Thursday, 23 May 2019

The most dangerous verse in the Bible

Genesis 1:26-28 King James Version (KJV)

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

I am reading a biography of William Tecumseh Sherman ( "Fierce Patriot. The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman"  Robert L O'Connell, Random House, 2015).
Many Americans will have heard of Sherman: brilliant Union Army General, hater and subsequent scourger of the Confederacy, despiser of American Indians (he wanted them eliminated), disdainer of Negro (the word used then) slaves and former slaves -  he was at best a reluctant abolitionist. 
What many do not know is that he was the government appointed "commander in chief"  for the construction of the trans-continental railroad. 
He faced major obstacles  including (a) the presence of the great plains Indians who lands would be needed for the "development" which was certain to accompany the new rail road.  For Sherman, the Indians were expendable.  (b) the massive herds of Bison (essential for the Indians' "economy" and way of life.

Massive herds of Bison?  No problem, for the Bible says that we are to have dominion over them.
Thus, with Sherman's encouragement, THREE MILLION Bison were killed between 1872 and 1874.
Having dominion - a doctrine which has led to our present environmental disaster. 
Human arrogance (rooted in the Bible) has led us to believe that we can do whatever we will with what we call "nature". 
We have this strange idea that we are not a part of the environment,  that we are not a part of nature,  that somehow we stand outside the natural world,  that somehow we are not a part of the environment.
As we despoil and destroy the environment, so we also despoil and destroy ourselves.

For another and more life giving understand of "dominion"  please see this:

(Of course I do not endorse every word  - but.. THREE MILLION Bison were killed between 1872 and 1874.

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