Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"This Changes Everything"


says the title of Naomi Klein's book, subtitled Capitalism vs.The Climate.

"Universal Salvation" is part of the everything that it changes.

Framing the goal of life as "salvation" comes from the Apocalyptic era, when people thought that God was about the destroy humanity, because the human world was so screwed up. After all, when things are terrible, and seem to be getting worser and worser, just follow the trendlines to God's all-consuming fire.

To be "saved" was to be set aside at the end of time and spared.

When the apocalyptic age ended, the focus of death and salvation was moved to the afterlife: God's all-consuming fire was the fire of Hell and salvation was Heaven.

When the afterlife ended as a governing religious concept for religious liberals, salvation became an ironic joke. "Why do I need a savior? After all, what do I have to be saved from?" After all, our goals are nothing more than a long life of love and a good death.  And the satisfaction of knowing that we will be remembered well.

But Capitalism versus the Climate has changed everything, including salvation.

We now measure the "fire next time" in annual average temperature increases. The scientists say that an increase of 4 degrees centigrade means that human civilization will be dramatically degraded.

But not everyone will die. Some will survive; human beings are adaptive.

So, who survives the apocalypse? Who are going to be saved?

The global elite will survive. When resources necessary for survival, like water, energy, dry land, food, clean air, get scarce, they will be priced according to the market. Those who hold the wealth that humanity has heretofore created will have access to those resources.

We are on a course in which the global elite will survive while most of the world's poor will die premature deaths amidst squalor and suffering.

It's a process already underway and it is the very opposite of universal salvation.

Universal Salvation has a new meaning in the 21st century. It now means that we try to save everyone. That the power over our future is dramatically restructured and everyone has a place at the table. It means the death of black children is an important as the death of white children. It means that we fight Ebola in Africa, and not just wall if off from North America.

Universal salvation is not just a goal; it is also a spiritual awakening to the reality of interconnection. It asks of us to develop an emotional commitment to match our reality: solidarity with global humanity, an all-consuming love.




1 comment:

Sue Lowry said...

When I read the part about the global elite being the only ones that might survive, I had a thought that I had never considered before. I am pretty convinced that the extremely wealthy have already bought our government and our country (and the world for that matter) and are working to squeeze the middle class out. I wonder if this is one of their motivations? Even an argument that there is no environmental crisis may be a calculated way to placate the people into not protesting too much. Just a thought.....