Letter: God, politics and nature | AspenTimes.com

Letter: God, politics and nature

Please be seated, children; it is time for class to begin.

First, we shall present four words (and their definitions) from the American Heritage Dictionary:

— “Conservatism: the inclination, especially in politics, to maintain the existing or traditional order.”

— “Conservation: preservation from loss, damage or neglect; the controlled use and systematic protection of natural resources such as forests, soil and water systems.”

— “Left: in politics: the people … who advocate liberal … measures … to achieve equality, freedom and well-being of the common citizens.”

— “Right: in politics: the people … who advocate ‘conservative’ or reactionary measures in government.”

Secondly, we shall consider, from National Review magazine, a Jan. 6 article titled “Pope Francis, the climate, and leftism” and subtitled “Using radical Left-Wing language, the pope weighs in on climate change.”

From this article, we extract the following statements from Pope Francis:

— “An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.”

— “The system continues unchanged, since what dominates are the dynamics of an economy and a finance that are lacking in ethics.”

— “The monopolizing of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water … are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth.”

Also, from the writer of the article:

— “Leftism has taken over much of Catholicism.”

— “Conservatives understand that good people can hold left-wing positions. If only bad people held left-wing positions, leftism wouldn’t be the world’s most dynamic religion.”

— “The pope’s (message) is from Marx, not Moses.”

Children: Your homework for this evening is:

Why is “conservation” viewed by “conservatism” as an evil?

Why did Denver’s former Catholic archbishop (whose overt national political stance in the election year of 2000, which resulted in human suffering and environmental degradation through war in Iraq and Afghanistan and who is now prelate of the City of Brotherly Love) require strict right-wing neo-conservative allegiance of clerics whom he posted to Colorado’s ecologically fragile Western Slope?

How do American right-wing conservative Catholics explain their understanding of Scripture, which explicitly warns against worshiping “other gods,” i.e., the god of money?

How do American right-wing conservative Catholics view papal infallibility (inerrancy in faith and morals) when a papal encyclical condemns denial of moral and ethical behavior?

May faith and reason among people of such persuasion be reconciled if reason is flawed in the interest of comfort and convenience and faith is flawed due to a failure of belief in infallible truths?

Class is dismissed, children. And don’t let the dog eat your homework.

Art Allard

Aspen


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