In response to your Nov. 21 article "Proud, patriotic & green" (Ideas): So much media coverage concerning the "war on terror" steers away from the blatantly obvious and pressing issues at hand: sustainability and conservation vs. oil and greed. Not only is this an issue of patriotism, it is an issue of far greater importance - the survival of all living things.
The way we live today does have an effect on the health of the planet. The potential war with Iraq indicates that how we live is essentially destructive. We have the technology to alter our dependence on fossil fuels, but we are mired in habits of fear, need, waste, and domination.
I admire the people mentioned in the article who are trying to have this conversation with a larger audience. It's long overdue and has been regrettably pushed aside in favor of corporate interests and war.
Your article "Proud, patriotic & green" states: "During World War II, citizens eagerly answered the government's pleas to use less gasoline." I was only 10 when the war ended, but I remember that gasoline was rationed. The government didn't just plead, which would have meant popular resentment toward those who didn't listen to the plea. The government - with the backing of the people - told us how much gas we could use. It was fair, and it worked.
In response to "Proud, patriotic & green": There are many ways to make our lifestyles more energy-efficient, and many reasons to do so. If we not only drove fuel-efficient cars, but also drove less, walked more, biked more, took public transit, and lived closer to jobs, we could save money, get healthier, meet our neighbors, and rediscover values of community.
A patriotic move to simpler, thriftier, more energy-efficient lifestyles can help us enjoy life. If it can also help us move toward a more peaceful world, all the better.
Regarding your Nov. 22 article "Should churches convert drivers of SUVs?": If the price of gas is low, I will drive whatever I like, including an SUV. If the price is high, as in Europe, I will drive a fuel-efficient car.
As to the question "What Would Jesus Drive?": It would probably be a stretch Hummer to navigate the sandy roads in Palestine and accommodate all his disciples who traveled with him.
Paul S. Sedan
Regarding "Should churches convert drivers of SUVs?": I agree. How can we possibly do as Jesus would have us do if we don't appropriately apply his instructions to our everyday lives?
The amount of gas that SUVs guzzle is economically over the top and supports the import of oil from the East. And they add more pollution to our environment than smaller vehicles. Jesus would most likely consider these things as they pertain to the contribution versus the destruction to life, so why shouldn't Christians who claim to support the betterment of life?
Kai El Zabar
The best argument against driving SUVs relates to reducing dependence on foreign oil. But that can also be accomplished by drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Gulf of Mexico, and continued research into alternative fuel sources. I find this campaign offensive. Certainly as Christians we need to consider how we make decisions, and how we steward over the earth. To reduce such a complex subject into a sound bite does no one any good.
Grand Rapids, Mich.
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