Saturday, September 21, 2019

Bless me, Daisy, for I have sinned

Everybody noticed when UTS students confessed to plants. "The chapel was held as part of Professor Claudio Carvalhaes’ class: “Extractivism: A Ritual/Liturgical Response,” in which he and students develop liturgical responses to our climate crisis. It was a beautiful, moving ritual."

True, the Babylon Bee succeeded in a limited parody of the fiasco, but the ritual was such a reductio ad absurdum that you have to wonder if anybody participating was serious. I hope not. Psalm 115:8, anyone?

A liturgy is for public worship. It involves more than one party--maybe there's only one worshipper, but there's also the god. If you have a framework of acceptable practices, it isn't implausible that you can vary this--provided your fellow worshippers agree. And that your god agrees.

But how do you create a liturgy from nothing, with no knowlege of what your god wants from you?

  • Do you claim to be a prophet, who brings messages from god? About that--show credentials, please...
  • Or do you simply think it doesn't matter, because whatever is good with you, will be good with your god? Who gets to be the god here?

Maybe I have "experimentalist's bias," but if your theory leads you to do stupid or wicked things, maybe your theory is incomplete.

Dale Matson, commenting on this article wrote: "'A sin confessed merely to a plant is a sin which cannot be forgiven...' Now I know what the unforgivable sin is."


Assistant Village Idiot said...

I have mentioned before that the Unforgivable Sin is the one that is not even offered up for forgiveness. We don't see it as a real sin, or we distract ourselves with less important sins as a means of evasion, or we cannot bear to face the truth.

I suspect much of the confessing our sins to the environment would actually be confessing other people's sins, and apologising for being part of those awful people.

Korora said...

"The young man who is called upon to repent of England’s foreign policy is really being called upon to repent the acts of his neighbor; for a foreign secretary or a cabinet minister is certainly a neighbor… A group of such young penitents will say, 'Let us repent our national sins'; what they mean is, 'Let us attribute to our neighbor (even our Christian neighbor) in the cabinet, whenever we disagree with him, every abominable motive that Satan can suggest to our fancy.'"
-- C. S. Lewis, "Dangers of National Repentance" (Substitute names of country, of issue(s), and of relevant government section(s) as needed)