Friday, August 26, 2005

religion and oil

Dear editor,

My sincere thanks for the candid piece about the future (or lack thereof) of oil (New York Times Magazine). I am disheartened by accounts of anger and hostility directed at gas stations recently noted in an AP story. I would cite two deficiencies in the nation’s ability to properly inform its populace. The corporate media seems reluctant to prepare consumers for this reality until the Bush Administration gives some indication to do so. The Times stands out as a worthy exception to this subterfuge.

Secondly, we should focus attention to our spiritual leaders for guidance. The Judeo-Christian texts have a recurrent theme of unrighteousness followed by wrath of God, followed by redemption or salvation for those who honored God during the unrighteousness. It is easy to see elements of antagonistic fundamentalist “Christian” leaders who suggest the US forcefully control other nations’ oil supplies – there’s no shortage of attention on these false prophets. But what we’re lacking as a nation is the compassion and mercy that will be necessary to see us through these times of tribulations.

This is when we need real spiritual guidance to show us the way. There are many ecumenical movements that recognize this and are creating real solutions, but they are not getting the proper attention because their message is not what people want to hear. No one wants to be told they can’t have their gasoline for $1.80. This is why we have aggressive gas-guzzlers taking their frustration out on others.

Sadad al-Husseini, the former Aramco executive says it is consumers, not producers who are to blame. This is only half the story - It would be entirely possible for producers to mandate, “for every barrel we produce for you today, we’re going to set aside one barrel for your children and one barrel for your grandchildren.” How could someone argue with that? The producers are equally to blame - although their children could profit enormously tomorrow when the barrel of oil is worth three times as much, they are choosing to meet a reckless demand so they can profit today.

The baby-boom generation and their parents have an insatiable appetite for personal comfort and wealth – modern living through petro-chemistry. It is certainly up to religious and moral leaders to show them the error of their ways. The immense selfishness of consumers who believe they’re entitled to all the oil they want, and producers, who profit by giving it to them, will be our downfall.

The great will in our nation at war to make personal sacrifices is gone. Supposedly there’s a war on terror but Americans are not being led to do what is right for our energy independence – the media and our moral leaders are complicit in this failure. Every time we fill up the tank, a little bit of money heads towards religious extremists – Christian and Muslim, and they certainly want our money to finance their crusades and jihads. This county is becoming frazzled by greed and religious extremism, it’s past time for moderation. We must seek to foster compassion, sacrifice, and unity and address the real issues before us – the survival of our children. There’s a story about Abraham who went up to the mountain because God told him to sacrifice his son. God was testing him.

The alternatives to foreign oil are here in this country and they involve reducing our greenhouse gas emissions – this is not ethanol, which is yet unproven (but heavily subsidized because of the “Red” corn states). Rather we need to look at transportation infrastructure shifts to railroads and the use of biodiesel fuels. Coupled with that, localized sustainable farming practices reduces food transportation costs. Alternative transportation, better mileage, and increased emission standards will all help. Thank goodness some of the states are getting it. It’s up to our moral leaders and the media to work together to pass this test.
Let’s pray God can see us through.

The irony is, the behavior of the consumers, particularly American consumers, is anti-Christian. So here is America, a supposedly great Christian nation, waging hostility and aggression on nations such as Iraq, Iran and Venezuela, because of her selfish want of oil – to a true Christian, this behavior is disgusting and sinful.

There are many false prophets such as Pat Robertson who advocate for greed and selfishness, these poor souls have given in to temptations of the flesh, they want more and newer shiny things to make them feel worthy. Again, they are all deceived by the devil. It is not material wealth that Christ wants for His followers – it is Spiritual wealth. Unfortunately this nation’s conservative so-called “Christian” leaders are all about the bling bling. It is clear that our political elite are beholden to the Satan within multi-national capitalism or “vulture” capitalism wherein the drive is to consume or “acquire” competitors. They went down to the crossroads on K Street in Washington and sold their soul to the devil. In lining their pockets with kickbacks, our Federal government has abandonded the people its members swore to serve.


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