Monday, March 10, 2008

Oooo - this oughta liven up the prayer meetings...

Did the Vatican come out against GM crops?
Girotti, who heads the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican body that issues decisions on matters of conscience and grants absolutions told the paper that whilst sin used to concern the individual mostly, today it had a mainly a social resonance, due to the phenomenon of globalization.

Catholic teaching distinguishes between lesser, so-called venial sins, and mortal sins.

When asked to list the new areas of sinful behavior, Girotti denounced "certain violations of the fundamental rights of human nature through experiments, genetic manipulations."

He also mentioned drugs, which weaken the mind and obscure intelligence; pollution; as well as the widening social and economic differences between the rich and the poor that "cause an unbearable social injustice." [More]

Despite the wording, I think triple-stack farmers are not spiritually at risk. For the time being.
"(Within bioethics) there are areas where we absolutely must denounce some violations of the fundamental rights of human nature through experiments and genetic manipulation whose outcome is difficult to predict and control," he said.

The Vatican opposes stem cell research that involves destruction of embryos and has warned against the prospect of human cloning. [More]

Meanwhile, apparently in a different universe, Southern Baptists (yes - you read that right) are going green.
Eliot Spitzer is the story of the day, but the wire story we ran in our paper today about Southern Baptists and climate change also really jumped out at me. A group of Southern Baptist leaders, including the head of the conservative Southern Baptist Convention, released a document this weekend that basically says Southern Baptists have been too timid about climate change and that the denomination should be more serious about the environment.

That statement was revealing enough about new issues rising up among evangelicals, but equally interesting was the fact that a 25-year old Baptist seminarian was the driving force behind the document. Jonathan Merritt of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary reportedly got the big-wigs' attention after he came to see how he and his fellow Baptists were missing the scriptural imperative to be good stewards of God's creation.

This, folks, is a perfect example of the change underway in evangelicalism. The shift is both thematic and generational. Now, issues like poverty and the environment are as much a part of the evangelical agenda as abortion and gay marriage. And the changes are being driven by a new group of people, like this 25-year old theology student. This is not your father's evangelicalism, nor the evangelicalism of even four years ago, when evangelicals helped reelect George W. [More]

I can't wait to see what Methodists get up to.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Southern Baptist Convention is following Al Gore's lead. Setting up a committee for research, a website for folks to access and lest we forget a way of making a donation to make yourself feel better about driving your SUV.
After all, I have never known of a Baptist to not pass the plate when given the chance.

Anonymous said...


It will be interesting to see how the global warming movement survives the current episode of globabl cooling.

On another note, one of the best ways to make sure that you are not beating the average cost of production on a grain farm is to lock in your land costs at a high level. Of course, one must define "high."


John Phipps said...


I'm not impugning their motives, just noting that when groups like this grapple with climate change, it means something. Not sure what, though.


Thanks for the reminder - I need to post about the big skeptics conference held recently. It covered the point you just made.