Last Sunday I was in church minding my own business when my occupation came under fire. Our church is without a pastor right now, and we rely on pulpit supply, so the preacher was a guest fill-in. The prayer he had prepared was one promoting environmental justice and in it we prayed to save our world from the overuse of harsh chemicals and the erosion of the soils brought on by agriculture. As you can imagine, that caught my attention.
The pastor called on our church to take up the mantle of environmental justice. That carried with it a list of other issues I will not get into, but it also put a spotlight on global climate change and the effect agriculture has on it. I am Presbyterian, but the environmental justice movement was one promoted by the liturgy shared by many denominations. In our bulletin a small blurb promoted the environmental justice issue and indicated it was supported by several other churches including Catholic and Lutheran organizations. I would guess no matter what your religious affiliation you can find a link to this movement.
Upon further research, and it did not take much, I learned one way your church could help save the environment was to limit the amount of red meat consumed because the production of red meat and the correlating grain production produced greenhouse gases. This is a tactic used by environmental activists that we know not to be true. Yes, the environmental movement has infiltrated even the most sacred space of the church.
I am not trying to turn anyone against the church but rather I am saying as Farm Bureau members and as farmers and ranchers we must get involved to tell our story and let our fellow church members know what we are doing. We know we do not overuse “harsh” chemicals, and we do our best to retain and improve the soil. We all know we do our best to protect God’s creation, and now it is time to help educate our fellow church members.
It is also time for us to get involved in the leadership of our churches at the regional and national levels so factual and correct information can be shared.
If we do not tell our story others will tell it for us and we cannot let that happen. If it can happen in our churches it will happen in all other areas too. For that matter this charge should go for every other organization in our lives whether it be the Lions or Rotary and even the Chamber in our local towns and cities.
We know as farmers and ranchers we are the best caretakers of all God has entrusted us with. We work hard to care for the water, soil and air we all rely on, we know that, but the challenge is to make sure our urban neighbors know the truth. I know I am preaching to the choir so maybe we all need to start preaching to the congregation.
"Insight" is a weekly column published by Kansas Farm Bureau, the state's largest farm organization whose mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and service.