The world, in our hands
The Biblical story has us starting out in a garden. As the Rabbis of the Talmud phrase it over two thousand years ago, God said to Adam "This garden is yours to tend. Take care with it; for if you destroy the garden, no one will restore it."
Can religion be bad for the natural world? Of course. I heard Rush Limbaugh make the barely comprehensible argument that global warming must be untrue because God would not design the world such that progress could be bad for it. Such a theology holds the seeds of destruction. God quite deliberately promised not to destroy the world after the flood of Noah; the chilling omission? God does not promise that WE will not destroy it.
Religion properly understood is filled with exhortations to care for this world. It is God's gift. We are the world's stewards. Trampling our inheritance, befouling it, destroying it, contradicts everything faith promises and promotes.
The ancient parable of the bird is apt. A child is told of a Rabbi who can answer any question. Scooping up a tiny bird and holding it in his hand, he asks the Rabbi "Is this bird alive or dead?" He planned to let it live if the Rabbi answered "dead" and to crush it if the Rabbi answered "alive."
The story relates that the Rabbi responded "It is all in your hands."
In the sense of this story, we hold the world in our hands.
Posted by: i-me-my | June 3, 2010 9:25 AM
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