A Southerner contemplates the “horror” of the end of “a way of life” that is now seen for the evil racism at worst, or else the moral denial of the evil of it in light of what it meant to “pull the rug out” from the southern economy. (The latter is not exactly “enlightened” either).
“What Southern man, be he slave-holder or non-slave-holder, can without indignation and horror contemplate the triumph of negro equality, and see his own sons and daughters in the not distant future associating with free negroes upon terms of political and social equality, and the white man stripped by the heaven-daring hand of fanaticism of that title to superiority over the black race which God himself has bestowed? ”
But this conjures up, once again, in my mind, the moral equivalencies: of a) what we are doing to the earth and others who depend upon it in far more intimate and direct ways than we do, and b) the institution of slavery. We allow ourselves the “ignorant bliss” of all this by ignoring , shoving aside, or outright denying the science that clearly shows us what we are doing. So many who do see this simply shove it aside and reason that nothing they can do will change this, or that someone will “figure this out”, and so we should just wait. Or even, “God will handle it”.
In both cases, that of the institution of slavery and in our late 20th early 21st century knowledge of ecological instability instigated by “homo collosus” (see yesterday’s post), the economical beneficiaries of the system (of slavery, or of modern technological “overshoot” of the earth’s “carrying capacity”) seek the blessing of the “religious status quo”, and they get it (by and large).
One way or another, we end up looking the other way, and continue to concentrate on just those things to which we are accustomed to giving our attention. This happens in the Progressive Churches , too. As we all know, there’s plenty of work to do in the many “mission fields” of this American Empire.
We’ve developed an articulate, justice seeking journalism in our church news agencies and publications. But the field is pretty sparse in reporting on ecological concerns. Eco-theological reflection must become more prevalent. Ecological matters must become more deeply integrated in our preaching, teaching, and become a point where our advocacy work collaborates *with*, and brings a sense of Kingdom of God narrative *to* various efforts we must increasingly undertake , to become more sustainable as communities, with our churches, families, cities, states, and nations of the world.