#8: In the morality business.

***This is the eighth of a series of posts based on a book I’m reading for a class called Connections in Religious and Ecological Education entitled Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation. The chapter is “Consider This,” by T. L. Gray, a minister of the National Baptist Convention and a doctoral student at Vanderbilt.

The statement that the church is “in the morality business” is a troubling one for me.  I get it.  I know what I think Gray’s claiming – the church is supposed to be one (if not the) arbiter of ethical standards, the guide, the plumb line, if you will.  We’re to be the witness of what it means to do good, to do no harm, to be in love with the intended way of things.  We’re to be “in line.”  Except.  That word, “morality…”, especially in combination with the word “business.”  Are we, really, to be in the “morality business?”  Or, are we instead to be about the business of living rightly so that others can do so, also?  Gray, talking about Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth says, “The ‘truth’ presented in this film  was probably not what Jesus had in mind when he said, ” You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” The ecologically-focused truth we moral businessfolk have been peddling is not the Truth.  Not the Way. And certainly not the Life.  It hasn’t freed us, and it hasn’t freed anyone else.  Perhaps I’m feeling a bit harsh today, feeling a little as though the church has sold the world a bill of goods and is now calling in a debt no one feels obligated to pay.  Services have not been rendered, you might say.  We’ve claimed that the environment is a political issue, that the church doesn’t truck with politics.  And we’ve been naive and entirely incapable of self-reflection when we’ve made that claim.  Because the environment is a political issue, and we are political people… people of the polis, the city.  We’re a community, and to claim that we can’t be a part of the environmental crisis for reasons of “morality” is, well… dumb.  The environment, as Gray preaches, is a moral issue as well as a political one.  If we’re actually going to be in the morality business, we must attend to it.


1 Comment »

  1. Chrissy Joy Said:

    dare I say, Amen.

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