Continuing our look at some of the things in from Laudato Si ‘s 246 paragraphs that the media is avoiding big time. (Part one is here and part 2 here). As before each paragraph will begin with what the Pope was saying and end with what I think the media was thinking in the editorial room when they decided to skip that bit. (all emphasis mine)
Francis speaks of a cultural component of the problem of the environment.
162. Our difficulty in taking up this challenge seriously has much to do with an ethical and cultural decline which has accompanied the deterioration of the environment. Men and women of our postmodern world run the risk of rampant individualism, and many problems of society are connected with today’s self-centred culture of instant gratification. We see this in the crisis of family and social ties and the difficulties of recognizing the other. Parents can be prone to impulsive and wasteful consumption, which then affects their children who find it increasingly difficult to acquire a home of their own and build a family. Furthermore, our inability to think seriously about future generations is linked to our inability to broaden the scope of our present interests and to give consideration to those who remain excluded from development. Let us not only keep the poor of the future in mind, but also today’s poor, whose life on this earth is brief and who cannot keep on waiting. Hence, “in addition to a fairer sense of intergenerational solidarity there is also an urgent moral need for a renewed sense of intragenerational solidarity”.
MSM: I don’t know these are all values we’ve been pushing and the focus on the “crisis of the family” it’s another GOP talking point. Not to mention all that talk about future generations it invokes that whole “family values” business. We aren’t reporting on this to advance conservatism are we?
Francis on “carbon Credits”
171. The strategy of buying and selling “carbon credits” can lead to a new form of speculation which would not help reduce the emission of polluting gases worldwide. This system seems to provide a quick and easy solution under the guise of a certain commitment to the environment, but in no way does it allow for the radical change which present circumstances require. Rather, it may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors.
MSM: If there’s one thing we aren’t going to touch it’s an attack on carbon credits. This is something we’ve advanced as a positive good for decades. We can’t be talking them down.
Francis talks about the basics of decision making:
185. In any discussion about a proposed venture, a number of questions need to be asked in order to discern whether or not it will contribute to genuine integral development. What will it accomplish? Why? Where? When? How? For whom? What are the risks? What are the costs? Who will pay those costs and how? In this discernment, some questions must have higher priority. For example, we know that water is a scarce and indispensable resource and a fundamental right which conditions the exercise of other human rights. This indisputable fact overrides any other assessment of environmental impact on a region.
MSM: Hmm this looks good but I don’t know. A lot of times these answers aren’t really in our favor. Do we really want the discussion to turn toward facts vs emotion?
Francis talks about bringing all viewpoints to the table:
188. There are certain environmental issues where it is not easy to achieve a broad consensus. Here I would state once more that the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good.
MSM: That’s a trap to get the “deniers” to the table. If these guys start making their case who can tell what will happen? nest and open debate means e mm this looks good but I don’t know. A lot of times these answers aren’t really in our favor. Do we really want the discussion to turn toward facts vs emotion?
Francis on the economic bubbles:
189. Politics must not be subject to the economy, nor should the economy be subject to the dictates of an efficiency-driven paradigm of technocracy. Today, in view of the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life. Saving banks at any cost, making the public pay the price, foregoing a firm commitment to reviewing and reforming the entire system, only reaffirms the absolute power of a financial system, a power which has no future and will only give rise to new crises after a slow, costly and only apparent recovery. The financial crisis of 2007-08 provided an opportunity to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and new ways of regulating speculative financial practices and virtual wealth. But the response to the crisis did not include rethinking the outdated criteria which continue to rule the world. Production is not always rational, and is usually tied to economic variables which assign to products a value that does not necessarily correspond to their real worth. This frequently leads to an overproduction of some commodities, with unnecessary impact on the environment and with negative results on regional economies. The financial bubble also tends to be a productive bubble. The problem of the real economy is not confronted with vigour, yet it is the real economy which makes diversification and improvement in production possible, helps companies to function well, and enables small and medium businesses to develop and create employment.
MSM: That one’s iffy too. President Obama supported the bailouts as did a lot of our guys. Hitting the banks is nice but it sounds a lot like something the tea party might say. And that whole “human life” stuff is pretty republican too. Better skip it.
Francis on when governments are responsible:
197. What is needed is a politics which is far-sighted and capable of a new, integral and interdisciplinary approach to handling the different aspects of the crisis. Often, politics itself is responsible for the disrepute in which it is held, on account of corruption and the failure to enact sound public policies. If in a given region the state does not carry out its responsibilities, some business groups can come forward in the guise of benefactors, wield real power, and consider themselves exempt from certain rules, to the point of tolerating different forms of organized crime, human trafficking, the drug trade and violence, all of which become very difficult to eradicate. If politics shows itself incapable of breaking such a perverse logic, and remains caught up in inconsequential discussions, we will continue to avoid facing the major problems of humanity. A strategy for real change calls for rethinking processes in their entirety, for it is not enough to include a few superficial ecological considerations while failing to question the logic which underlies present-day culture. A healthy politics needs to be able to take up this challenge.
MSM: Nah, at first glance it looks good but it’s got “Chicago” , “Baltimore” and “Oakland” written all over it.
