Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts

Monday, December 30, 2019

Onward, Christian Fascists

truthdig - by Chris Hedges

The greatest moral failing of the liberal Christian church was its refusal, justified in the name of tolerance and dialogue, to denounce the followers of the Christian right as heretics. By tolerating the intolerant it ceded religious legitimacy to an array of con artists, charlatans and demagogues and their cultish supporters. It stood by as the core Gospel message—concern for the poor and the oppressed—was perverted into a magical world where God and Jesus showered believers with material wealth and power. The white race, especially in the United States, became God’s chosen agent. Imperialism and war became divine instruments for purging the world of infidels and barbarians, evil itself. Details here.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

It’s Time to Start Calling Evangelicals What They Are: The American Taliban

Church & State - By J.C. Weatherby 
I have said for years, the Christian Right is really seeking to establish a theocracy in the US - at least throughout the deep south.  Story here.

Saturday, December 2, 2017


UN warns of a "massive humanitarian tragedy."

The partial lifting of the blockade of Yemen’s Red Sea ports by the Saudi-led coalition in recent days is allowing humanitarian organizations to resume the provision of life-saving assistance to people in desperate need. Given the massive scale of Yemen’s humanitarian crisis, however, all this does is slow the collapse towards a massive humanitarian tragedy costing millions of lives. It does not prevent it. Without the urgent resumption of commercial imports, especially food, fuel and medicines, millions of children, women and men risk mass hunger, disease and death.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Does God Love Storm Victims? (Letter)

Below is a letter I submitted to the weekly newspaper, the Neepawa Banner today.
Dear Editor,

I am puzzled by a recent column in the weekly newspaper, the Neepawa Banner by Rev. Neil Strohschein, entitled “A Christian response to natural disasters.”

I find your conclusion that God loves the victims of such storms, cries out for further explanation. 

Who or what is making these storms in the first place, then? Is it not God? Because the faithful believe God is all-powerful, do they not? 

If it is not Him, who/what is it, then? Does He not have the power to prevent such calamities? If He does not, does that not make Him less than all-powerful? 

And if it is Him, please explain to me how raining down such massive misery and destruction on his flock can possibly be an act of love? 

While you do not address this following point in your column, it is one which, IMHO, also cries out for a response from the religious.

It is customary in the face of tragedy to hold prayer vigils. The most recent, sanctioned by the Governor of Texas and the President himself (in response to Harvey), happened just a couple of Sundays ago. A few days later, a storm of even greater ferocity was bearing down on another State. Could you please help me understand, Reverend, what this tells us about the power of prayer?

You rightly conclude that monster storms are becoming more frequent. Yet you ignore any reference to manmade climate change - long proven by scientists to be a major contributing factor here. 

Other religious leaders like the Pope accept this science - that our addiction to fossil fuels is heating up the planet and providing even more fuel for monsters like Harvey and Irma. 

The United Church recognizes the science, too. It even calls upon its followers to “be part of a just transition to a renewable energy economy.” 

Where do you stand on this?

Obviously, a lot of people believe they need religion to give them comfort in hard times. But surely, we also need “all hands on deck,” to apply practical, on the ground, scientific solutions to at least keep these tragedies to a minimum in the future. 

Is your faith community, Rev. Strohschein, part of such a united effort, or are you separate and apart?

Perhaps you could find it in your heart to write a follow-up column, addressing my concerns? 

Thank you.

Larry Powell
Neepawa, MB

Monday, July 17, 2017

Will God Save Us From The Wildfires?

by Larry Powell

Did you hear them interview Walt Cobb on CBC Radio this week about the BC wildfires? 

They asked him if he thought, as the world's leading climate scientists do, that wildfires have become "the new normal."

Here's his response.

“I don’t necessarily agree with that. There’s always been changes…Like my wife said the other morning…this is in somebody else’s hands… God has lined up what’s going to happen. And we’ll have to live with that."

So who is Walt Cobb, you ask? Some ordinary guy off the street? Not exactly. He is the Mayor of Williams Lake, B.C. (l.) That's a city of 10 thousand - now almost a ghost town. It was ordered evacuated due to unprecedented fires burning in the region.

Does he strike you as a guy who has a clue about the science? I can't really see him being on the front lines of efforts to wean ourselves off fossil fuels toward more sustainable, renewable energy sources. Can you?

