Far from God? (for Ridgeback)

"a lot of environmentalist thought is wrapped up in the kind of thinking that is very far from God"

Can you explain what you mean by this please? Do you mean real environmentalist thinking, or soundbite stuff you might read about and which you find annoying (ie trendy environmentalism)? I agree that many casual supporters of environmentalism have their priorities jumbled and tend to talk more than do, but how would (for example) cycling rather than driving to work be moving very far from God? I really can't think how. Would owning a vegetable patch and composting household waste as opposed to buying it weekly at the supermarket be an example of moving further from God?

This kind of thing is the sort of environmentalist action available to everyday people. I feel it is more important than platitudes from politicians promising grand gestures. Crucially it is the kind of environmentalism you yourself can live rather than "support". Is living in this way against God and do you avoid doing these things for this reason? If so I need to know why.

The actions of a person who is engaging in conservation activities like you describe can stem from a wide variety of motives.  Of course the actions are not far from God.  But some of the motives in environmentalism are.  Can you tell me why so many environmentalists seem to be tied to New Age or neo-pagan spirituality, support homosexual rights, are pro-abortion and Marxist?   What does any of that have to do with the environment. 

I think that is just your regular countercultural crowd who will cling to anything they deem to be trendy and against the mainstream, be it music, alternative beliefs, environmentalism, anarchism etc. The issues you mention above have absolutely nothing to do with the environment.

With these kind of people I often find that their identification with the environmental "cause" is more an effort to be seen as different than any real care for the environment. Mostly this kind of person doesn't actually do very much. I'd prefer for environmentalism not even to be seen as a cause; it it just a sensible and desirable way to live. A caring way to live which takes other people (and future people) into account. It is a conservative way to live, which is why I can't understand conservatives being set against it.

If you look into grass roots environmental work I'm sure you will find normal people at the core actually doing it. It really depends on whether you look at the public face of environemntalism as counterculture or the actual people living it. Real environmentalism is as far as I can possibly imagine from counterculture and rebellion because it takes time, responsibility and dilligence.

yeah big surprise there , people in counter culture tend to be more OPEN MINDED so they accept NEW IDEAS.

nothing could be closer to God than protecting his creation

using thissortof logic We may as well equate religion with war then because most religious people seem to find endless excuses for war.

Generalizations are lame.

Bludhall, there are lots of people who identify themselves as environmentalists but who don't help very much. At my old job we used to get harrassed by "environmental" campaigners because we tested agrochemicals for ecotoxicology. While this involved the death of a few fish and some molluscs, it was completely necessary to ensure the continued health of aquatic environments in the UK. Some so-called environmentalists refuse to work with the world the way it is now and seem to want a return to pre-industrial technologies. This is a dead end, and a product of the associated countercultural movement rather than really thinking about how we can best preserve the earth we have inherited (real science-based environmentalism).

The point I was trying to make to Ridgeback is that he's looking at the popular countercultural environmental movement (which he doesn't like) when actually acting in an environemntally responsible way doesn't have anything to do with this. Environmentalism makes sense and is accessable to anyone.

Does this help to answer some of your misgivings about people who try and treat the environment with care and attention throughout their lives Ridgeback?

Umm I didn't have any misgivings.  I made it clear on several threads that there is no good reason why a Christian should not try to live frugally and not waste resources.  I still stand by my statement that some elements of the environmentalist movement are anti-god in perspective.  There are counter-culture types and then there are Ted Turner types.  You say the counter-culture types are not really representative but I would argue they are in terms of media attention. 

On a side note I am not convinced that the current warming trend is caused by human activity as opposed to variations in the sun.  The nice thing about a Christian ascetic take on living is that we can still live frugally even if global warming turns out not to have a human cause.

Well you did say that a lot of environmentalist thought is very far from God. I thought this was an odd thing to say and it does sound like a misgiving of sorts. Bringing up people in the environmentalist movement who are "far from God" as you put it, doesn't explain to me why you think environmentalist thought itself is far from God (I had to google Ted Turner). Trying to minimise damage to the environment doesn't (in my experience) make a person support the list of other causes that you dislike. Remove other popular hippy causes from the mix and what is it about environmentalism that is far from God..I guess that is what I'd like to know.

In terms of the current warming trend, I'm not utterly convinced either. Science functions by maintaining scepticism and shouldn't ever be used for propaganda. But does that really mean you shouldn't apply the precautionary principle in the mean time as far as realistically possible? Why consign environmentally careful action to the dustbin because you don't agree that the current weight of evidence is enough?


Its hard to explain the subtleties of the spirit of Anti-Christ, but one of the signs is the idea that the earth must unite and that nation states must surrender their sovereignty in order to solve the world's problems.  It is not a coincidence that Ted Turner is an environmentalist and also very supportive of the United Nations.  There is a common thread here. 

The problem with your second question is that applying the precautionary principle doesn't come without real consequences.  The US is no doubt very wasteful, but a lot of environmentalism in the US does become a financial burden for business owners. 

Why consign environmentally careful action to the dustbin because you don't agree that the current weight of evidence is enough?

I have no idea where that last question is coming from.  Once again, I see no reason for a Christian not to live frugally and not waste resources.  There is also no good reason for people not to walk or bike to short destinations since the US has a major obesity problem.  We can kill two birds with one stone. 