Francis on Science & Religion:
199. It cannot be maintained that empirical science provides a complete explanation of life, the interplay of all creatures and the whole of reality. This would be to breach the limits imposed by its own methodology. If we reason only within the confines of the latter, little room would be left for aesthetic sensibility, poetry, or even reason’s ability to grasp the ultimate meaning and purpose of things. I would add that “religious classics can prove meaningful in every age; they have an enduring power to open new horizons… Is it reasonable and enlightened to dismiss certain writings simply because they arose in the context of religious belief?” It would be quite simplistic to think that ethical principles present themselves purely in the abstract, detached from any context. Nor does the fact that they may be couched in religious language detract from their value in public debate. The ethical principles capable of being apprehended by reason can always reappear in different guise and find expression in a variety of languages, including religious language.
MSM: Just what we don’t need, long discussions about the value of religion discussed in the public square. That paragraph’s outta here.
Francis On Ecological Education:
213. Ecological education can take place in a variety of settings: at school, in families, in the media, in catechesis and elsewhere. Good education plants seeds when we are young, and these continue to bear fruit throughout life. Here, though, I would stress the great importance of the family, which is “the place in which life – the gift of God – can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth. In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the culture of life”. In the family we first learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures. In the family we receive an integral education, which enables us to grow harmoniously in personal maturity. In the family we learn to ask without demanding, to say “thank you” as an expression of genuine gratitude for what we have been given, to control our aggressivity and greed, and to ask forgiveness when we have caused harm. These simple gestures of heartfelt courtesy help to create a culture of shared life and respect for our surroundings.
MSM: Geezes there it is again “family” “culture of life” what is this a document about the environment or a Santorum for President rally?
Francis on the environment & sin:
218. In calling to mind the figure of Saint Francis of Assisi, we come to realize that a healthy relationship with creation is one dimension of overall personal conversion, which entails the recognition of our errors, sins, faults and failures, and leads to heartfelt repentance and desire to change. The Australian bishops spoke of the importance of such conversion for achieving reconciliation with creation: “To achieve such reconciliation, we must examine our lives and acknowledge the ways in which we have harmed God’s creation through our actions and our failure to act. We need to experience a conversion, or change of heart”.
MSM: We can’t be talking about sin, all of that’ relative and besides if we start talking about sin who knows where the conversation is going to go?
Francis on values, sobriety & the environment:
224. Sobriety and humility were not favourably regarded in the last century. And yet, when there is a general breakdown in the exercise of a certain virtue in personal and social life, it ends up causing a number of imbalances, including environmental ones. That is why it is no longer enough to speak only of the integrity of ecosystems. We have to dare to speak of the integrity of human life, of the need to promote and unify all the great values. Once we lose our humility, and become enthralled with the possibility of limitless mastery over everything, we inevitably end up harming society and the environment. It is not easy to promote this kind of healthy humility or happy sobriety when we consider ourselves autonomous, when we exclude God from our lives or replace him with our own ego, and think that our subjective feelings can define what is right and what is wrong.
MSM: The subjective definition of right and wrong and the “great values” is exactly what we’ve been trying to combat. We certainly can’t use this as a basis for an environmental argument.
Francis on appreciated the environment as God’s gift
227. One expression of this attitude is when we stop and give thanks to God before and after meals. I ask all believers to return to this beautiful and meaningful custom. That moment of blessing, however brief, reminds us of our dependence on God for life; it strengthens our feeling of gratitude for the gifts of creation; it acknowledges those who by their labours provide us with these goods; and it reaffirms our solidarity with those in greatest need.
MSM: Is saying grace at meal going to do our argument any good, I don’t think so. Who wrote this a GOP operative?
Francis on Culture:
229. We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it. We have had enough of immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith and honesty. It is time to acknowledge that light-hearted superficiality has done us no good. When the foundations of social life are corroded, what ensues are battles over conflicting interests, new forms of violence and brutality, and obstacles to the growth of a genuine culture of care for the environment.
MSM: Nah it’s too close to a GOP talking point. Ann Coulter could have said that.
MSM And we’re not even going to bother with paragraphs 236 and beyond. It’s all Eucharist, “Thus, the Eucharist is also a source of light and motivation for our concerns for the environment, directing us to be stewards of all creation.” (236) the sabbath On Sunday, our participation in the Eucharist has special importance. Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world. (237) The Trinity: Consequently, “when we contemplate with wonder the universe in all its grandeur and beauty, we must praise the whole Trinity”. (238) God Creatures tend towards God, and in turn it is proper to every living being to tend towards other things, so that throughout the universe we can find any number of constant and secretly interwoven relationships. (239) Mary Just as her pierced heart mourned the death of Jesus, so now she grieves for the sufferings of the crucified poor and for the creatures of this world laid waste by human power. (241) and Joseph He too can teach us how to show care; he can inspire us to work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us. It’s all about worshiping God, we can’t risk getting perfectly good secular environmentalists reading this stuff and starting to think of this in terms of religion, and particularly not Christianity. After all that last thing we want this document to be is a lesson in Christianity.
If you are shocked that none of these messages were mentioned by the MSM, you just aren’t paying attention.