Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's not easy being green... and conservative

Don't ya just love Kermie? In our home there was a word that was, well... not to be muttered. It's a joke especially between Stephanie and me. We call it the "M" word. She tried to tell me Kermit wasn't real. She said Kermit was a... pardon the expression... Muppet. Wash your mouth out with soap, girl! Next thing she'll be telling me is that King Friday and Queen Sarah Saturday are the "P" word. Anyway, I do digress...

If you've been reading my ponderings for any length of time, you may have heard the expression I've shared quite often, "The best friend of the far left is the far right, they just don't know it". I first realized this when being part of a health food co-op (the president for a couple of years so I dealt a lot with the people in Iowa City... the far left) and later as a homeschooler.

I was thinking of this yesterday as I watched a favorite show on the Fox Network. The host was making fun of Earth Day. While I admit there are some outrageous people and statements among environmentalists, it does Conservatives (and Christians) no good to act as if there is nothing wrong with this world's ecosystem. We can disagree on what may be causing our environmental challenges but we show a lack of wisdom when we argue there is no problem.

There are great voices out there, representing the Christian viewpoint without fearing science. I remember reading Crunchy Con by Rod Dreher and nodding my head most of the way through the book. I looked like a conservative bobblehead as I found a like minded soul (we truly do read to know we're not alone). Not that I agreed with everything in Crunchy Con but a lot of it.

As I've mentioned before, the people who had the greatest influence on my life... through their books, tapes, film, etc... were Francis and Edith Schaeffer. I want to have tea with Edith in Eternity (although she is still alive!). I would have tears of joy as I shared tea and brought her a bouquet of flowers whose colors I have yet to see in this world. Without Edith's influence, I would be a far worse wife and mother.

If you've read the collection of books by the Schaeffer's, you will know they cared deeply about environmental issues. It comes through Edith's books about homemaking in a very practical fashion. Francis wrote an entire book about the subject titled Pollution and the Death of Man, which is still in print twenty-five years later.

I can't save the planet but I can do my own part to respect God's creation. I compost (for entirely selfish reason, it creates beautiful dirt and it helps save my septic system), I recycle newspapers, cans, and plastic, I save plastic bags and drop them off once in awhile to the Mission thrift store where they reuse them, I've only recently started carrying cloth bags with me to take to the grocery store, I reuse plastic containers at least once whenever possible, I buy used a lot which helps my budget and the environment, I use Charlie's Soap as well as other natural methods of cleaning, and... well, you get the idea.

We should never have a fear of Science or learning what is Truth. God can handle it. If we have the attitude of "it's all going to burn someday, anyway" we are doing a disservice to our children and grandchildren should the return of our Lord be later than we think. This comes from a former Jesus People type person who thought the return of Christ had to be in the 1980s. :)

I'll do my part in beautifying the earth today since it is finally nice outside again. I'll take the container from underneath the sink out to the compost pile. I'll help my husband remove the top layer of black gold from our former compost pile before planting our rhubarb (it has been too wet to plant it earlier). I've already turned off lights and unplugged recharging cords... little actions of environmentalism.

I have leftovers in the frig to turn into a meal. Nothing huge... no action taken that will immediately affect pollution or feed a child in Africa... but showing respect to the planet our Father made. And... yes, I am a conservative, evangelical, Christian who is green.


Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Thank you for posting this, Brenda. God created our beautiful earth and I know He wants us to care for it with love and intelligence, as well as we can.

Vee said...

Well said, Brenda.

I'm a little more Conservative than Green, but I appreciate so much of what you have to say. The thing that I find frustrating is to be taxed for using plastic grocery bags. For me, it's a matter of cleanliness. I recently watched as a poor cashier had to bag a customer's groceries in the most filthy reusable cloth bags. I'm cringing at the memory.

Guess it comes down to balance...balance in all things.

scrappy quilter said...

Amen sister. I totally agree. I'm too am a Christian, conservative and GREEN. I firmly believe if we read the Bible, we will realize God wants us to take care of the earth. Just read Genesis. We do everything we can to help take care of God's earth. Thanks for posting this wonderful post.

Debby said...

scrappy fair, you got to that line sooner than I! "amen Sister!"

Packrat said...

Thank you for sharing this. I, too, recycle and reuse. (It just about "kills" me to see people throw glass jars and metal cans in the trash.) I was raised on the mantra "waste not, want not". Seems I do waste more than I'd like, though.

I like plastic grocery bags, too. They get reused for all kinds of things before they ever find their way in to a landfill. And, I always forget to take the cloth ones to the store...

Have I mentioned that I enjoy your blog? :)

Anonymous said...

I hate the plastic grocery bags, especially the ones for produce! :) Now that I have a nice selection of cloth bags, I am so much happier.

We are called to be "stewards" of God's creation. How can we Christians throw perfectly good things away?? I've seen people drive down my dead end road (they live behind me) and toss their fast food trash on OUR road! How can they do that? Do they really have no respect for themselves or the Earth?

This is a good post.

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Oh, Brenda!! I loved this post. I've read it twice!! We have a large natural foods cooperative store in the big city near us, and we've recently begun purchasing "shares" to enable us to buy at a discount. Dani and I often feel quite out of place in the store in our manner of dress, but as we visit with other customers there is much we find in common.

As Scrappy Quilter mentioned, Genesis gives us some pretty clear guidelines. We are to tend the garden and not just in our own back yard. I do not buy all of the scare stories that the "environmentalists" offer up, but that does not give me carte blanche to behave recklessly either.

Thoughtful post, my friend!

cheri said...

Brenda, I agree with you!

Somehow, I just can't see Jesus being wasteful.

'Consider the lilies' he said. If we trash our little corner of the planet, there won't be any lilies to consider.

The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof. Why wouldn't we want to take care of it?

Heather said...

Hi Brenda - I too enjoyed this post! For the longest time we felt we had to be quiet about our 'green' choices. We were told by many in our church families over the years that we couldn't be a 'good pastor's family' and embrace those 'radical environmentalist' ideas. We never saw ourselves as radical, just trying to be imperfect stewards of the earth, as God directed. I'm glad green is coming it vogue, but sad that it is fueled by fear, and lots of crazily skewed scientific 'findings'! I'm glad to know that we don't have to save this planet, but just do our bit and leave the rest to God who is holding it all together!

Pam said...

We Christians have taught that it is only right to be a good stewart of God's earth. The pushiness of the left is what I don't like! Nor do I like the spirit of fear they put forth. Many children who have been interviewed are living in fear. That's a form of child abuse in my opinion.

I do know my grandparents taught my folks, and they taught me, and now I've taught my sons to not be wasteful, turn lights off when they leave a room, recycle those plastic bags. We even juse mostly canvas now as they've become so easily accessable.

Pam said...

oops! Should have used the word "steward" in place of stewart in my prevous comment!