Ah I understand. You find a single environmentalist (who I have never heard of, and who doesn't seem to act like an environemntalist), and then point out his anti-christ like behaviour. Conclusion: a common thread linking environmentalism and the anti-christ. If this is serious then I urge you to approach the subject more carefully.

Regarding the economic argument vs the precautionary principle, it would be cheaper for businesses in the US to dump possibly gender bending toxic waste directly into rivers, thus saving on cleanup bills. The connection between PCBs for example and gender problems is not "proven", but the use of the precautionary principle is certainly justified because of the risks involved. Would you support going back to dumping these kinds of chemicals in the interests of the economy? Of course not, because of the risk to the many (and the future many) vs the benefits to the few.

The problem with a Christian motivation for living frugally is that it isn't looking at cause and effect and isn't guided by the evidence. One mans frugal living might be having a vegetarian meal once per week while anothers might be recycling everything, fitting a wind turbine to his house, and growing all his own food. It is too easy to make excuses and allowances for yourself when motivated by something removed from the actual problem like religion.

"The US is no doubt very wasteful, but a lot of environmentalism in the US does become a financial burden for business owners. "

yes yes of course, why should business have to clean up the mess they made at all huh?

so when future generations look back on us and why we have ruined the earth we can explain that it would have cost opur businesses too much to let us live in a safe earth environment.

And why not save the money huh, we could spend it on stupid idiotic wars that solve nothing and make the world suck.

If enviromentalism itself is seen as some sort of evil entity to you then you have conspiracy issues. Its the just the story of the smart humans waking up while the rest of you dumbasses sit in the pile of feces you are created and pretend its not there.

Sure the first people to care are radicals, becasies it seems radicals are the only ones capable o0f not acting like sheep and thinking for themselves.

I for one, am aware when I sit in a pile of feces thank you.

Ever since I put Bludhall on ignore it makes absolutely no difference to the flow of the thread.


How can I help you distinguish between a spirit and an example of that spirit? 

You could start by sticking with threads and answering questions perhaps?

I don't know what the relevance of the spirit/example line is, you could explain that further, after you have tackled the other points.

The fact that you don't know the relevance shows that you are not bothering to read my threads very closely but instead are looking for a kind of concession.  It bothers you a great deal, apparently, that I am not going along with your view of environmentalism.  You are even willing to dismiss a whole large and vocal section of environmentalism (counter-culturalists) to keep your vision of good environmentalists pure.  The goals of Christianity do not always run parallel to the goals of environmentalists and that will never change. 

A lot of environmentalism is just hype anyway.  Al Gore believes in what he is doing so much he has made NO changes to the way he lives his life or his comfort level.   The pro-environmental democrats all flew private jets separately to their first debate.  Yes, they are thoroughly convinced about the need for change as opposed to giving lip service so people like you will vote for them.

You keep bringing up examples of people you must know I don't consider to be environmentalists, as if they have some relevance to what I'd call environmentalism. This would be the same as me using (for example) rooster's definition of Christianity as my basis for deciding what you believed..ie a crass and monumental error, either intentional or not.

I'm not bothered if you don't like environmentalism, most here don't. I was just puzzled by your bizarre classification of environmetally careful action as being "far from God". You have wriggled out of explaining clearly what you mean by this and contintinue to do so, like in many other threads. I keep hoping this will change.

In your post before last you offered to help me understand the difference between a spirit and an example of that spirit. Please do go on and explain.

Just like I have to deal with all kinds of people who call themselves Christian even though their actions are suspect, you in reality have to do the same.  I guarantee that Al Gore is the face of environmentalism whether you like it or not.

Your second paragraph is being sneaky again.  At no time did I say that "all" environmentalist thought is far from God and it really is annoying when you paint things that way.  A portion of environmentalist rhetoric is far from God.  That doesn't mean it all is.  In reality there are branches of Christianity that were thinking about a truly Christian ecology long before the last couple years so obviously not all environmentalist thought is a problem.

I know who is the face of environmentalism and I don't like it at all. These people do nothing but pervert a good and useful message for humanity.

If the only parts of the environmental movement you feel are far from God are the Al Gore or destroy GM crops lunatic fringe variety, then I don't see a problem. You just need to be more specific.

But when I say " a lot" of something is a certain way that is very far from saying all of something.  A lot of Christian thought seems to be very anti-Christ in nature.  That doesn't mean I even come close to rejecting all Christian thought or even more importantly all Christian people including the ones whose thoughts I don't agree with.

I think that Christians should always be resisting our consumer culture in their lives.  There are aspects of smart environmentalism or conservation (a word I like better) that run parallel with this idea.  Don't buy a big SUV to drive one family member around in is an example.  But if the current warming crisis abates as we gain more knowledge, a Christian should still be resisting consumerism whereas an environmentalist can probably drop it. 

There is of course no good reason for a Christian to not have a conservation ethic in how he lives.

I also prefer conservation, or even naturalism to emphasise the study of nature and its interactions. Really I think the ultimate concern of environmentalists should be "how can we best use the earth to support us now, while preserving it for future people in the best possible condition and for the longest possible time". Following this kind of logic, no environmentalist should support wasteful consumerism ever. I do however feel that science is the best way for us to decide what we should and should not to to achieve what we want because it takes into account cause and effect. In this way we can be flexible in the face of changing conditions.