What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

12 June 2011

Being a Steward(ess)

At the recommendation of a friend, I read Everyday Justice by Julie Clawson this week. And in a word: Wow.

First of all, I'm just really happy to read a book that approaches earth-friendliness from a Christian perspective. I'm not really clear at what point Christendom decided that God's command to Adam and Eve to ""Fill the earth and subdue it" meant "Go ahead, trash the place", but that seems to be where many people are. Of course, there are also the "God will destroy the earth anyway, so there's no point to looking after it" crowd. To me, that's an untenable position for anyone who is also a parent who makes his/her child keep his/her room clean. After all, why should the kid clean up? The house won't last forever anyway, right? It's my belief that we should be good stewards of the earth God has given us instead of tearing it up.

Anyway, mini-rant done. Ms. Clawson covers a wide range of doable things for anyone who wants to live in such a way that allows other humans to also live. So, naturally, she talks about things like cocoa plantations and sweatshops. And she answers one thing that's always been a pressing question for me: If we all stopped buying sweatshop-produced clothing, wouldn't those workers be out of a job, and therefore even worse off than before? How can we fix that? Ms. Clawson gently reminds the questioner that safe working conditions with decent pay are possible, actually, and that consumers who care need to start demanding it.

I'm challenged by this book because I love a good deal as much as anybody. Even though I re-wear and re-use and otherwise squeeze all the life possible out of my possessions, I still buy on the cheap to begin with. But should other people have to work in nasty conditions for hardly any pay just for me to have a cheap t-shirt? Of course not. So it's past time for me to start acting like it, instead of wringing my hands in woe.

So, I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in their goods being ethically and environmentally produced (although there's not a lot of new information, if this is a subject you've researched before). I highly recommend it to Christians who think that asking about the source of our goods is outside the purview of loving one's neighbour. Here's a news flash: it isn't. 

Have you read Everyday Justice? What do you think a Christian's response to injustice and/or planet-destroying activities should be?


Nora Hyman said...

I'm in totally agreement about how as Christians we shouldn't be trashing the planet God gave us to live and made us stewards of. I've heard the argument about God deciding when the earth is destroyed so it doesn't matter what we do, and I'm still appalled by that bizarre mindset. Why wouldn't we respect God's creation by preserving it for future generations since we don't know how long we will be using the planet? I think many people are just detached from living a Christian life in all aspects, including being good stewards of our home like God called us to do.

Su said...

Yep. And thanks for posting this comment here, too!

Karen Peterson said...

This sounds like a good book. Because I 100% agree that it's still our job to take care of the planet.

While I don't believe we, the people, are going to actually destroy the planet, I do think it's important to treat our home with respect while we've got it.

Su said...

Very true!