If that is the most he has to offer, as an important elected representative, he needs to step aside and let someone who, instead of having their head in the heavens, has both feet on the ground.

I know plenty of people who believe in God yet still embrace the now well-proven science of manmade climate change, too. Obviously, Mayor Cobb is not one of them. His is an example of religiosity that is not harmless and a walking example of the need for a clear separation of church and state.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Dark Rigidity of Fundamentalist Rural America


In deep-red white America, the white Christian God is king. Story here.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Neepawa Banner Publishes Controversial Letter Over Religion & Climate Change.

by Larry Powell

 As my letter points out, it's not uncommon for Ken's stories to be embellished with Bible passages. And every single edition of his paper (as seen, below) contains columns by three different writers - all religious. 
In my humble opinion, if we are to routinely subject many other issues in our society to public scrutiny and debate, such as politics, sports and gender identity, why not religion? Why not hold people of faith accountable to their often controversial beliefs and positions, just like everyone else? 

This is all I'm attempting to do here. 

Want to chime in with your own opinion? You know the drill! (Just go to the comments section after this blog post.)

Thank you!

RELATED: "Faith vs. Science. Why Can't We Have Both?"

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Faith vs. Science. Why Can't We Have Both?

by Larry Powell 

Do you ever wonder why so many people of faith, especially on the Christian right, still deny the science of climate change? There was yet another example of this in Ken Waddell's editorial, "Assessing change," before Christmas. It appeared in his newspaper, "The Neepawa (MB) Banner."

As we all know, Ken has been a respected leader in our community for a long time, in journalism, politics and religion, sometimes adorning his articles with passages from the Bible. In his editorial, he refuses to accept the conclusion now long endorsed by an overwhelming consensus of scientists - that  the burning of fossil fuel by we humans is the major culprit behind our planetary climate crisis. 

He even calls the federal and provincial governments "certifiably nuts" for the ways in which they've embraced the recent Paris climate accord.  No one could ever fault Ken for "beating around the bush!" And I don't either - just for being wrong! (Not for being a person of faith. But for repudiating the science.)
proclaims the Bible verse 
on the Banner newspaper building. 
PinP photo

After all, to accept that Christ was born to a virgin, walked on water, turned water into wine, cured the incurable, rose from the dead, walked the earth again, then ascended into Heaven and is still with us "up there" two millennia later, surely requires nothing less than a suspension of our earthly disbelief in order to grasp it all. 
Lions, tigers and bears put aside their predatory instincts and, 2x2, obediently board Noah's Ark (Noah himself was 500 years old at the time),  along with zebra, goats and sheep, all in an orderly fashion. Indeed, all the creatures of the Earth from far and wide converge to ride out the Great Flood which a vengeful God was about to unleash on His creation.  
Notice the Ark rendering does not depict dinosaurs, even though some Christian Evangelicals believe the creatures actually co-existed with humans. Maybe the cartoon explains why they aren't around today, then. Noah forgot them and left them behind?

Then there was Jonah, who lived in the belly of a whale, Methuselah, who lived for almost a thousand years, Moses who parted the seas, Eve, who was made from Adam's rib, the talking snake and on and on.

So, if folks like Ken can seemingly accept such tales of miraculous wonder, why then is it so difficult for them to believe that our earthly home is now warming dangerously and that we humans are to blame? (For climate change, in the modern context, is not really a matter of "belief" at all. It is "fact!" And fact should not be that hard for the human brain to accept. Should it?)

For well over a generation, the planet’s top minds have accumulated massive, systematic and verifiable evidence that global warming is real, it is overwhelmingly negative and is caused largely by the volumes of fossil fuels we are burning. These findings have been accepted by an overwhelming consensus of scientists who specialize in this very field. Their findings have been supported by weather records, satellite images, aerial photographs, computer models, time-lapse photography, tree-rings and ice-cores. 

Thousands of climatologists, glaciologists, palaeontologists and others with specialized training, toil in government and university labs the world over, conducting their painstaking research. They also work in the field, often in hostile environments where some have even died in the course of their duties. Their work has resulted in a steadily mounting degree of certainty that our climate is warming, spawning sea level rise, melting ice caps, hurricanes, droughts and wildfires which are becoming more numerous and severe. 


