charity must be sought in Creation: “the heavens, the earth, the waters, the sun, the moon, and the stars.”
There is a Divine message inscribed in nature, said Benedict, a sign of “the loving faithfulness of God Who gives His creatures being and life, water and food, light and time.”
Nature speaks. It promises. It warns. As Saint John Paul II — born on the day of an eclipse — the Pope of the sun — once added, “Animals possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren.”
Today, that would sound scandalous to many of us “conservatives.”
Benedict repeated the same when in 2002 as Cardinal Ratzinger he said it is not our right to make “industrial use” of animals. It is especially wrong, he said, to degrade them as a commodity — as large corporations do. He said to do so is “to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible.”
“The very beauty of God is in nature and therefore was not to be worshiped but it was surely to be preserved,” says Tower of Light.
In the Book of Jeremiah (9:9-11), the Lord warned against destroying nature. The punishment for doing so, it says, is that the land will be “laid waste.”
Too many signs. Just too many. A regurgitation. The current Pope, in the immediate wake of “Harvey,” said that we must listen to the “cry of the earth.”
And so we must, however conservative we may be.
[resources: Tower of Light]