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A sign mocks Britain’s Environment Agency at Burrowbridge on the Somerset Levels in Somerset, England.
Getty Images/Photo by Matt Cardy
A sign mocks Britain’s Environment Agency at Burrowbridge on the Somerset Levels in Somerset, England.

How weird spirituality can lead to environmental chaos

Religion

It is raining as I write this column in Pennsylvania, but the worst I will get is dampness in the basement. Southwest England is getting red alerts, flood relief troop deployment, thousands without power, fisticuffs over sand bags, and confused swans floating in fields.

What’s the problem? It has always rained on that British Isle. Moreover, rainfall records for the period between December 1993 and February 1994 reveal roughly the same precipitation amounts as this winter. What has changed is the river dredging. That is, they used to do it 20 years ago but they stopped doing it when Britain’s Environment Agency took over management of the rivers from the National Rivers Authority, which had regularly scooped debris and silt out of the waterways.

But maybe there is an even deeper change to account for this disaster. British Christian scholar Stephen C. Perks, director of The Kuyper Foundation, wrote in a blog post titled “The Religious Cause of the Recent Flooding on the Somerset Levels”:

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“… the extreme flooding in early February has not been caused by excessive rainfall. It has been caused by the nation’s rejection of Christianity and its conversion to a new religion, secular humanism, which has provided a haven for the champions of neo-pagan ‘back to nature’ ideology.”

What does Britain’s infatuation with back-to-nature ideology have to do with the fact that the widths of key rivers on the Somerset Levels have been halved, and there is no room for water passing under Burrowbridge to rise? Perks explained:

“Some years ago a deliberate decision was made to let the water table rise on the Levels to preserve the wildlife habitat. The dredging machines were sold off for scrap and it was decided that the Levels should flood more often. … Wetland wildlife was prioritised over the people who lived in the area. … The reason for this is the growing acceptance of the ideology peddled by the eco-activists in which wildlife takes priority over man.”

What is man’s proper relationship to the environment, then? Perks continued:

“The Bible teaches that God created man to develop the world, which was not meant to be a wilderness. Man’s creation Mandate was to conquer the wilderness and tame it, and develop it: the result was civilisation. … Part of that task in some countries has been draining the land and cultivating it so that it can sustain mankind.”

Who would have thought that a deviation from right spiritual thinking would trickle down to disaster in ecological thinking?

Andrée Seu Peterson
Andrée Seu Peterson

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again. Follow Andrée on Twitter @Andreespeterson.

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