Life, Death and Environmentalism

For many of us, thinking about the spiritual nature of Earth can seem remote from our everyday lives. We're busy with work and family, so we don't have much time to think about esoteric topics like the nature of religion or the religion of nature. But I was so moved this week by the passionate discussion on the NRDC Action Fund's blog http://blog.nrdcactionfund.org that I wanted to write and let you know.

Noted author T.A. Barron has joined the NRDC Action Fund Blog for two weeks, and his writings are thought-provoking and powerful. Responses by our activists on the blog http://blog.nrdcactionfund.org have spawned some wonderful discussions of nature, life, death and spirituality.

Here's an excerpt from T. A. Barron's first blog entry on April 4th:

"Today, though, I'd like to propose a new meaning for the term 'pro-life.' Even before the Terry Schiavo case, the term had become more politically charged than Tom Delay's cell phone. But the word 'life' is far too big, complex and wondrous a term to be reduced to political shorthand. Life on our lonely planet is truly a miracle, whose diversity and beauty is simply stunning to behold. Whether or not life exists elsewhere in the universe, all we know now is that here on Earth, life is both utterly amazing -- and utterly endangered. That is why I believe that nobody is really more pro-life than an environmentalist."

To read this entry, go to

And here's a bit from his second:

"One primary quality of both nature and religion is the gift of making us feel both very small and very large, at once. To be in the presence of God, however you choose to define God, is to feel both humbled (very good for us human beings) and enlarged. That's also just the way I feel when standing under the night sky up at our mountain cabin on the western slope of Colorado. When I look up at those stars, so bright that I almost need to squint my eyes, I feel both truly insignificant -- and greatly magnified. For nature, like religion, enables us to understand our tininess and transience, while connecting us to all the rest of creation. We may sing alone, and only briefly, but we still have a part in the grand and glorious song of the stars."

To read this entry, go to

So, if you haven't been to the NRDC Action Fund Blog yet, I invite you to drop in, read the entries, and note the inspired comments from your fellow activists. A blog is an interactive, online diary, and ours serves as a gathering place for everyone who wants to stop the current assaults on our environment. Visit now and get involved:



Frances Beinecke
NRDC Action Fund


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April 2005

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