Forgive Me Father, For I Have Emitted

The latest in global-warming silliness comes from Great Britain, where Lent lends an opportunity for bishops to sound hip and relevant. Tomorrow being Ash Wednesday, the bishops of London and Yorkshire have a suggestion for Lenten sacrifice. Instead of alcohol or chocolate, give up carbon:

Two senior bishops led calls on Tuesday for people to cut back on carbon, rather than the more traditional chocolate and alcohol, for Lent this year.
Bishop of London Richard Chartres and Bishop of Liverpool James Jones have teamed up with aid agency Tearfund to invite the public to take part in a carbon fast for the next forty days.
Those taking part in the drive to reduce their carbon footprint will be able to choose daily energy saving actions from a booklet.
“For example, on the first day, people can take out one of their light bulbs and whenever they go to turn that light on, and it doesn’t work, they can remember why they are fasting from carbon — to help the poor of the world. At the end of the fast they can replace it with an energy-saving light bulb,” Jones — who is vice-president of Tearfund — explained.

Lord, forgive them for they know not what folly they indulge.
I have no issue with church leaders who become social activists. Jesus himself set that example, and everyone who follows Him tries to find their own way to actively make this world better for others in preparation for the life to follow this one. Certainly, environmental causes can be part of that, although for my taste, some environmentalists tend towards a kind of nature worship that I find incompatible with Christianity.
This, however, is just silly. Lent should be about personal sacrifice in order to focus on spirituality, not on the latest fad in science. It is supposed to be a meditation on the sacrifice of Jesus that culminates on Good Friday, and the sacrifice in our own lives is supposed to be significant enough for a reminder. It’s not about buying a low-power light bulb, or even remaining in darkness.
The purpose is spiritual, not worldly. This sounds a little exploitive, a way for the bishops to push their pet Tearfund project by using Lent to gain attention. The purpose behind this call doesn’t sound spiritually motivated at all, but political correctness running somewhat amuck. I don’t believe the bishops have bad motives, but they sound a little … misguided.

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