Buddhist responses to environmental concerns
As many religious people view it, Buddhist reality is profoundly ecological, and Buddhism itself is an ecological religion. It powerfully expresses human identification with nature. Buddhists believe that all things, including humans, exist by their interrelationship with all other parts of nature To think of one’s self as isolated from the rest of nature is be unrealist. Buddhist teachers and masters constantly remind us of the importance of living in tune with nature and respecting life. Buddhist precepts direct the faithful to seek a right livelihood, an essential dimension of which is concern for the life of all creatures.
This is the first of the five precepts of Buddhist life and a major principle of Jainism. In practice, Buddhists believe that it is the act of killing or hurting an animal which is harmful, but not the eating of meat that someone else has provided. Note that the Buddhist king Asoka the Great established hospitals for both human and animals. Compassion is the basis for a balanced view of the whole world and of the environment. Wanton destruction upsets the vital balance of life.
Climate change is caused by over-consumption of fossil fuels, loss of soil, and excessive herds of livestock. 4.A search of the Amazon.com data base shows the following books on Buddhist responses to the environment:At least, it should.
Q&A: What is biblical social justice?
In our Mission Essentials series, last week, Dorli Gschwandtner described how, in some parts of the world, evangelism, compassionate ministry and social action are necessarily so intertwined that they would not be viewed by local Nazarenes as separate in any way. We will continue to wrestle with this topic in the coming weeks after the year-end holidays. Check back in January for the latest installment in this topic of Mission Essentials. Bible studyYou can explore this topic with your small group or Sunday school by accessing a six-lesson video study guide called Seek Social Justice: Transforming Lives in Need, featuring the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice at Trevecca.
Download the lessons and video guide for free at www. Seeksocialjustice.com, or purchase a copy at LifeWay Christian online bookstore. Mission EssentialsMission Essentials is an original series produced by Engage magazine to refresh Nazarenes globally in our shared understanding of what it means to participate in God’s mission to the world. New articles, contributed by voices from all six world regions in the denomination, are published in Engage throughout each month from August 2011 through March 2012. Find all the articles organized into an archive by clicking the Mission Essentials logo on the right-hand of the front page.
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Capitalism vs. Socialism: A Crab Cannot Birth A Bird
Here’s an old Ga proverb to nudge us in the correct direction: Kaa Fɔɔɔ Loflɔ. That is, one cannot expect a crab to give birth to a bird. You also cannot expect a capitalist nation to act in a socialist way. For instance you cannot expect a nation that claims to be capitalist to endorse, and enforce, a minimum wage for all. If it does, the nation is not capitalist!
That nation can call itself something else, but it is not capitalist. There’s also the flip-side of the Ga proverb: Kaa Fɔɔɔ Loflɔ. If one encounters a baby bird, one can conclude with certainty that the baby bird is an offspring of birds, not crabs. If one encounters a baby crab, it is the offspring of crabs, not birds. Let’s examine and correctly identify the nation that claims the most that it loves capitalism-the United States.
Socialism being somehow un-American or some sort of foreign import is intended to confuse the masses and those who like to believe that the US is practicing capitalism. America now enjoys the full support of both major parties on the following: Social Security, public housing, public power developments, legal protection for collective bargaining and other attributes of the welfare state. Look a little deeper and you would pay homage to the old Ga proverb that says: Kaa Fɔɔɔ Loflɔ.