Nearly a dozen representatives from major religious congregations around the nation were gathered by the Sierra Club and given a tour of the gulf region recently. Episcopal priest Rev. Canon Sally Bingam spoke for several of them when she called the spill “an insult to God and a sin against creation.” Mahmoud Sarmini explained that the Quar’an teaches that we have a duty to care for the earth responsibly. Rabbi David Saperstein similarly recited a Jewish tradition that the earth is only lent to humans and should be used wisely. Clergy from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim groups joined together for the tour through Barataria Bay, gathering afterward for a prayer service at the First Grace United Methodist Church where they prayed for the gulf’s recovery and renewal.
The leaders’ message was not only for BP, however. Rabbi Julie Schofeld described the spill as a wake-up call to alert us to the very serious need to “turn from short-term gratification” and reduce our petroleum dependence. Other leaders recognized our need for fossils fuels but also urged that we need to move more quickly to “get ourselves off” of them. Thus, while BP may be directly culpable for the spill, these religious leaders’ message was for all consumers to live more responsibly on this borrowed earth. For the full story see here.
Teaching & Learning Guide for: Religious Environmentalism in the West
By Steven Douglas, Forum On Religion & Ecology, Monash University
(Vol. 5, May 2010)
Theology in its Spatial Turn: Space, Place and Built Environments Challenging and Changing the Images of God
By Sigurd Bergmann , Department of Archaeology and Religious Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
(Vol. 2, April 2007)