What I think mostly is that Audubon, in search of money and to take
advantage of various legislation, sold itself out to association with other
special interest groups, and therefore are obliged to toe the "party line".
Of course, this compromise makes for all sorts of facades in attempts to
cover up dubious activities whilst ostensibly promoting societal benefits
under the guise of environmental concerns.
What a lot of people are unaware of is that, from my understanding, though
the Audubon Society calls itself "National" it is little more than a private
corporation not-for-profit that self servingly is now making major efforts
at land acquisition, but use of this land is for the most part not open to
the public (and when it is it is at a price), nor is it regulated entirely
by governmental legislation as are, say, the National Parks.
Not that some good doesn't come of NAS work, and I have personally enjoyed
these benefits, but now with their heavy bias towards "education" (this is
where such groups can affect our Orthodox children, hence the topic's
relevance to this list), such hidden agendas, eg abortion advocacy, can be
Take for instance, because my local Audubon receives money from lumbering
groups (clear cutters) and cement processors (with gravel pits and chemical
waste impacting the water quality, etc) their curriculum largely skirts
around these issues, probably so as to not lose funding, which is almost
equivalent to hush money. And of course these funders use their association
with NAS as a type of "justification" for continued questionable acts. "See,
Audubon doesn't complain about what we are doing so it must be OK!" And
Audubon justifies themselves how? "Well, by associating, we get a foot in
the door to mitigate the worst effects of these other corporations." Which
may or may not be true, but it seems rather shallow at best, when they
possess the clout and legal "machinery" to take a direct stance against
such, but don't.
One of my strongest objections is the dichotomy between the seeming
pretenses under with they forward their causes, and the behind-the-scenes
undercurrents and doubtful alliances. Certainly many other "public spirited"
groups fall under the same suspicion. Needless to say, I have had some run
ins with the local NAS (their activities directly affect the property here),
which I find rude in their "whatever it takes to get what we want" attitude
(when what they want is not always what is best), and who do NOT like having
these concerns brought to their attention. The best word to describe their
affliction might be *hubris*.
If they would at least come clean, at there would be some praise for
honesty, whether I was in agreement or not. But as it is, the more I search,
the more side stepping and spin-art on their parts is found. (Actually, even
within the NAS themselves these same concerns have been raised)
Kinda reminds me of a comment (I think it was of St Gregory V, Patriarch)
who (paraphrased) said it was preferable that the Turks had the rule, rather
than western european Protestants, because it was pretty clear to the
Faithful that the Turks' beliefs were in error, but those of the Prots were
much more hazy (and thus more pernicious) insofar as the errors were
occasionally more difficult to discern.
As Orthodox Christians, the environment, and it's proper management, should
be one of our concerns--the world being a gift (as it were) to us from God,
and the stewardship of it as a charge that we have been appointed in a small
way. This entails wise choices as to whom we will "contract" to attain an
acceptable end. Agencies with double-standards or outright immoral biases
certainly should not be included on the list of viable options.
Responsible use of what has been entrusted to our care is certainly a tenet
of our Faith. For the Orthodox to stand by and adopt a policy of
non-involvement or laissez faire in this and like issues cannot, in my
opinion, always be recommended. Instead, first by prayer ("for the abundance
of the fruits of the earth") and then by example, and then by rational
intervention we ourselves can promote a healthy and well advised stance that
cannot fail to benefit all and proceed in accordance with God's will.
At 06:04 PM 12/29/2001 +0000, you wrote:
>Groups like the Audubon Society and the Sierra Club use their
>environmental stance as a front for an anti-Christian agenda. No one
>wants to be critical of organizations one associates with harmless
>birds and other creatures, but when you find "family planning" (viz.
>abortion and sterilization) propaganda in their newsletters, this
>should be a red flag. What does concern for the environment have to
>do with "family planning"? Nothing, unless you are a radical
>environmentalist who believes that man is not the crown of God's
>creation but rather a pest to be eliminated so that all the birds and
>beasts can live in peace. Please see www.overpopulation.com/faq.
>Fr. Peter Jackson