The Great Betrayalat
How the world’s holiest of holies have failed to comment on manmade climate change, and the threat to our planet
The consequences of climate change and the reality of climate change are here, shoved up, close and present and dangerous, pushed into your face and mine… right now. The deluge is here and we made it happen.
One of the saddest moments of an otherwise inspirational training as an Interfaith Minister was the day, at the end of the two years, when we were asked if there were any issues that we felt had been overlooked. We broke up into small groups, and when it came to my turn I said that I was deeply disappointed that the Interfaith Seminary had given no time, no interest and no acknowledgement to the issue of climate change and the threat it poses to millions of people, animals and plants, which by nature of their existence were all sacred.
My comments went down with the interest that might be awarded to bag of orange peel, found at a bus stop. Some of my fellow ministers looked at me with utter contempt. One who never speaks, but who since has become a close friend half agreed, but virtually said nothing; another one said I was completely politicized and naïve, and should keep my views to myself, and another one, who is now a teaching member of the faculty said “there, there, we all get this kind of bee in our bonnet. You see, it means a lot to you, but it really doesn’t mean much to any of us, because it won’t happen.” Of course as people of the holy persuasion these Interfaith Ministers are absolutely no different to their counterparts in the Church of England, the world of Islam, Judaism, Buddhism or anything else. Admittedly there are pockets of religious groups that say stuff, like the previous Archbishop of Canterbury – Rowan Williams – who did actually go to the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit and make a speech. Speeches are so useful, they pay such wonderful lip service to the occasion. In days of old Archbishops could actually use their powers to bring about change, support or destroy Kings and empires, threaten dictators, represent the views of the people. Now they go to a summit meeting or a conference and talk, and 45 people and two trainee journalists listen, politely… with a touch of boredom.
This is our world. If you are a person of faith you will believe that something – God, the divine, the great spirit, the supreme being, was able to create our beautiful, rich, and complex world. So why the hell don’t we look after it? Do we have to continue on this path of consumerism, greed and insane fracking before we wake up and realise that we are destroying the planet… our planet… this most sacred world. What do you reckon?