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Behold the Scapegoat! Jesus burning fossil fuels???

I am so glad I ran into the wacky and wonderful Elizabeth Jeremiah. This Southern preacher lady has a way at looking at the world that is both ridiculous and profound. Unlike what you might imagine, she is actually concerned about things like global warming (while not surprisingly also still completely stuck when it comes to “The Homosexual.”)

She shares her bizarre insights into who is to blame for fossil fuel pollution. You can tell she has a big heart as she tries to move people away from blaming ancestors for our current crisis. She even drags Jesus into the fray providing Biblical support for the burning of fossil fuels while also maintaining we need to find a new way. Take a listen to this silly and yet serious take on pollution, Jesus, and how to make the world a better place (transcript below)

Now before Peterson cuts me off the air I can assure you there is a climate connection to all of this. Environmentalists love to shame us into behaving differently. They wag their self-righteous green fingers at us and our parents and grandparents. They accuse us of being greedy wasteful wicked consumers. They insist that our ancestors are responsible for destroying mother earth. They hate the modern period. Instead they hearken back to some pre-industrial utopia. Where people supposedly lived at peace and harmony with the land. loving each other in some sort of eco-friendly matrilineal Shangri-La.

Let’s be honest, some of them ancient folks murdered, sacrificed the innocent, fought over pieces of property, and took advantage of each other just like we see some people do today. They just didn’t have as much technology and energy resources to do it on a global scale.

So that’s why I take offense when people go on and on about how our direct modern ancestors are evil guilty of bringing climate change woe upon our heads. These accusers do not acknowledge that our ancestors helped humankind. Think of all the advances in medical science,, in our homes, with transportation, and education. Think of all of the extra time people have had to explore the world, learn new things, and to be with their loved ones. Technology coupled with so inexpensive energy helps get all the important work done—work that women and girls mostly do.

Our great great grandparents had no idea that they were pumping into the air chemicals that ultimately would harm us. They simply used their God given ingenuity and creativity to build, expand, and dream.

Ai Weiwei, Iron Tree, 2013 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The same thing happened with the asbestos. What an amazing naturally occurring mineral. They dug up and used asbestos even before the time of Jesus. Plentiful and inexpensive, asbestos, which is fire resistant, is the best product for electrical insulation, sound absorption, and building insulation. Unfortunately asbestos also kills people. My daddy for instance. As a young man, working class, struggling to make his way in the world. He worked for time installing boilers. As a result he breathed in a bunch pounds of asbestos fibers. Sadly later in life, although he didn’t smoke a single cigarette, which is a disgusting vile habit, he’s succumbed to lung cancer. His doctor said likely it was the asbestos. And now he is with the Lord.

So what do we do when we have something like asbestos or fossil fuels like coal and petroleum? They work wonders, and they are dangerous. Here’s another example My own niece, Vileen, is a fierce wonderful stay at home mom. Last year she took her one-year-old child to the doctors for his annual check up and was shocked to discover the child’s lead levels were through the roof. She couldn’t believe it. Her house, Their home, their safe space, was filled with a substance that could potentially affect her child negatively for life. Lead poisoning is bad and leads to neurological disorders and learning disabilities. so what did Vileen do? First she educated herself. She went online, she read books, she’s talked to experts, and then she and her husband, who is a wonderful man of God, set about to rid their lives of lead paint. It took them a lot of time and inconvenience and money. But The safety and health of their child is more important than anything else.

Ai Weiwei, Iron Tree, 2013 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

People get angry and scared when they discover a threat lurking in their homes and in the very air they breath. We look for scapegoats. And yes while there have been greedy business men who have ignored warnings by their own experts, for much of our history, people did not know that the burning of coal and the use of petroleum would bring about global warming and these out of control weather events. Even Jesus, the greatest scapegoat that ever lived, Jesus himself, the spotless son of God, released carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Of course he breathed it out like the rest of us. But also, it is recorded in John chapter 21 that he burned fossil fuels. The disciples, discouraged after Jesus’s arrest and execution returned to their fishing. Jesus, all resurrected sat on the shore. The disciples in their boat did not recognize Jesus at first. After he gave them helpful fishing advice they then knew it was their very own teacher sitting on the shore. And in verse 9 it says “When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.” Yes, Jesus released greenhouse gas into the atmosphere in order feed his friends.

And that is what humans have been doing for over one hundred and fifty years. They have been feeding family and friends and delighting them with gifts and trips and helping them with medical care and books and computers and what not. And yes, we need to find new sources of energy. But let’s stop all of this name calling and maligning our ancestors. Instead, let’s thank them for all the advances they gave us so that we can live better lives. This has been Elizabeth Jeremiah, from the Elizabeth Jeremiah Global Worldwide Ministries in Jesus, may God bless you and keep you and your whole household too.

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Peterson Toscano

Author: Peterson Toscano

Peterson Toscano is a quirky queer Quaker concerned about Climate Change. His website is www.petersontoscano.com

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