Where are their heads? I suspect they may be ensconced in that proverbial nether region where, it's often reported, the sun don't shine. I refer, regrettably, to the leaders of several Christian groups who, according to an article in today's New York Times, "have sent a letter urging the National Association of Evangelicals in Washington to stop speaking out on global warming." "We have observed," the letter says, "that [the Reverend Richard] Cizik (the Association's vice-president) and others are using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time." Like abortion. And homosexuality. And the need to promote "the teaching of sexual abstinence and morality to our children."
As though global warming were not THE great moral issue of our time! But then, the Times reports, "they are not convinced that global warming is human-induced or that human intervention can prevent it."
It's intolerable to me that such men (mostly, yes, men) in leadership positions publicly deny--and presumably teach their flocks to deny--what has been demonstrably proven to the satisfaction of the vast majority of scientists who have devoted their lives to the study of our Earth. To deny the facts of evolution is one thing. That's plain nutty, but not dangerous--except, of course, in that it promotes ignorance as an article of faith. But to deny what science has shown to be a looming and imminent threat to our species is not only ignorant, it's folly, and folly of the worst, most dangerous kind. It's willfully suicidal--and we know what evangelicals think about the sanctity of life, so it's also deadly hypocritical.
I have not known Buddhists to promote ignorance. Indeed, the opposite, for "enlightenment" is the goal. Is there, somewhere, some sect of Buddhists who still insist that the world is flat and deny the work of scientists devoted to expanding the understanding of our species and the world we live in? Do their leaders exercise the dire influence of these American evangelicals? If so, I'd like to hear about it...
Meantime, forgive my Saturday rant. I'll say no more. Instead, let me note down here a piece of a dream from last night. (The rest of it, alas, is forgotten.)
I am energized, at the top of my form. Ready to go. I find myself running with exquisite ease along the top of a levee, a sandy path. I run "like the wind", hardly touching the ground. I am elated. On reaching a break in the levee where tidal water flows through the breach, I dive in without hesitation and cut effortlessly through the water until I reach other other side. Only now do I begin to sense the danger. The tide is rushing back in, the water flowing so fast that it stirs up mud from the bottom and, looking back, I realize that it would be foolish to attempt the return swim. In gathering darkness, I hear a voice. It says, "Are those herons?" I look around and spot two tall, white birds standing side by side in a patch of reeds, quite beautiful and serene. "No," I hear myself say. "Those are not herons. They are egrets."