I took this picture of my wife in beautiful Crested Butte, Colorado

It seems that some who are ecologically minded harbor intense feelings against those who do not seem to care for the environment as much. Unfortunately this attitude has even infiltrated the protestant church (perhaps the catholic one as well -but I am not the one to ask about this).

The “green” protestant attitude is often that those who are not “living green” (or actively caring for the environment) are living in “sin”. This is an interesting phenomenon to me (one which I deal with in my thesis). These “green” protestants often understand caring for the environment to occupy a place of such importance that caring for the environment becomes tantamount to sanctification. So, by caring for the created environment (something which God undeniably does in the creation stories) one becomes more like God. Not only that, but one also moves this present world toward a state of God-consciousness, moving the world closer and closer to the intended reality which God created originally. As the interconnected relationships between humanity and the rest of “nature” (an interesting binary relationship at the least) the cosmos is restored towards its intended purpose.

In this mindset then humans who care for the environment are actually causing this world to become what God intended it (and in the mind of “green” protestants, the way which it will be at the end time or eschaton), and are therefore causing the coming of the kingdom of God. This view seems to me to be similar to a post-millenial view in the early 20th century. The main difference would be that ecology has replaced the positive attitude towards technology.

To be sure, some “green” protestants (the attitude described above is probably representative of only a small group) understand those who are not environmentally conscious to be against what God intends (=sin). This is certainly not the way in which the bible is read historically. Sin and redemption have taken on new meanings for some “green” protestants. This perspective of reading the bible in such a way is probably the outgrowth of an eco-feminist interpretation.

For those who have subscribed to an eco-feminist understanding, the old Protestant idea of “hard work and clean living” has been replaced with the newer “green” Protestant idea of “hard work and green living.”

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