Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

[Easy Way Out] Attenborough – Blame the Bible?

Posted by BHudson on February 2, 2009

In keeping with the usual antitheist precepts of misusing scripture and making vast generalisations, David Attenborough has blamed ‘many environmental problems, from the burning down of tropical rainforests to the extinction of species’ on the Bible.

Attenborough seems to think that all the world’s problems can be blamed on Genesis 1:28: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” In saying so, he shows an astounding inability to understand the tone of the Bible and a blind ignorance of most of it. He also notably misses our the next bit about dressing (serving) and keeping (preserving) it. Perhaps the blame should fall on, say the US government,  who have vetoed UN resolutions about nuclear testing (in the atmosphere and out), products harmful to the environment and the Israeli clear-up of an oil-slick caused by bombing. Oh, and releasing crop-destroying insects over Cuba in 1996. But never mind – why let the weight of evidence get in the way of a rant?

As Catherine Pepinster of the Tablet wrote in the Independent, he gets the sense of ‘dominion’ wrong. Like the feudal oaths of the Middle Ages, there’s more than one side to the bargain. Yes, God gives us control over the Earth. But it is done with the requirement that we are good stewards.

Bearing in mind I did this in Year 10 RS, Attenborough is making a pretty big oversight in claiming that Christians think the world is ours to destroy. See Leviticus 25:1-5 “The LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: `When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the LORD. 3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5 Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest.”

If God intended us to use the world unwisely and profligately, then why would he care about the death of a mere sparrow (Matthew 10:29).

At the end of the day, religion is an easy thing to blame for everything. But the bottom line is that religion doesn’t cause harm. People do.

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