Friday, October 12, 2007
Al Gore, Peace Prizes & Stewardship
Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize today. It seemed but a nano second before a multitude of so-called conservative pundits criticized it, and him, with harsh ridicule. It wasn’t just that they condemned everything he, or anyone, has said about global warming on the weight of nine, according to a British court, factual errors in the film “An Inconvenient Truth.” One noted economic wizard seriously proclaimed that it was not worth being conscientious stewards of God’s creation (my words but his meaning) if that would jeopardize the economic might and wealth of Americans here and now. Others complained that Gore should not receive a prize normally given to scientists, apparently not recognizing that he received the peace prize not a scientific prize. Senator McCain opined that Gore was not worthy to receive such an honor but that it should have gone to the Burmese monks who have stood with such courage for reform in their country. Those monks may well deserve such an honor, and perhaps Senator McCain will offer a nomination on their behalf, but I cannot understand how he connected one with the other. Hysterical fear mongering seems to be the weapon of choice for far too many people engaged in just about any debate on public policy. Have human beings caused global warming? Probably not. Are we in a time of change in a normal cycle of nature? Probably so. Have human beings exacerbated the effects by their greed, corruption, ignorance and thoughtlessness? You bet! I have no idea whether we humans can do much to change things by changing behavior. As Christians that is hardly the point. As Christians we are required to be stewards of God’s creation, doing what we are able to do to provide for the well being of countless generations yet to come. As Christians we are to honor the holiness of all creation and to use it with care and grateful thanksgiving. That is what we are required to do. Whether that does or does not fit well with somebody else’s political agenda is not our concern. We are simply called to be obedient as stewards of all that God has given into our care and keeping.