Planet Gore

The Green Gospel

It’s difficult to follow the global-warming debate for long without running headlong into theological disputes. Yesterday Kathryn linked to an interesting article the Independent Catholic News, entitled Is Catholicism Really Green? It’s written by a Catholic named Mary Colwell.

Colwell complains that the Catholics are not consistently green, and hopes things will improve. She speaks as a Catholic, but I wonder where she’s getting her theology. She tells readers: “What is the true nature of our relationship with the earth? Get this right and everything else will begin to fall into place.” That’s the Green Gospel speaking. Jesus didn’t give the relationship between human beings and the Earth pride of place. He said that the first and greatest commandment is to love God, and the second is to love our neighbor as ourself. Everything follows from that. Christians of all stripes should take seriously our stewardship of the Earth. But our relationship to the Earth is not the first principle from which everything else follows.

Jay Richards — Jay W. Richards is Research Fellow and Director of Acton Media at the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy and theology (with honors) from ...