For almost 5 years, I’ve noticed a distinct lack of “comfort” in being able to respond to news such as the Ecological Crisis. The list of other issues that Progressives are very willing to discuss (and I am also), racism, immigration, abortion, Islamaphobia, War and Peace, The Christian Right’s capitulation to the American Empire…all of these things are undoubtedly urgent issues that require attention as well as repentance and are certainly worthy “targets” of Christian response and mission.
But I see a distinct gap in the response to the ecological crisis. That has begun to change, but ever so slowly. I believe it is becuase there has been little attention being given to the development of a conversation about this, such that we are lacking a community of discourse about it. I see this most clearly in posts like yesterday, where most all of the comments from a Facebook group on the subject was from someone who dismisses the very idea of there even being any sort of ecological crisis or emergency (there were some replies to those “dismissive” comments, but there was, relative to other world and national problems, nowhere near the response posts on those topics mentioned above would get from this group. One person, who is a friend of mine (and we met in online discussions on the matter of the ecological crisis), commented in a way that moved this discussion forward. That Facebook group post and comments can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/9550978460/permalink/10156242121198461/
If we are to enter into a time when the church sees the importance of attending to the ecological crisis in any sort of urgent way that is required, we are going to have to find ways to start conversations about it, and how the history of our faith (in particular, the Biblical account of the history of God’s dealings with humanity) is very clear that there are deep ties between human obedience/disobedience, and the welfare of the physical earth. We must develop a rhetorical comfort zone like we have in the issues such as race, GLBTQ, poverty, hunger, and economic justice. Like I mentioned earlier, this work has begun to appear, but we are still , apparently, in the infancy stages of becoming bold in talking about ecological justice, and ecological crisis.