The Religious Right — not a purely Christian phenomenon
I recently read a blog post pointing out that the film Avatar (which I have yet to see), is a thinly-disguised parable about the exploitation of the forests of Ecuador. It also had a link to an article in a Jewish publication, which expressed the following sentiment: Ann Coulter:
The ethic of conservation is the explicit abnegation of man’s dominion over the Earth. The lower species are here for our use. God said so: Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, and rape the planet — it’s yours. That’s our job: drilling, mining and stripping. Sweaters are the anti-Biblical view. Big gas-guzzling cars with phones and CD players and wet bars — that’s the Biblical view.
Now I thought that such sentiments were a parody of Christian theology mainly employed by “green” neopagans to promote the idea that it was the Christian worldview that was responsible for the deterioration of the environment. It was quite a shock to see that it was actually being expressed, apparently quite seriously, in a Jewish publication. This was not The Onion. I’m not sure who Ann Coulter is, but I wonder what her rabbi would have to say about it. I’m no fundi on Orthodox Judaism, but I somehow doubt that most rabbis would accept that interpretation.
The blog post on Avatar is also interesting from another point of view. Blogging from the Bog :: Avatar or Equador? :: January :: 2010:
In the new John Cameron blockbuster, the 3D fantasy ‘Avatar’, a foreign corporation swoops down on an indigenous forest peoples to plunder their resources. Armed with mercenaries, a business plan, and an insatiable desire for shareholder profits, they will stop at nothing to feed their greed. The fantasy part of the story is it’s location.
For thirty years Texaco, now owned by Chevron, profited from cheap oil extracted from the forests of the Amazon (known as the ‘lungs’ of our planet) leaving behind an environmental disaster for the people of Equador. Following the logic expressed by Ann Coulter in her quote ‘God said so: Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, and rape the planet–it’s yours. That’s our job: drilling, mining, and stripping.’, many corporations, including Hunt Oil in Peru, are doing just that.
That was cool for the people at the Jewish World Review and other members of the American religious right when they got the oil and people in Ecuador suffered the environmental consequences. Now with BP drilling off the American coast, the USA is suffering some of the consequences too — perhaps that will promote a somewhat different view. As Avaaz says:
We’ve all seen the outrageous images: a monstrous oil spill is gushing as much as 2,500,000 gallons of crude a day into the Gulf of Mexico.
Before the spill, U.S. President Obama and Congressional leaders were planning to ramp up offshore drilling. Now, with the spill, the politics have shifted — and an opportunity has opened for the world’s biggest historical climate polluter to shift away from oil and towards climate-safe energy sources.
At a moment like this, when leaders are making up their minds, the world’s voices can help tip the balance. Sign the petition urging the U.S. to stop offshore drilling and invest instead in clean renewable energy — the signatures will be delivered to the White House in Washington DC when we reach 500,000! Click to sign on now and spread the word: