I am told some Christians apologized to plants.
Good for them, theoretically, as this is just so, though I wonder if they were merely clownish instead of echoing Tolkien. We should apologize to the trees, but not because some vague, White Western post-modern leftish guilt induces intellectually bankrupt words.
I am sorry for any time I have made a wasteland rather than a garden. God loves gardens so much, He expelled evil from the beauty.
We should be sorry about using nature. We shouldn’t worry about apologies of our abuse of nature, easily seen by native peoples in North American and Britain, out of some rightish guilt. All trees are God’s trees and no Christian wishes to destroy them.
Christians love nature.
God gave us a good world, we have mucked it up, including doing all kinds of arrogant, man-centered, ugliness to the world, including the plant world. A redwood is more beautiful than a deck made from the wood, generally.
No Christian can sing “This Is My Father’s World” and then say: “Let’s fill it with plastic.” That’s HG Wells, not Genesis. That doesn’t mean plants are people. We can honor them without anthropomorphism.
Long ago, my friend Frank Pastore, had a radio show, and I spoofed all kinds of silly theology, any that cared more for fitting in with power than truth, by pretending to be Rev. Dale Owen at the Church of Saint Chad. Surely, I chuckled, nobody would confuse our (right) love of plants with our love for people. To make the point, “Rev Dale” even married his favorite plant! Sadly, it has turned out that you cannot parody our time. Some actually are confusing our rightful love of trees with our greater love of God and humankind. Just as we can venerate an icon without worshiping the icon as an idol, so we can love a tree without thinking the tree a god.
Science is impossible if we worship nature: you cannot dissect God. Science is impossible if you despise nature: the world isn’t worth studying. Christianity said: “Nature is good, but not God.” That made science possible and conservation. We study God’s good world with respect. Christians venerate nature as an icon of God without worshiping nature as God.
As a result, we despised those who would pick a tree over a child, but also hated any who wanted to create a future without nature. “Things to Come” was a nightmare, not a utopia, but the secularism of the early twentieth century encouraged obliterating nature for the mechanical. The reaction of some to worship nature was predictable.
We live in difficult times where the balance is hard to maintain.
Traditional Christians, the kind that trace their origins to Palestine, and not to Dallas, know that creation is wonderful. We see a polar bear and think: “God allowed that bear to be, created that bear. Beware messing with the beauty.” Christians have no desire to wipe out what is given to us. We would rather exit with bear, than kill all the bears.
The bears are God’s bears and we exist with them, enter life with them, exit with them.
We do not worship nature, but we venerate her. This is the difference between those who hate all images and those who honor them appropriately. Nature is, has come to be, and so we hesitate before we destroy what has been.
I also value one human child more than every tree on the planet. I do not think I mostly must choose between the two, but if I must, people are to be valued over the rest of nature. Having said this: People do not need endless wealth at the cost of nature.
We, people, are stewards of this unique and amazing planet. We must not destroy what we cannot replace. We must be prudent. The trees, obviously, cannot hear me. They have souls, go read Aristotle, but not rational souls. Any apology is useless to them, though perhaps a reminder to me. I will conserve, being a conservative, the trees. I apologize to the God, who gave us the trees and many other species to cultivate, for thinking that we can abuse other species with impunity.
Lord God have mercy.