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By Nancy Bacon

Is our domestic product gross?

From the Pastor's Desk


Does it ever seem to you that God is now spelled GDP? Our nation’s Gross Domestic Product index has a way of diverting our attention from that which should be our primary focus. For religious folks that primary source may be called “God” and GDP something of lesser importance. For ethical atheists, that primary source could include simply adding another “o” to make the word, “Good.” Is our highest priority a high GDP, assuming that leads to good for all?

GDP is basically an index of the quantity of products a country produces. It tells something about a nation’s economic growth or decline. As an economic indicator, it plays a role in political elections, debates, and policies.

But, what if our Domestic Production is literally “gross”? What if the items we are primarily producing that increase our GDP are bombs and weapons that kill people? Is that the kind of economic growth we wish to cheer on and celebrate? If this ever-increasing GDP is more important than anything else, imagine what idols we are likely worshipping.

By the time this article is printed, Earth Day 2015, will have come and gone. Each year I lament the minuscule amount of attention that the Earth’s resources and living beings (God’s great creation) are given while an ever expanding GDP, which requires utilizing natural resources, and is arbitrary about issues of life and death, is devoutly worshipped.

This seems pretty gross to me.

I believe we are called to be stewards, caring for this great creation we’ve been placed in. This is a spiritual act of worship. At a minimum, we aren’t to trash the place or harm others. It seems that producing, shopping, and consuming has become our national religion. Our souls are only temporarily revived, so we continue to seek more and more production and consumption. We are focused on the wrong source - one that can only lead to a lesser good.

This year, I hope that God will intervene and set my vision upon the earth every day, not just April 22. I’d like to see 2015 as Earth Year. I’d like to engage in regular challenges to lower my carbon footprint, conserve energy, water, and soil, and leave things better than they are now for my children and grandchildren. Such acts of stewardship aren’t gross - they revive souls. Imagine a bunch of us cheering each other on.


Pastor Nancy


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