October 30, 2014

The Ecupatriarch on Twitter

Yes, the Ecupatriarch (ugh). The rebranding continues. Follow his tweets here.

Live feed to the conference here.

Here are a couple paragraphs from the patriarch’s opening address yesterday. This is the sort of thing you get from a mediocre political speech: lots of significant-sounding phraseology, appeals to our higher nature, even our spiritual longings, but in the end you’re left asking: Where is he going with this? We’re all responsible for the “future of the planet”? What?

By criticizing the wealthy West, again, and denigrating technology, we know there is an agenda here but, outside of the previous endorsement of the UN’s climate change plan, it is only hinted at. Whoever is writing this stuff for the patriarch should be caned. Preferably with one of those bishop’s canes with the heavy silver knob on the end of it.

Having struggled for centuries to escape from the tyranny of hunger, disease, and want, the technological advances of the last half century have created the illusion of us being in control of our destiny as never before. We have cracked the code of DNA, we can create life in test tubes, we can genetically modify crops, we can put men upon the moon – but we have lost our balance, externally and within. Wealth generated in the developed world has not put an end to suffering. Technological achievements were not able to contain the wrath of nature witnessed in this area only four years ago. The explosion of knowledge has not been accompanied by an increase in wisdom. Only wisdom could make us realize that the Creation is an interdependent, undivided whole, not an assemblage of isolated, unrelated parts that can be eliminated, replaced or modified as we see fit. Even the smallest human intervention, even the minutest change in the natural order brought about by human action can have – and does have – long term devastating effects on the planet.

In addition to seeking balance between ourselves and our environment, we need to find balance within ourselves, reassessing our values as well as what is valuable. Let us remember that whoever we are, we all have our part to play, our sacred responsibility to the future. And let us remember that our responsibility grows alongside our privileges; we are more accountable the higher we stand on the scale of leadership. Our successes or failures, personal and collective, determine the lives of billions. Our decisions, personal and collective, determine the future of the planet.

Comments

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    Chrys says:

    The argument that human means offer the illusion of control is certainly valid and could – should – point us to greater dependence upon God. This is a point every pastor makes at some point to those who have suffered or been disillusioned by earthly expectations.

    But the argument isn’t used that way here. Surprisingly, it is used to complain that wealth and technology have failed to realize these goals (as if they could have!)- namely, greater control, eliminating poverty, and greater “balance” . . . whatever that means. I haven’t seen the rest so it may be unfair to judge the whole based on this part, but this part of the argument works from assumptions that should be alien to anyone who recognizes the primacy of God and the the insufficiency and contingency of creation.

    There is no apparent recognition that trusting in wealth or technology or any other human effort is based on false reasoning rooted in pride, blind to our role in creation and doomed to fail. There is no acknowledgment that our first responsibility is to God and that, fulfilling that, we will receive everything else besides. At least as far as this excerpt goes, I am surprised by the absence of God — explicit or implicit — in the argument.

    On it’s own it seems to offer nothing more than a “we can/should all work together better to realize our hopes” pitch that you hear every election cycle. I hope the rest of the speech corrects this problem.

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