The link between the resistance to facing climate change today and the arguments for slavery in the 19th century
Today I participated in a Diocese of London study day which was very good. I will blog about Rowan Williams address later as it has really challenged me, and spoken right into some of the things we have been discussing in Moot.
One of the sessions I went to today, was to listen to a leader of AROCHA the Christian Ecological justice organisation. In that talk, they talked of the work of Jean-Francois Mouhot. This study makes the connection of the historic arguments that American Evangelical Christians made – both theological and economic arguments – about justifying and keeping slavery. I cannot believe I have never thought of this before. It is so true. Always we can’t do it because X country won’t do it, and arguments that our capitalist economic system could not cope with it, and a refusal to see the biblical evidence of the call to stewardship. As the Clapham Sect and William Wilberforce had to sustain a continued battle in the country and parliament – so we need to sustain a consistent approach to this issue as we face major biocide and climate change in our current times.
To listen to a podcast of the work of Jean-Francois Mouhot, click here. I will upload a link here to the talk in London later on. It is extremely scary when you think about the link between this form of American Evangelicalism and its unthinking and unquestioning allegiance to capitalist economics which has very little to do with the bible or the basis of Christianity. Just think for a minute about the Evangelical Christian campaign that thinks it wrong to offer health insurance to the poor. The London Seminar also argued that one of the main reasons why dualism was such a problem in modernity, was because it had to make a separation between humanity and natural justice and the planet to justify slavery in the first place. So we have struggled with dualism from the enlightenment onwards, because of the need to justify slavery which as many of you already know, was the device that enabled a surplus to be made through oppression, which was the beginning of global trade and capitalism as we know it.
So it is with then the theological issues and economic arguments today. Even more reason that we promote deeply biblical theological arguments for facing climate change, as well as committing to raise our voices and votes in the political system.