This blog post was going to be about my disappointment with the Anglican Church who recently classed my line of employment with perpetrators of alcohol, tobacco, arms manufacturing and serious human rights violations, including apartheid.
My sin is that I have spent much of my working life employed by a mining company involved in the mining of fossil fuels, and that I have married a lovely lady who runs a coal mine. I was going to blog how I felt about the Church’s description of coal mining as “intentional, grave, large-scale harm”. I was going to point out the hypocrisy of these learned men wearing frocks, who condemn mining, yet drive cars made of the products of mining and that run on fossil fuels, who drink beer from refrigerators powered by coal, who have enjoyed the benefits of fossil energy for centuries, and now want to condemn developing nations to poverty by killing off the energy supply necessary for industrial development. I was going to point out my failure to understand the anticipated terrible effects of climate change, of the disasters to be caused by the earth warming 0.6 of a degree per century, and by the sea level rising a few millimetres per year. I was in Hobart recently where the average temperature is 10 degrees. Then I travelled to Darwin, where the average temperature is closer to 30 degrees. Did I die? No, I merely took off my coat. I was going to wonder about how the Australian Aborigines walked from Asia to Australia, through places where the sea is now 30 metres deep. Perhaps Moses was an Aborigine, or was it fire-stick farming? I was going to lament how as a newly diagnosed diabetic, the only way for me to die of old age is to ignore the agreed science that tells me what to eat and how to manage my terrible condition.
I was going to write all that, and then reflect on whether I should continue to attend a Church that appears to regard me as worse than a prostitute or tax collector. I mean to say, intentional, large-scale, grave harm and serious human rights violations. These are not trifling matters! My initial reaction was to boycott the Church, but then my sweet wife pointed out that the experience and worship of God goes well beyond the political leanings of the frocked men up the front. When Elijah asked the congregation of Israel: “Will you worship God, or Nature?”, to their credit at least, they were silent.
Is this really what the Kingdom of God is all about? It feels more like the cave after King Saul finished with it:
Instead of writing about this unhappy alternative to the local Green activists, I will write about my walk along the beach in the predawn darkness of a new day. No, I’ll post a picture instead, that saves me writing and you reading at least a thousand words.