On global warming and sin
Everyone with a grain of sense understands the need to look after our planet by taking steps to reduce global warming. And while many industries and governments seem to pay little heed to the consequences of subjecting it to consistent abuse, it is reassu
Everyone with a grain of sense understands the need to look after our planet by taking steps to reduce global warming.
And while many industries and governments seem to pay little heed to the consequences of subjecting it to consistent abuse, it is reassuring to know that the Church of England is taking a stand on this vital issue.
Or is it?
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is on record as describing global warming in moral terms, but last week the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, labelled buying gas guzzling vehicles or flying on holiday as a sin.
Dr Chartres is the third most senior bishop in the Church of England, so his views ought to carry some weight.
He said: "Sin is not just a restricted list of moral mistakes. It is living a life turned in on itself where people ignore the consequences of their actions."
- 1 Thousands descend on Chatteris as town lights up for Christmas
- 2 Pedestrian killed crossing road
- 3 'White van man' crashes into rail bridge
- 4 East Cambs Council bins green waste collections for seven weeks
- 5 Auditor who fell ill on eve of farmgate report not returning to council
- 6 Michaela’s horrific ordeal: ‘My partner threatened to slit my throat and bury me alive’
- 7 Check before you travel ahead of major upgrade, commuters warned
- 8 Health chiefs call for action amid rise in sexually transmitted infections
- 9 ‘We try to think outside the box’ - Alpacas pay a visit to care home
- 10 Young man dies on B645 near St Neots following a head-on crash
Giving that one accepts the concept of sin, I suppose no-one can argue with that. But an extension of that argument, in another statement attributed to him, may well upset a lot of people, including churchgoers: "There is now an overriding imperative to walk more lightly on the earth and we need to make lifestyle decisions in that light. Making selfish choices, such as flying on holiday or buying a car are a symptom of sin."
Is it really? There will be many millions of people, inside and outside the church, from governments, board rooms of big business to the humble man in the street, who will take issue with that.
This is a classic case of a man who does not live in the real world coming up with what he, and probably his equally-sheltered cronies, consider to be a stunning pronouncement.
In truth he has shot himself in the foot.
We do need a moral lead from the Church. The world would be a far safer place if its basic tenets were more firmly printed in people's minds.
But such specious and half-baked statements do nothing more than make the church a laughing stock in the eyes of the majority.
The Church's 'senior management' should be bright enough to recognise that. The fact that it almost certainly isn't is a genuine cause for concern.