August 30, 2017

The Great Flood

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:40 pm by Rev. Thomas Perchlik

The flooding in Huston and in the surrounding region, is a disaster!  Over 30 people have died and the loss to homes and business is huge.  This month has ended with the worse flooding ever seen in the history of the US.

It is impossible to really compare troubles and disasters, because so much depends on the context and the spiritual grounding of the people involved.  But, it should be noted that over 1000 people died this summer in floods around Mumbai, India, and the south Asian region including Bangladesh and Nepal.  They are still suffering an ongoing disaster there.

I understand the moral imperative of caring for those near to home first.  I am OK with the slogan “America first,” so long as it includes, “within a healthy global community.”  The implication of the slogan seems to be, “America first, and to hell with everybody else.”

The human world is increasingly interconnected, and we are woven into the web of life.  Our impact on climate effects everyone, everywhere.  Thus, we have a responsibility to share in limiting climate change and mitigating the damage and suffering it causes.  Furthermore, if we understand that compassion and sympathetic-joy are the two highest emotional states, “the abodes of heaven,” then we must not limit our compassion only to those with certain labels, or within certain boundaries.

As Jesus put it, according to Matthew 5, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect [in your love], therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  And the apostle Paul expanded on this teaching in his letter to the Romans, chapter 12.