Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

God Hearts Consumption

JaxPoliticsOnline.com is not a religious blog.  The authors certainly have deeply held religious beliefs, but we rarely intermingle our political posts and religious beliefs.  That being said, please allow me some latitude to do just that.

Last week, in the midst of a debate involving the possibility of offshore drilling on the floor of the Florida House, Rep. Charles Van Zant (R-Keystone Heights) made the following statement:

“Some people would like to think that (the world’s petroleum supply is limited). Estimates might show that. But that doesn’t mean that at all. We happen to worship a God who made it all out of nothing anyway. And if we ran out, I certainly believe he could make some more.”

Before we plug our ears and race headlong into the (as yet unobstructed) Florida surf to escape from the insanity that occupies Tallahassee, I should point out scriptural concepts that Rep. Van Zant most likely overlooked when he studied for his Masters of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and his Doctorate of Theology from Western Baptist Theological Seminary in Havana, Cuba.  

In David’s 24th Psalm, he writes:

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
   the world, and those who live in it;

Wendell Berry, one of the South’s most prolific authors, argues that Christian “holiness” is not compatible with an exploitive economy.  Operating under the assumption that Americans (and Floridians) are free to consume fossil fuels to their hearts content and God will just “create more” is truly the height of arrogance.

Of course, so is the thought that we can continue draining the Florida Aquifer without adopting any conservation measures.  I suppose Rep. Van Zant would simply have us to water our lawns at will and pray for rain.

It’s truly ironic to me that some of the politicians (and Radio personalities such as Rush Limbaugh) who are the loudest proponents of “personal responsibility” when it comes to their attacks on government social programs, are often nowhere to be seen on conservation issues.  They seem to operate under the belief that “personal responsibility” is only something that is factored in when one is born into poverty.  They seem to feel; however, that people should bear no personal responsibility when it comes to their carbon footprint or their water consumption.  (In fact, they will often fight any attempts to increase water rates—something that would force learned conservation.)

I don’t have to tell you how far off-base Charles Van Zant is on this issue—I think it’s actually fairly obvious.  What I will say is that conservation is something we all (myself included) need to start paying more attention to.  This age-old American mentality that “God has blessed America”, and thus we can continue march down a path of unbridled consumption, simply must change.  It is arrogant beyond belief to assume that our present generations have an immediate right to all of nature’s resources without any thought to those who will follow behind us.  Rep. Van Zant needs to spend some time pondering what he learned his his theological studies.  Somewhere along the way, he appears to completely bypassed the teachings that mankind is simply a “steward” of the earth, not its exploiter.


Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics,

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