“We shall never achieve harmony with the land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations, the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.” Aldo Leopold
Thoughts from Rev. Cindy Crane, Director, Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin
Many prayers for all who are experiencing displacement and loss because of the flooding throughout Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The immediate needs of many have been vast, and the long-term effects of how water has overcome certain areas are unknown. So much is out of our control, but considering that which humans can affect, we pause and wonder. Which public policies make it more difficult for the earth to absorb water. What are scientists saying about patterns that bring to light the impact climate change is having in the present? Some respond by pointing out that the earth has always been altering and that flooding is a part of life. Yet, based on what science teaches us, we can make needed changes even if we never achieve complete harmony with the land.
James instructs us to show no partiality based on economic status. We say that’s what we’d like to do as a democracy as well, and yet money in politics has led to significant deregulation of environmental protections as a result of many government officials showing gross favoritism of corporations owned by wealthy donors. The good news is that we find an increasing number of groups claiming the value of tapping into renewable energy, that doesn’t emit carbon dioxide emissions. Many individuals, businesses, secular and religious nonprofits, cities and counties are making grassroots efforts to change. Our advocacy on all levels from local to federal for our leaders to give less preferential treatment to those who steer us toward harming the earth is vital.
Show no partiality – how beautiful that is to experience and unlikely to 100% achieve. With all our imperfections, we need to try for impartiality, realizing that it can win out and that sins can be forgiven. Strive, knowing that God loves each of us and all of creation.
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