Tuesday, April 19, 2005


The Pope and environmental policy?

By far one of the strangest stories I have come across in months is this one from Reuters that hit the wire a few hours ago, prior to the announcement from the Vatican as to the new Pope's identity. Frankly, I can understand the writers and their originality for looking at new angles on a story that threatened to last for several days as black smoke continued to billow out of the most watched chimney since Mary Poppins was released at the theaters, but the connection between the Pope and environmental policy is a real reach.

The whole article is a bit strained, as if religious peoples all over the world are engaged in a strenuous debate over the use of the planet. Perhaps the need for the appearance for such a controversy is the reason for this statement:

"The Bible has passages that suggest humans have free rein to dominate the earth and exploit its resources. But others stress a responsibility to safeguard the planet."

Maybe I am a bit rusty on my Bible knowledge (we discussed "speech control" during Sunday school this past weekend at Immanuel Baptist), but I don't remember any references to "exploiting" Earth's resources in the King James translation. In fact, I don't believe that domination is used - seems that I remember something about "exercising dominion" over all of the Earth. While this may seem a trivial matter, the lawyer in me says that the difference in the text speaks to two different images - one of man as the dominant master irrespective of the rights of his subservient planet, the other of man using a gift given to him by the Almighty as an apprentice carpenter would use a tool given to him by his mentor. It seems this is yet another glaring example of journalists coloring an article by controlling the language.

UPDATE: I have been told that Rush Limbaugh commented on much the same thing earlier this afternoon on his radio show. And I promised that this wouldn't be a regurgitation of the GOP party line...

I'll try harder next time.

I wrote about this topic over at my blog.
As Rob has obviously put great effort into emulating the great and stylish Glenn Reynolds, I feel it only appropriate to inform him and his loyal readers that smoke may "billow" from its source but rarely is it loud enough to "bellow".
Thank you, Mr. (or Mrs.?) Anonymous. The change has been made. As with most things, the excitement of a new medium has rendered my diction and syntax to shambles. Many thanks!
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