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Assorted eco-justice essays by Rev. Peter Sawtell


The following selected essays were found at http://www.eco-justice.org/, and were written by Peter Sawtell, Executive Director Eco-Justice Ministries:

"A Short Story About Silence"
"All Nature Sings"
"Gentleness or Domination"
"Thou Shalt Not Exploit"
"Defining Personhood" [on prairie dogs and corporations]
"Christmas Critters"
"The Irrelevant Church"

"I'm deeply concerned about the health of the Christian church in the US.
"My own hunches and experiences point to an institution that is largely disconnected from the issues, needs and hurts of the world. I have felt that the church has been distressingly silent in terms of offering prophetic commentary and moral insight for the largest problems we face. In matters of public policy and personal transformation most churches are irrelevant...."
Interesting quote in this essay, by (the Rev.) Freda Moosehunter:
"I would like to buy three dollars' worth of God, please. Not enough to explore my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don't want enough God to make me love an Indian or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation. I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy three dollars' worth of God please."
"Why Should I Care?"
"... Caring about extinctions requires that we be touched by the enormity and the abnormality of what is happening. Of all social institutions, our churches have a special calling to foster caring and compassion. We can touch our people's hearts and minds.
"Is your church helping people to care about the wave of extinction sweeping our planet?"
"Do You Want Fries With That?"
"...In our efforts at pastoral care and physical health for our communities, and in our efforts at economic justice and environmental sustainability, we must not let the powerful hide from accountability. We must name and address the influence of advertising and modern marketing techniques."
"Beasts in the Bible"
"... But to quote two verses from this passage without context and without interpretation opens the door to distorted understandings about how God calls us to live in the world."
"How Much Is That Puppy In the Window?"
"...Congregations and denominations come to different decisions about moral and legislative questions on animal rights. As always, churches cover a wide range of theological and ethical perspectives. But the simple fact that we are treating puppy factories and chicken farms as serious moral questions is a positive indicator about a shifting sense in the churches about humanity's relationship with the rest of creation."
"Necessary Work in the Church"


 

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