Thursday, February 13, 2014

Corporate Anglican church to divest of shares in corporations not doing enough to curb global warming and climate!

Yale University's study provides evidence that mast Americans support action to curb global warming even if it costs them more to achieve that goal. Corporate leaders met recently for a full day in Davos at the World Economic Forum to discuss the implications of global warming and climate change, especially as it affects their capacity to produce products, given both water and raw material shortages that can be traced directly to the issue.
And now, probably more as an initiative of economic and corporate congruency, the Anglican church is turning its investment attention to divesting itself of companies that do not do enough to combat the shared global threat.
One has to know that when the Anglican church climbs on board in support of a social issue, that issue has long ago passed the threshold of innovations, and of social protest and of radical thinking and activism. And bringing the "investment" arm of the church in line with the fight against this "demon" in the vernacular of stamping out evil that is the church's mantra, is hardly educating the people in the pew about the kinds of steps they might take to reduce the impact of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
In fact, while we clearly support the announced move, we do wonder not only what took so long, but also why the decision is so "corporate" in its mentality. There is a dark side to the "corporate" culture of the Anglican (and many other corporate churches) that speaks much more loudly to their "fitting in" with the kind of mindset and culture that supports the social hierarchical power structure. These corporate voices, including those of the Anglican church, are not the voices of the marginalized, nor are they the voices of the voiceless, nor are they the voices of the destitute and the ostracized and the ridiculed, and the homeless and the hungry and the dying.
They are the voices of the upper and upperwardly mobile and the better educated and the better paid and the people who make the decisions in the society. While we concur that all people share in a common spiritual malaise that could be categorized as spiritual poverty and spiritual isolation, it is those who have successfully masked that vulnerability and who have climbed into the seats of power in all of society's institutions, its universities, colleges, corporations, military ranks, investment firms and even its boards of education and town and city councils and for whom the Anglican church speaks.
The Anglican church, at least from my decade and a half working within that institution, does not even know the timbre of the voices of the voiceless, let alone adopt that tone and mission as its spiritual purpose. The Anglican church is the voice of the powerful, the establishment and the conservative faction of that establishment. It is the voice of the British Empire, struggling to maintain a lost relevance to a world in which the powerful have so abused their power and their position that we are collectively left with millions of refugees, millions of orphans millions of child soldiers and millions of dead and maimed from the wars of that same establishment.
If the Anglican church were really interested in curbing global warming and climate change, it would address the many confusing messages that are being put out by those very corporations, through both their investment reports to shareholders and through their corporate advertising campaigns that are dedicated to profit, and not to any kind of social conscience. The church would have to shed its cozy relationship with its many wealthy benefactors and their culture of denial, of the rejection of the science that proves the human contribution to global warming and climate change, and it would also have to change the way it preaches to the few who still remain in the pews.
Far from a corporate investment stance, which will never generate any backlash from any segment of the population, and therefore demonstrates no risk taking on behalf of those who will and are suffering most because of the scourge of global warming and climate change, the church needs to move its eyes further into the root causes of this impending disaster, take off the white gloves and the mourning suits and the mitres and the albs, put down the various coloured prayer books and start a campaign in the streets of our largest cities much like the "liberation theologians" in South America who took on their political leaders on in the fields of the workers and brought the wrath of the Vatican on their heads, for interfering in the political process.
Good on them, but they are, once again, taking the typically tepid and conventional and no-risk approach to an impending and fast-approaching  train wreck.

Global warming is not only considered an existential threat, but now is also a spiritual one. The Church of England has vowed, as a last resort, to divest itself of companies that don’t do enough to fight the “great demon” of global warming.
The Church of England has become an active force on climate issues, arguing that global warming is a moral issue, not simply a policy or scientific one. Church officials have urged the religious organization to play a bigger role in lobbying lawmakers to take action on global warming.
Canon Giles Goddard of Southwark diocese said the Church of England needed to “align the mission of the church with its investment arm and with the life of the parishes.”
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