Allow me to continue once again examining the anti-theistic claims of Chaz Bufe, the blues guitar playing anarchist.
Remember, Chaz has compiled a list of 20 reasons why Christianity must be abandoned. However, as I have been noting over the course of my series, it really is a list of Chaz’s woefully misinformed and twisted view of Christianity. Let me highlight the salient points he raises,
13. Christianity depreciates the natural world. …The Christian belief in the unimportance of happiness and well-being in this world is well illustrated by a statement by St. Alphonsus:
“It would be a great advantage to suffer during all our lives all the torments of the martyrs in exchange for one moment of heaven. Sufferings in this world are a sign that God loves us and intends to save us.”
This focus on the afterlife often leads to a distinct lack of concern for the natural world, and sometimes to outright anti-ecological attitudes. Ronald Reagan’s fundamentalist Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, went so far as to actively encourage the strip mining and clear cutting of the American West, reasoning that ecological damage didn’t matter because the “rapture” was at hand.
James Watt? Does Chaz realize how antiquated his little booklet is if he is invoking James Watt, former Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Regan? Granted, Chaz’s own list may be old itself. Maybe he wrote his list up back in the late 80s or something; but James Watt would had been relevant to Chaz’s argument about unsympathetic Christian environmental mismanagement IN 1981! And for the record, I disagree with Chaz’s assessment of Watt, but I digress.
At any rate, the charge put forth is that because Christians are taught by their church leaders to value eternal things above all else, they neglect the present world where they currently live.
I will readily admit there is some truth to that accusation. Christianity doesn’t value the physical world in the same way Chaz, or any garden variety atheist probably does. The key reason is because Chaz and his atheist friends have imposed upon themselves a limited perspective of human existence. Atheism is a fundamentally here-and-now worldview because the atheist has chosen to reject and suppress the reality of eternity. Thus, atheistic secularists live only for the moment, indulging in all the pleasures they can heap upon themselves. Oh sure, there are probably some altruistic atheists out there, but they are far and few between. Who has time to waste helping orphans when this life is all you get?
Christians recognize our world is disposable. God designed it to yield its resources to men. Additionally, a spiritual person realizes his life is short. A lifetime, even if a person lives to be 80 years old or more, is temporal in light of eternity. So it is true Christians who have been awakened to spiritual truth and reality value eternity more so than the secular atheist. That doesn’t mean Christians should be careless and wasteful of the resources our God created on the earth, or that they shouldn’t pursue conservation. It is just that our mindset is not only on the here and now.
Yet, I imagine Chaz would insist that we all embrace the non-sense junk science of the modern-day environmental
global warming climate change movement. Seeing that he so readily draws our attention to James Watt from the 80s, has Chaz forgotten how the same people who are presently arguing for radical social and economic change that will bankrupt the economies of the nations in order to combat global warming anthropogenic climate change used almost the same argumentation back in the 70s to promote radical social and economic change to combat global freezing? I remember that atmosphere of hysteria when I was a kid in grade school.
In order to build their case for a global ice age, the scientific magisterium argued that man-made particle emissions from vehicles would collect in the atmosphere to block out the sun and significantly cool the earth. The media even appealed to similar “scientific” research as their current day counter parts. So called “experts” drew the same conclusions that the global ice age would conveniently happen some hundred or so years in the future, far beyond any of their lives, so as not to be held accountable if they were wrong.
As much as Chaz wishes to charge Christians with messing up the environment with their lack of sympathy for earthly things, modern day environmentalist are much more unsympathetic to the plain folk their kooky ideas, supported by governmental regulations and legislation, will harm, especially the poor. The simple-minded, bureaucratic, nanny-state officials willingly pass restrictive laws prohibiting personal freedoms and raising taxes on regular folks. In an ironic twist, a professed “free thinking,” law-hating anarchist like Chaz promotes their socio-political view point that in turn is outright detrimental to his beliefs advocated on his website.
But more importantly, unlike the Christian’s lack of concern about his world, the environmental legislation being promoted by radical, watermelon environmentalists (green on the outside, red on the inside) and willing passed by stupid politicians from state to state, has real world significance and is unwittingly cruel to regular people. For example, where I live in California, the state representatives wish to pass a massive tax (what they redefine as a “fee”) on mini-vans, SUVs, and other large, multi-passenger vehicles. The idea behind this “fee” is that multi-passenger vehicles give off more carbon emissions than smaller vehicles, plus the excessive “fee” is an incentive to invest in hybrid model cars.
Essentially, the “fee” proposed by the California state legislature is a tax upon bigger families, but will also impact disabled persons who need such large vehicles for wheel chair access, construction workers and farmers who use them to carry their tools and equipment they need for their jobs, and ironically, those people who use larger vehicles to carpool (wow, a tax on carpooling!). It is the working class at risk here; the very group Chaz’s communist values are meant to protect.
Oh, but there is more. Environmental laws even impact the mundane areas of life that will in turn increase the cost of living for everyone, especially in the area of health care.
I’ll give you an example from my own personal experience. I am asthmatic. My condition is generally caused by allergies. Thankfully, modern medicine in the form of inhalers help me, along with millions of other asthma suffers, to control the condition so I can function in life. You know, run around, be active out doors, play with the kids. The simple things we all take for granted.
Initially, my asthma medication was relatively inexpensive, maybe around 10-15 bucks, and that is even without health care. But, my asthma inhaler apparently has a negative effect upon the environment. That is because the compressed gas that pushes the medication out of the little bottle into my lungs doesn’t meet environmental standards designed to off set
global warming climate change.
Think a moment: A gas I breathe into my body and doesn’t get released into the atmosphere.
Thus, in order to comply with the new regulations being imposed, the companies that make the inhalers had to come up with a new means to release the medication from the bottle. As a result, the cost of the new inhalers tripled. Thus, a poor person will be forced to go without medication because of Chaz’s “sympathetic” view of the natural world.
Now, I am sure Chaz will argue that poor man’s plight is the very reason we need universal, across the board, government paid health coverage. But why should my visit to my doctor have to turn into a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles or any other bloated governmental bureaucratic office? The quantity of health care may be there, but not the quality certainly won’t. I don’t want to wait four months to get a CT scan. And all because to safe guard the environment based upon emotional, highly unscientific, chicken little-style, misinformation about man-made
global warming climate change! Who’s being unsympathetic here?
Christians may depreciate the natural world, but at least we are not defending it at the expense of the livelihood of human beings based upon a child-like naivete in unworkable utopian principles based upon sham “science.”