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We went to see the volcanoes, but all the parking lots, the chain of craters, and hiking trails were blocked off. We saw the steam vents, because they are on the side of the road. We joked through sarcastic smiles that the administration would try to turn those off too, if they had a switch.
Perhaps it seems like an annoyance, a petty reason to complain. Having your vacation plans scuttled is not the same as working without pay or remaining on furlough as many government employees are during this partial government shutdown. It does not create the same level of risk to people as the FDA ceasing routine safety inspections. But as the trash piles up, bathrooms overflow, and visitors blaze their own trails in partially shut, but mostly just unsupervised national parks, there is a clear message: Everything is ours to exploit, as potential collateral damage from human agendas.
People - Faith
People of faith, this is so dangerous.
Our national parks are a safeguard against our own worst inclinations. Christians sometimes call it “sin,” but we might also just name it “human nature.” We know that we need to check ourselves before we sacrifice everything on the altar of self-interest.
Park - Sites - Monuments - Exploitation - Rights
Some of our national park sites are explicitly monuments to those who stood powerfully against human exploitation: for civil rights, women’s rights, or an end to slavery. But the current threat is most dire against those national parks designed to protect the space for wild animals to remain wild and natural wonders to remain unpolluted, because they are of intrinsic value — without relation to their use to people.
Much of religion as we practice it is about people, relating to our neighbors, and understanding ourselves due to our relationship with God. But all the Earth is God’s, and God calls it all “good” before...
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