As this has been happening, levels of greenhouse gases, produced when coal, oil and natural gas are consumed, have been heading "into the stratosphere" so to speak (see graph). Meanwhile, the experts have been documenting their evidence in countless peer-reviewed articles in respected scientific journals for a long time now. 

A few years ago, the leading authority on the topic, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its hundreds of scientists even won the Nobel prize, the highest award anywhere, for their work. 

Of course there are significant religious entities, including the United Church of Canada and the Pope, who strongly support the science, too. 

So I appeal to those who do not, to find it in their hearts (and heads) to accept not only the Biblical miracles (if they must), but the reality of global warming, as well. 

After all, do these things have to be "mutually exclusive?" I hope you'll agree that they do not.

Don't forget, floods of "biblical proportions" have been ravaging the northern UK and the Mississipi River basin again this winter. But, unlike the Great Flood of Noah's day, the evidence is clearly telling us, these tragedies have nothing to do with God at all, and a lot to do with man!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Investors Urge Exxon to Take Moral Responsibility for Global Warming


Faith-based shareholder groups have begun filing resolutions, as Exxon faces a NY probe and rising calls for federal prosecution of its climate duplicity.  Story here.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Feds Penny-Pinched on Science Libraries While Lavishing Funds on Religion and Oil


Beginning in 2008 — at the height of the global financial crisis — the federal government spent over$20 million on Christian religious groups and schools, including $495,600 for the Wycliffe Bible Translators in Langley, B.C. and $3.7 million transferred from federal funds to “Youth for Christ” in Winnipeg. It also set up….STORY HERE.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Canada Falls Far Short of Pope Francis’ Call for Ecological Justice.


Canada is a prime example of a country that is putting short-term economic interests above what is needed to achieve a livable future for all who dwell on Earth, our common home. Story here.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pope Francis Recruits Naomi Klein In Climate Change Battle

The Guardian

Social activist ‘surprised but delighted’ to join top cardinal in high-level environment conference at the Vatican. Story here.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Civil Society Reacts: Papal Encyclical for Climate Action


NGOs have today welcomed Pope Francis’ strong moral case for people and leaders to tackle climate change delivered in today’s historic Papal Encyclical. Story here.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pope Francis Slams GMOs and Pesticides for Environmental and Social Damage

Sustainable Pulse

Pope Francis slams both GMOs and pesticides in a draft of his major environmental document that was leaked Monday. He has also called for the financing of independent and interdisciplinary research to study GMOs. Story here.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Pope, the Economy and the Case for Climate Action

World Resources Institute

This week Pope Francis issues his long awaited Encyclical on Climate Change. The Pope’s message should galvanize support for climate action for the Catholic community and well beyond. It will speak not only to the 5,000 Catholic Bishops, nor only to the 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, but to all people of goodwill who are open to the moral context of climate change. Story here.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Explosive Intervention by Pope Francis Set to Transform Climate Change Debate

the guardian
The Koch Bros. fertilizer plant in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. PinP photo.

The most anticipated papal letter for decades will be published in five languages on Thursday. It will call for an end to the ‘tyrannical’ exploitation of nature by mankind. Could it lead to a step-change in the battle against global warming? Story here.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Church of England Ends Investments in Heavily Polluting Fossil Fuels


The Church of England has pulled its money out of two of the most polluting fossil fuels as part of what it calls its moral responsibility to protect the world’s poor from the impact of global warming. Story here.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Pope Francis’s Edict on Climate Change Will Anger Deniers and US Churches

The Guardian
Pontiff hopes to inspire action at UN meeting in Paris in December after visits to Philippines and New York. Story here.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

World Council of Churches Endorses Fossil Fuel Divestment

Fossil Free
Geneva, Switzerland - 11 July - The Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC), a fellowship of over 300 churches which represent some 590 million people in 150 countries, endorsed fossil fuel divestment this week, agreeing to phase out its own holdings and encourage its members to do the same. The WCC Central Committee is made up of dozens of influential religious leaders from around the world, meaning the decision could resonate far and wide. Full story here.

Massive B.C. coal mines are about to get a new owner. Why some are worried about Glencore’s record

THE NARWHAL Coal mine at Tumbler Ridge, B.C.  Jeffrey Wynne ,      If the sale goes through, the company will inherit a contamination proble...