Thursday, February 11, 2010

God is Green

Today, I saw a bumper sticker on a mid-sized SUV, which read "God is Green." Aside from the apparent hypocrisy in the context, I couldn't help but judge a few other things about the driver's thinking. First, I recognize that it is wrong to consider my judgements in any way correct. I could not have stopped the driver to ask if he or she was the one who applied the sticker (perhaps it was a son or daughter). I have no way of knowing why that person needed an SUV, perhaps they do have a lot of kids and frequent need to carry equipment for their work. Perhaps they own an organic food store, and judged the SUV as a necessity of business. I don't know.

However, the thoughts that scampered across my mind were as follows. First, "That's true." Second, "Who doesn't agree with that?" Third, "Why do they need to tell me?" Fourth, "Are they suggesting the typical action of government regulation?" I appreciate their sentiments, but the sticker did not send me to a website as is common with statements of an activist nature. If they were trying to do anything but label themselves as green-conscious (which is fine), then they left me with two options in response: pray about it (they invoked the name of God) or go the other "higher power" (the government).

But this article is more self-expository than it is revealing of that driver's intentions. What in my brain left we with those two choices as a knee-jerk response? See, upon further thought, I could look up a green nonprofit with which to get involved, or I could start one. I could also modify my own personal actions and business concerns to reflect my agreement with that statement. All these would collectively have a greater positive impact than that of government meddling, in my opinion.

My understanding is this: if most people believe that God is Green, or to put it another way, green practices are in sync with the nature of the physical world, then wouldn't such bumper stickers have the effect of reminding them to buy green? If so, doesn't that mean that the market favors those businesses that satisfy that demand? If you agree, then why does government need to regulate business into being green? We the people are through our spending habits, we need give no more taxes to the issue.

The answer, of course, is a lack of thinking. Or, more kindly put, a functional blind spot. Big media is the platform of the dominant political parties, both which now continue to "campaign" throughout their terms, rather than settling into non-partisan activities. The result of this is that we are held to believe, by any political discussion in all mainstream media, that our [legitimate] choices are liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. I put the word "legitimate" in brackets because they'd rather not suggest there's even a poor third choice, and indeed they rarely do.

Now, I'm not writing this to suggest that you vote for a green party, but at least that's thinking outside the box. It is another choice, but it is still a government solution to a private problem. I submit that mainstream media is often an enforcer of limiting beliefs, if not its primary provider. This is especially true with network television, which relies upon revenue generated through the advertising of mediocre products (not cheap, but not necessarily the best). Subsequently, network television has an interest in hosting ideas that are also middle-of-the-road (not wrong, but also not completely right). They like to stick to big labels and stereotypes that are easy to identify by viewers. They fear if TV is too smart, their audience will dwindle.

Independents are thinking people, and are growing in number to the degree that they become disenchanted with the two party system championed by mainstream media. If God is Green, but God has no place in government, then ought we look elsewhere for the care of our environment?

For more information on Independents in modern political times, check out the blog at The Center For Social Leadership.

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