21 November 2009
I have sent in a response that appears below.
In a letter in the Leicester Mercury (19/11/09 "Faith and the Planet") the Bishop of Leicester was critical of Roger Helmer's somewhat eccentric views on climate change. However he also took the opportunity to make two cheap shot assertions about secularists and those without faith.
"That is why climate change so clearly reveals the gap between a religious world-view and secular capitalism".
Why "secular" capitalism? Surely protestant capitalism would be nearer the truth? Is not the Church of England a strong supporter of capitalism (as are many other religious sects) with c.£4bn invested in various stocks and shares? Despite its campaigning against the effects of climate change, I understand that the Church of England's two largest equity investments are in Shell and BP, while it also retains a £22m investment in Nestle.
Ironically, Leicester Secular Society lacks the resources to partake in such capitalism, even if it wanted to.
"That is why without faith in God the risk of human beings destroying their own habitat is very high".
This depends on what "faith" and how you interpret it. I have no doubt that many people of "faith" care about the environment, as do most with none. Atheists can't rely on a god being out there to rescue them from the results of our follies (if we pray hard enough). Consequently many of those involved in campaigning for the preservation of the environment have been "non religious" and the movement secular.
However "faith" has certainly been one of the main reasons why the world's largest polluter has not, until recently, addressed the problem of reducing its burning of carbon based fuels. If you believe that the end of the world and the "second coming" are nigh, there is no point in taking care of the world. A large proportion of "Christian" citizens of the USA (and quite a few here) actually believe this nonsense.
John R. Catt
The Bishop (and the Church) often attempt to claim credit for "good causes" when in fact they have been late arrivals. The Church of England launched its "Shrinking the footprint" campaign in 2006 decades after environmentalists were concerned about climate change.
Similar behaviour has been exhibited regarded "City of Sanctuary". Members of LSS have been heavily involved in setting this up, with the Society providing free use of the Hall on several occasions, but, according to the C of E, it is their initiative.
If you want to frighten yourself regarding fundamentalism and the "Rapture" in the USA, just read up on the latest about Sarah Palin