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Bishop of London Declares Flying on Holiday and Gas Guzzlers As Sinful

Times of London. The Bishop of London has declared it sinful for people to contribute to climate change by flying on holiday, driving a gas-guzzling car or failing to use energy-saving measures in the home.

Richard Chartres will encourage vicars to preach more green sermons and warn congregations that it is now a moral obligation for Christians to lead eco-friendly lifestyles.

Chartres, who chairs the bishops’ panel on the environment, said: “There is now an overriding imperative to walk more lightly upon the earth and we need to make our lifestyle decisions in that light.”

“Making selfish choices such as flying on holiday or buying a large car are a symptom of sin. Sin is not just a restricted list of moral mistakes. It is living a life turned in on itself where people ignore the consequences of their actions.”

...Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “We stand before God’s judgment on these matters. In life we have to make moral choices over our sex life and over our domestic and financial affairs. We make choices of moral significance and our relation to the environment is no exception.”

The Church of England is taking steps to improve its own environmental record and has asked vicars to carry out an energy audit so they can reduce their carbon footprint. It owns some of the largest and draughtiest buildings in Britain, including medieval cathedrals, gothic churches and ageing parsonages.

Claire Foster, the church’s environment policy director, said: “Indiscriminate use of the earth’s resources must be seen as profoundly wrong, just as we now see slavery as wrong.”

Comments

Engineer-Poet

I'd like to see this coming from a preacher whose flock is used to gasoline at $2/gallon, not $6/gallon.  If someone from the religious right can convince a large bloc of voters that gas guzzlers are evil and wrong, I'll have to reconsider my opinion of them.

JRod

I expect many from the religious right to adopt this position just for the wonderful opportunity of having Engineer-Poet reconsider his opinion of them. There truly could be nothing so life-fulfilling.

I try not to waste resources, but I am not ready to mention it in the same sentence as slavery.

JRod.

Cervus

You know, a lot of people on the Right consider environmentalism a religion of the Left.

This isn't going to help matters.

JM

This from BBC News:
"US evangelicals launch green plan
A group of influential US evangelicals has launched a campaign to persuade Americans that being a good Christian also means tackling climate change."

See it at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4695320.stm

zodingi

Responsibility, not sinful should be the keyword. New morality issues should not be formed. Humans were given authority over animals etc it is our duty to protect but I dont think it means sinning if we do not.

However, I belive it is a good step forward from the church.

Erick

If God gives you something to take care of for him and you knowingly abuse it, I'd say that's a pretty big sin.

This is a good step forward, but I hope it doesn't cause some kind of backlash from the right-wing climate change denying factions of the church as they are a very well funded, well oiled machine with a lot of power over a lot of people.

fred

The Bishop needs to get out more...while using energy saving measures of course.

Andrey

As I am remember right, US-Bush religious-based approach to tackle mind bogging problem of AIDS proliferation in Africa was ridiculed and bushed by left-wing media and European-inspired UN and EU bureaucracy to the extend of broad assault to US people.
I hope same treatment will be applied to attempts of religious parasites to capitalize on climate change scare of the widely deceived on the subject public.

Jim

Humans were given authority over animals????
How presumptious- I am the one picking up my dogs piles and feeding him. Not the other way round. Seriously though, I think this means to many religious people (but not all of course) that we can trample and exploit the natural world. Nice to see this bishop giving a different perspective on it.
By the way I don't believe in magic-sorry

John W.

I can't help but feel very disappointed that this post put on Green car congress at all. "Bishop of London declares flying on holiday and gas guzzlers as sinful." Where are the articles in the newspapers entitled: "Those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ declare x, y & z about the environment." There is no such article: but this one somehow makes the news. That's called *bias,* and green car congress should not implicate itself in the same.

There is a creation mandate given in the Bible, but the Lord also calls us to be good stewards of the environment: that is why I try to take care of the environment: NOT just for the sake of hugging trees. Too bad many more Christians (and otherwise) don't feel the same way.

But as much as I try to encourage taking care of the environment and getting rid of wasteful vehicles, believe it or not, there are actually times when people need big gas guzzlers, or when people actually need to fly on holidays. To uncritically lump everything into the same category and label it all as sinful is ridiculous and unbalanced.

This one bishiop does not speak for every Christian, and certainly not for me. And the media should stop giving the appearance that certain individuals with sometimes radical positions speak for many more Christians than they actually do. But hey, it gives the general populace a good laugh, so why not eh?

Green car congress does such an excellent job normally, but putting this post on here has only opened a political and religious can of worms. What was the point? Can we stick to technology here?

Harvey D.

Humans (even aboriginals) have done major environmental damages thousands of years ago, much before the arrival of modern technologies. We have learned to do more damages faster, especially in the last 200 yers.

I'm not a religious person, but changing our acquired negative attitude towards environment and conservation may need the help of all preachers (+ mayors and politicians) and especially school teachers, from kindergardens up.

t

Certain right wing fundamentalists have stated that global warming cannot possibly be a real problem as God would not let us destroy the planet. Same thing goes for peak oil. Since right wing fundies are clearly a powerful part of the Republican and global warming denial power base, it is appropriate that we hear other points of view within the religious community. As soon as the right wing fundies withdraw from the political arena, I would be glad to support calls to keep all religions out of this and other issues.

When it comes down to conservation of energy and global warming, different people have diverse reasons for being interested and for wanting to do something about it. Since effective attempts to fix these problems largely go unheaded by the public at large and the powers that be, it is easy to arrive at the conclusion that personal action and interest is hopeless and pointless since it is so difficult to make a difference. Therefore, the primary driving force, in many cases, comes down to a position of personal morality. Accordingly, core religious and moral beliefs have relevance to this discussion and this web site.

Al Gore states that fighting global warming is a moral imperative. Ultimately, I think that is true. Otherwise, what real difference does it make if we destroy the planet's resources, its species, and the plant life which makes it such a wonderful place to live?

Especially for us early boomers, most of the really extreme effects of energy deficits and global warming will occur after we are dead. Caring about the future must have a dimension beyond one's personal comfort and convenience.

Herb Sewl

The Church of England is hardly a right-wing evangelical organization. All you libs can cancel your victory parties. The UK is part of post-Christian Europe and only about 2% attend church. All of its buildings are being converted to mosques. In other words don't expect Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to come out against global warming tomorrow.

tom deplume

Rowan Williams calls for energy conservation and few take notice. Pat Robertson calls for assassinating Hugo Chavez and American Media make it the lead story. Liberal Christians make moral judgements based on what is good for our great-grandchildren and right wing hypocrites make moral decisions based on what is good for their stock portfolio.

fyi CO2

We were walking the dog across the street from a wealthy parish yesterday, and I was cursing all the holier than me crowd as they quickly accelerated out of the parking lot with their large ICE vehicles. I'm happy the Bishop of London is on my side!

rexis

Now this is very interesting to bring religion and environment together.

Keith F

The first commandment in the Bible, in Genesis 1:28

God said to them,
“Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea,
over the birds of the sky,
and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Man was originally appointed as caretakers of the earth.
I don't know if the Bishop of London ever quoted from the Bible in his sermon, but if he were looking for a way to do so, there it is.

Adrian

Bah,. means to an end.

I just hope that the message filters through to the US where a large proportion of Christians reside. Who cares if the message is spoken by a priest, a martian or a politician as long as people listen and the outcome is a positive one.

Hot Air Balloons

[2007/10/13 13:09] Kaiser Bogomil: I agree - but they will have to license the tech

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