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Discuss: Seeing Paradise

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1 Kit Stolz on Aug 22, 2008

I agree that those desperately seeking heaven are overlooking the paradise under their feet, but I am troubled by the author’s simplistic formulation of the problem:

“Pornography is an abuse of power over women, and eco-pornography is an abuse of power over nature.”

The author implies that this “eco-pornography” is the work of Christians who want to go to heaven, but of course not all Christians believe in that form of the Rapture, nor are all Christians unconcerned about global warming.

What’s more, as the author admits, the concept of the apocalypse is an idea found in cultures besides the Christian—Griffiths mentions that the Hopi also think the world could end in fire.

Global warming is a problem for all of us. The intriguing aspect of this essay for me is not that Christians devalue the planet, but that more than one culture sees the potential for an apocalypse.

Perhaps more than one human myth foreshadows our end, just as more than one human myth tells the story of God moving upon the waters.

Wouldn’t that universality be more interesting than putting the blame for global warming on Christians?

Keep in mind, I’m not a Christian myself…

2 Jean Mcmahon on Aug 22, 2008

I don’t think he was blaming Christians for global warming..I think he is pointing out that a lot of us do not see paradise when it is right here…Jean

3 Barbara Money on Aug 23, 2008

As a former Fundamentalist Christian, I can say from my experience that the author was talking about the people I grew up with. For them, the nubby garden spade was proof of Adam;s curse to till the ground with the sweat of his brow, not the miracle of life and growth. For them, the nebulous heaven of constant praise would indeed be preferable to the idea of suffering on an unfeeling Earth.

True, not all Christians feel this way, and I’m sure the author wasn’t referring to them, but to the vocal minority who want to sweep the slate clean. I sure don’t feel that way any longer, having thrown off the oppressive yoke of the hellfire brand of religion.

4 Laura on Aug 23, 2008

“When world leaders forget the compassion and political grace represented by the sayings of Christ, but use the Book of Revelation as a myth to live by, we need to worry.”

Doesn’t this say it all???  The very definition of “Christian” has become so perverted by the masses that true Christians, those truly living by Christ’s example, are buried under the myth.

But aside from that, this peace truly does speak to the Earth as a Heaven that we need to protect.  There is no better place.  It is only here.

5 Laura Vincent on Aug 23, 2008

Thank you for using the phrase Gaia in reference to earth. Those who chase rapture are sadly lacking in what I believe to be the true lesson in the metaphore of Adam and Eve. The “Garden of Eden” was heaven and man(Homo sapiens) chose to see themselves as separate and not a part of ‘Eden”. In so doing we have forever been trying to get back. The rapture is nothing more then pure denial of the beauty and harmony a truly spiritual person can find here on earth and be connected to god and all that is good.

Great Article.

6 marilynn on Sep 02, 2008

It boggles my mind to think that we’ve been mass indoctrinated into supporting artificial ways of living…to the great benefits (yes, profits $$$) of religious sects….with their hoco-pocus scare tactics and disregard for the many co-existing forces and lifeforms that we should nurture and be proud to co-exist with..

7 Susanne on Sep 06, 2008

Great writing. I’ve always thought as a Christian, that we make our own heaven or hell right here on earth, so might as well treat earth as heaven.  Some calling themselves Christians seem to think that their rapture brand of heaven will save them from an earthly hell they seem only too eager to further to its ultimate doom. This thinking I suppose is meant to allow all sorts of human follies under the guise of religion. We’ve seen this played out throughout history in various forms…but this time history may not have a chance to repeat itself.

8 ahalisdair on Sep 07, 2008

From ancient times humans acted nobly and ignobly in the name of god, finding justification for their actions in their religions. Too suppose this will change is unrealistic. Perhaps we will grow wiser, act to protect our world, and credit god. Perhaps. I doubt however religion will be the driving force for change. It is more likely religion will fuel the scramble for dwindling resources, fanning the flames as groups fight one another for survival. Those who survive will find solace in their beliefs comforted by the knowledge that god chose them.

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