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October 18th 2014 print

Peter Smith

Enough to Make Jesus Turn Green

Men of the cloth once aimed to guard their flocks from Satan's mischief. And now? Well, according to those with a hotline to Heaven, an Eleventh Commandment has been added: Thou shalt not dig, sell or profit from coal

jesus greenThere on the front page of The Australian was Anglican priest Evan Pederick outside his church in Cannington, Perth, taking on coal in God’s name. Apparently he is at the forefront of the Anglican Church’s push to dump shares in fossil-fuel companies. Mr Pederick, who served prison time over the Sydney Hilton bombing, which killed three men, was reported to have said  “the church of God simply can’t profit from an industry that damages God’s creation or which destroys the lives and livelihoods of human beings.”

Well bombs tend to destroy human lives. Closing down industries tends to destroy jobs and livelihoods. Mining and burning coal, on the other hand, have made an enormous contribution to lifting people out of poverty and they have an enormous contribution still to make. No doubt the energy coal produced also contributed to building Mr Pederick’s fine church.

Obviously I am not privy to God’s thoughts on the matter. But I guess He might possibly approve of energy that contributes to lessening poverty; particularly knowing that a combination of government regulation, invention and business innovation has reduced pollution. Air and water pollution in the modern world is much lower now than it was fifty years ago. With good management, pollution will continue to fall. For example, NASA, hardly an apologist for fossil fuels, reported in 2011 that sulphur dioxide emissions from coal-powered plants in the US had declined by 50% since 2005.

The Anglican Church is seriously misguided. However, that is beside my point. Men and women in the Church — as men and women — are surely entitled to their opinion on coal. Where I draw the line is when they presume to know what God thinks about coal. True, I made a guess about it above, but then I am not preaching my view from a pulpit.

I attended an Anglican church some years ago where the minister brought global warming into his sermon. On leaving the church I gently reminded him that so far as I knew neither Moses nor Jesus had commented on the matter. I also used to get fed up praying for rain during periods of droughts. There were no prayers to give us the strength to help ourselves and build dams, which I thought would have been more apropos. But probably not environmentally sound.

Aren’t Christian ministers supposed to provide spiritual leadership and guidance? Of course, they can walk and chew gum. They can conceivably provide spiritual leadership and comment on secular matters. But their expertise and claim on our attention lies in the spiritual sphere where they should concentrate their efforts. Instead we get this pathetic transgression into areas where they have no expertise at all. And, wearing a dog collar does not miraculously give them anymore insight than anyone else into what God thinks of fossil fuels.

Memo to the Anglican Church: Western civilisation is under attack and Christians are being killed and enslaved by adherents to a barbarous religious cult .Christians are looking for spiritual leadership. Instead we seem to be getting a lesson in pagan worship of Gaia.

Christian ministers have the words of JC to guide them not the words of the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature). That’s just a friendly reminder in case the New Testament no longer has the same resonance in their minds as in former ages. One thing is for sure. The Islamists haven’t moved their scripture down their list of priorities.

Jesus specifically told us that ‘false prophets’ will arise (Matthew 24:24). If Muhammad doesn’t qualify who the heck does or ever would? Maybe I have missed it but all I see is Christian leaders getting all ecumenical with latter-day disciples of a false prophet; while, at the same time, cosying up to greenies who almost to a man and woman are atheists. You couldn’t write about it and be believed.

Milksops and environmentalists have taken over Christianity. All that spiritual stuff is hooey. It is much better to concentrate on defeating coal than the Devil. Jesus wept never seemed so apt.

 

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics