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Environment Under Religion's Regard

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During Pope Francis' visit to the United States, he officially announced environment as a worldwide concern from a religious standpoint. He mentioned environment, especially climate change, is affecting the entire planet and all the living things upon it. The problem now is not what we are doing may or will hurt the environment. It is what we have done have hurt the environment and we are keeping doing so.

According to Scripture, it is God's will that human beings should be kind and respectful to the environment and the creatures around them. In Genesis, God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds."(Genesis 1:11-12) So the trees and plants people keeping cutting down are actually born by God's will. Moreover, God also said in Genesis, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky. Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind."(Genesis 1:20-24) So again, the animals people keeping putting in danger are also born by God's will. Hurting the environment, in other words, is hurting God's creation. How can we say we respect God if we don't respect his will? And how do we have the authority to do so? Endangering the environment only reflects people's ignorance and arrogance towards the being who created them. As time and history progress, humans obtained more and more new technologies, new discoveries and new emotions. For example, Stephen Hawking wrote in his work The Grand Design saying that, "We humans are no more than collections of particles, but we now have got so far on understating the universe which created us and limited us. This event itself, is a victory." Arrogance, it is the arrogance that leads people to their unbridled actions on their way of evolving. In a word, humans should do nothing but be respectful to the environment, since the environment is a kind of embodiment of God.

Also in Jesus' life, he reminded us about the environment as well. "God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Christ], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."(Colossians 1:19-20) Jesus died for "all things", all God's creations, not only human. Human is just one of the things that God cares. God asked us to govern and look after of the other things he cares, but now we failed his expectations. Humans really should rethink what they have done in the past and consider carefully for how to act in the future. Take Pope Francis' words for another example. "Harming the environment is sinful,"



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