The Common Good

Is Nature Worth Saving?


I'm a nature guy, smitten with a lifelong love for creation -- mountains, rivers, beaches, forests, wetlands -- and all the living creatures they contain. One of the most enjoyable and essential dimensions of my spiritual life is seeing and celebrating the fingerprints of the Creator in creation -- especially in wildlife.

For example, for about 20 years, I've been watching this wood turtle and her sisters lay their eggs each spring. Robins sing exuberantly in the background -- part of their own annual re-creative process -- as this beautiful little animal quietly enters a primal ancient rhythm. First she selects a location and begins digging a flask-shaped hole with her hind legs, totally by feel since she can't see what she's doing at all. Then she deposits the eggs, gently arranging them in the chamber, again, all by feel. Then she carefully covers the eggs so that there's no trace of the treasure she's leaving behind -- about a dozen grape-sized eggs that will hatch in about 70 days.

We human beings don't mean to destroy beautiful and fascinating creatures like this turtle. We build roads and shopping malls and oil rigs for other reasons, but the sad truth is, unless we change our values and habits and the fundamental beliefs that sustain them, we will push more and more creatures farther over the edge. The results of carelessness and greed can be every bit as devastating as the results of malice and cruelty, leading to this ...

If the current Gulf Catastrophe isn't our wake-up call, what will be?

Brian McLarenBrian McLaren is an author and speaker whose new book is A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith.

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