Introduction To New Series
By Dan Bodine
Welcome to a new category of writing for my blog. Ecotheology seems to be one of the fastest growing courses now on many university campuses, despite it not getting a lot of attention from our current political leaders. But it’s spawned some religious movements already – despite Trumpism – so hopefully the trend’ll continue.
Here’s how Wiki defines it: “Ecotheology generally starts from the premise that a relationship exists between human religious/spiritual worldviews and the degradation of nature. It explores the interaction between ecological values, such as sustainability, and the human domination of nature.”
Also, this religion angle is part of a political subject that greatly interests me personally – although I’d never have guessed when I started on it it’d end up where we are today.
I wrote my M.A. Political Science thesis on right-wing evangelicals at the 1980 polls, i.e. The devil’s coming to get us, it screamed! It was the beginning of a Conservative Reform Era that married State to Church.
Sure enough, 36 years later, Trumpism arrived. Which I’m presuming — with the past election — officially ends the era. But it’s left us with a hands-off arrogance against environmental regulations — aka, Pied Piper for Radical Capitalist Exploits — that threaten now to take all of us down with it!
So, I figured…Uh, why not this Ecotheology topic? Could one more tiny voice in this raging debate that’s splitting Americans possibly affect the Climate Crisis threatening to destroy the planet? Certainly won’t hurt any, it seems! Thus, gimp-legged, bad-back, deaf and all, here I come!
I’m 77 now, also fighting C.O.P.D. and mid-stage Lewy Body Dementia mostly. But I can still walk and talk, and write some, too — not near as lucidly as I once did, no; nor is it near as easy as it once was for me either! But the will is there.
“So, step off into it! I told myself! So…Now, we’re here with the blog.
In mid-December 2020, time of this post, we’ve reached what initially I’d hoped was the start of the Great Meltdown of Righteous Evangelicals in U.S. All while 311,000 Americans have died of the dreaded Coronavirus Pandemic, e.g.!
But Trumpism, with all its denials and insanities, stubbornly is hanging on! Due to loyalties of the far-right evangelicals behind him giving him a shield, Trump has been slow to respond to the virus with a national plan. Freedom of capitalism has garnered more respect than individual health!
Also, President Trump, rather than lamenting the deaths, still is tweeting the recent national election that toppled him was a “massive fraud.” Which is still no help in a Pandemic. Nor in a Climate Crisis, either
While he continues to cry wolf almost 80 million supporters — or most of them it appears who’d backed him at the polls – incongruously nod their approval, further goading this would-be, political messiah into an “Onward, Christian Soldier” mindset!
Rip the Earth Apart for Profit (REAP), it is then! It’s dominion religion! And by holding out for contributions in yet another cause celebre — supposedly to help fund his many legal appeals — he’s building up a war-chest to do just that.
REAP’s goal is to put a curse on whatever counter legislation the new Biden administration can put together, it seems – i.e., Democrats hoping to blunt some of Trump’s damages to the economy, environment and national security. And that ad hoc strategy (for negation on top of negation), not merely wasteful of time and resources, it seems, but also is both stupid and sacrilegious!
Thus, millions of us who came up liberally educated in the academic field of Arts & Sciences naturally are asking about the status of not just our country but the planet that’s our actual home itself.
We’ve reached an obvious political impasse, it seems between what appears those educated in the collegiate liberal arts on one side, versus on the other a combination of angry, less-educated (e.g., non-degreed true believer reactionaries) following right-wing conservative politicians — e.g., those largely from more rigorous collegiate business or accounting schools. If this is a winner-take-all match, it’s a dead-end for all!
So hijole, I’m thinking! No wonder our planet is imperiled! These suckers on the other side wouldn’t spend a dime on environmental preservation or rehabilitation either one! Much less change their careless spending habits to something less destructive of Mother Earth, it seems.
Indeed, what’s up?! one has to ask.
Especially most of those 80 million-plus voters who’d opposed Strong-arm Trump in the recent election – generally feeling obliged in some way to stop Climate Change and its incidental environmental corrosion.
Indeed, we’re a people obstinately at war with each other, then! And begrudgingly, co-existing with each other timorously in public spaces, addressing each other politely as fellow beings only; while careful not to concede any ground either in this ongoing, bitter U.S. Religious Civil War! Which is suicidal! For both, yes!
Thus, this is my first in an on-and-off series hoping to help add some urgency to thinking on both sides. And, also, a back-door apology to my readers for almost a year’s inactivity. I’m still alive, yes (true, we’ve all had a hard year, probably is more appropriate) – in this crazy period.
This new category in which I’ll be writing, again, is “Ecotheology”. It meshes Climate Change’s ecology and environmental concerns with both Religion’s allegiances and passions, hoping eventually for a global environmental renaissance.
Further explanation can be found at the ecological complaint.
Hope you’re near as passionate about it as I am.
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