Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bishop Brauer-Rieke Accepts Appointment by Governor Ted Kulongoski to the Global Warming Commission

ELCA Oregon Bishop and sometime Cathedral Door commentator, David Brauer-Rieke is now part of Oregon's Global Warming Commission. The 25 members of the commission include 14 non-voting delegates and 11 voting delegates (of which Bishop Brauer-Rieke is one) and are selected "to be representative of the social, environmental, cultural and economic diversity of the state and to be representative of the policy, science, education and implementation elements of the efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to prepare Oregon for the effects of global warming."

In response to his appointment, Bishop Brauer-Rieke released at three-fold statement:
First of all, I want to thank you Governor for the opportunity to bring a religious voice to the table. Whatever faith background one comes from, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Native American or other, all of us share the common thread of stewardship for the earth. We regard care for the earth to be a profoundly spiritual matter. Members of formal religious communities respect this holy dimension. I want to bring that language and this passion to our work. Secondly, the Church is not just a group of religious people. We are engineers, business owners, teachers, scientists, and farmers; people that offer many gifts. Because of these gifts, our faith communities can provide opportunities for networking and education. Lastly, I want to be an advocate for those who don’t always get heard. Policy changes relating to energy and oil concerns, environmental issues, transportation and taxes sometimes fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable in our society. I know none of us [want] to see that happen.”

He then went on to toot his Lutheran horn, saying "
Our ELCA social statement, Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice," offers wonderful guidance for this work. Many key elements of Governor Kulongoski’s 2009 Climate Change Agenda focus on issues and opportunities articulated in this 1993 statement. As people of faith we call our culture to justice for all of God's creation through participation, solidarity, sufficiency, and sustainability. I am proud to sit with this commission as bishop of a church which has been ahead of the curve on such issues."

For more information on the Global Warming Commission, check out:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Clones Approved

"A long-awaited final report from the Food and Drug Administration concludes that foods from healthy cloned animals and their offspring are as safe as those from ordinary animals, effectively removing the last U.S. regulatory barrier to the marketing of meat and milk from cloned cattle, pigs and goats." -- Washington Post
Of course, we are still not likely to see cloned meat any time soon. Cloned animals are too expensive to slaughter on a large scale, and American consumers are still squeamish about the idea of eating living replicas.

Still, it may soon be time for churches to wrestle with the idea of supporting the creation and consumption of artificial life, with the words artificial and life being open to debate. If nothing else, it's a good way to get people interested in a far less sexy but perhaps just as important discussion of being morally conscious about the food we buy.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Just for Fun

A friend from college sent me this comic from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, and I couldn't help but laugh...