BY MARK Y.A. DAVIES
Like Sen. James Inhofe, Sarah Sanders recently intimated that she is trusting God to take care of the climate. Perhaps she might want to consider that one way God “takes care of things” is through us, and maybe, just maybe, God is telling us something through our best climate scientists about what we ought to be doing to be good stewards of all creation.
The Hebrew Bible teaches us the wisdom that God calls us to care for the community of all creation, not just treat it like crap and then expect God to clean up the mess. In the Hebrew Bible, that kind of attitude and practice would be characterized as sin.
When we get sick, we trust doctors.
When we take medicine, we trust pharmacists.
When we are passengers in airplanes, we trust pilots, mechanics, and aeronautical engineers.
When we are under threat by hostile powers, we trust the military to defend us.
When we drive over bridges, we trust civil engineers.
When we eat at a restaurant, we trust the cooks and the servers.
When we buy food at the grocery store, we trust farmers and grocers.
When we turn on our lights and use our appliances, we trust electricians.
When we drive our cars, we trust those who have assembled them and those who maintain them.
Yet when it comes to the climate, Sarah Sanders and Sen. James Inhofe say we are not supposed to trust climate scientists, but rather simply trust God.
But why stop with trusting God to take care of the climate? Why not simply trust God to keep us from getting sick, to keep our planes in the air, to keep us safe from military attack, to keep our cars from falling into rivers, to cook our food and keep it safe for us, to grow and safely store our food for us, to make light for us and power our appliances for us, and to transport us wherever we need to go?
Why not just give it all up to God and save ourselves a lot of hard work and trouble?
Perhaps this all has something to do with fossil fuel corporations and their executives being able to make trillions of dollars by keeping us from trusting what climate scientists are saying. Perhaps they think they can trust that these trillions of dollars will keep them safe when the climate is in chaos, but that is not trusting in God, that is trusting in mammon, and as the Christian Bible reminds us, “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” [I Timothy 6:10, Common English Bible].
– Mark Y.A. Davies is the Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. Click herefor more of his essays.