The Sunday School class at my church is going through the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church. Last week, we discussed the section on “The Natural World.” Here are three items:
1. One issue that we talked about was climate change. I cannot say
that I was particularly optimistic after that discussion. I wondered if
we are doing enough to combat or reverse climate change. We are still a
fossil-fuel based economy, and renewable energy is on the margins in
the United States.
2. There is a libertarian in the group, and he has attended Sunday
School at this church for years. He was saying that the government
should get out of agriculture and let the free market handle it. I was
wondering what that would look like. Farm subsidies are necessary to
help farmers (or at least big farmers) produce more crops; without them,
I have heard, the price of food would skyrocket. Was the libertarian
envisioning keeping things small and local: farmers would produce crops
but would sell them to local people?
3. Our pastor is politically liberal. But she was telling us that
people may have different perspectives on the Social Principles, based
on their context. The Social Principles are opposed to nuclear power,
for instance. United Methodists in France may disagree with the Social
Principles on this because their country is powered by this source of
energy. And United Methodists in Third World countries that are offered
cheap nuclear power may also be hesitant to embrace what the Social
Principles say about it.