GOD WILL SAVE US, or not? Speaking for God is Risky Business!

by admin on March 26, 2022

The Sisters of Mount St. Joseph are approaching 170 years in Wheeling

Gov. Justice has no right to cite God on climate

Op-Ed Commentary by Ellen Dunn, Charleston WV Gazette, March 22, 2022

Gov. Jim Justice has repeated a shocking claim lately: “God will give us time” to solve climate change — if it’s even real — so, in the meantime, “Drill, baby, drill.”

I will not charge the governor with practicing theology without a license, but, as a Catholic religious sister, I do have to teach some lessons from Sunday school.

This month, many of us Christians heard the story of Jesus being tempted by Satan in the desert. The final temptation on the cliff is to “throw yourself down from here” for God will command his angels to save you. With signs of climate disruption all around, Justice says, “Let’s throw ourselves off this cliff. God will save us.”

If you have ever thought, “I really want to do this questionable thing; I’ll just ask for forgiveness later,” clearly you knew you were in the wrong. Some part of Justice knows he is able to help West Virginia transition to a cleaner, healthier economy. His conscience might vex him with each new report of exacerbated flooding in our state because of climate change or each new study on deaths from the pollution we choose to keep pumping into the air. (I remember a recent headline of a Bloomberg article: “Air pollution kills far more people than COVID ever could”).

God’s plan for us and for the world cannot be to keep poisoning our air and water, and to continue destabilizing the climate with worsening floods, hurricanes, heat waves and wildfires. God’s plan is for us to be stewards of God’s environment. Instead, this failure of leadership and lack of heeding nature’s warnings is an immense show of disrespect for God.

I believe God’s influence is at play with our continued innovations for cleaner, healthier technology. Why continue to choose self-destruction? To be sure, we need the will and the commitment to help workers transitioning from the fossil fuel industry — people who have made great sacrifices for all of us. But we must not keep inflicting wounds on them and on ourselves like Black Lung Disease, polluted air and water, and climate disruption. Pope Francis calls this “a sin against ourselves and a sin against God.”

There is a better, more life-affirming way. Jesus’ response to Satan: “You shall not put the Lord God to the test.”

We must not test God by stubbornly choosing to leap off a cliff into greater and greater climate disruption. Yes, we can trust that God will help us in this world. But we must do our part to walk alongside God, listening with humility and finding ways to make the needed changes in our policies and our lifestyles.

Congress now has an opportunity to truly make climate investments for a brighter future, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is holding all the cards. I pray for him and all of us: “Be with us, God, when we are in trouble.” (Psalm 91)

It is a great joy to live on God’s abundant earth. It is God’s world, not ours to use and abuse. We show our gratitude to God by living with reverence for God’s creation and honoring our sacred duty to pass onto our children a safe, clean and healthy world.

>>> Sister Ellen Dunn, O.P., is a Dominican Sister of Peace who serves as co-chair of Catholics for a Sustainable Economy. She served on the executive staff of the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston for 13 years.


See also: Among the top five states dependent upon the fossil fuel industry, West Virginia is among the bottom five in economic and public health, Maury Johnson, Appalachian Chronicle, March 26, 2022

GREENVILLE, W.Va. – In the last several weeks, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has been touting how we need to ramp up all kinds of fossil fuel infrastructure and production in order to help Ukraine and become energy independent. He is also trying to help his fossil fuel friends from whom he has taken enormous sums of money in the last year. When I say enormous, I mean ENORMOUS! It appears he is willing to even write legislation to advance their cause and spout their propaganda.

Well, Senator Manchin is dead wrong.

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