For the Beauty of the Earth

As a child of the 1980’s, a hallmark of my upbringing has been the annual celebration of Earth Day on April 22.  In grade school I knew I could count on a break from the daily monotony of the classroom for special environmentally-focused activities and games.  We learned the three R’s (all of which actually begin with “R,” unlike the three R’s of a previous generation) – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.  And we were eager to share our newfound knowledge with our sometimes less-than enthusiastic parents and grandparents.  Millions of school children chided their mothers for using plastic grocery bags (that take centuries to decompose in landfills) instead of the very eco-friendly paper bags or reusable cloth totes.  We scolded our dads for wasting drinkable water from the garden hose to clean off the driveway instead of using a resource-friendly broom.  I remember going so far as making my family boycott restaurants that served Rain Forest beef (cattle raised in pastures created by destroying Rain Forests).  Still, it wasn’t until I was in seminary that I fully appreciated the religious components of Earth Day as something much more profound than mere environmental stewardship. Continue reading For the Beauty of the Earth