[Screen shot of The Lorax]

After coming home early from work in an attempt to combat the fever and fatigue that’s been beating me down, I pulled myself together to fulfill a promise we’d made to our kids days earlier: Tuesday night we’d go to see The Lorax with friends. (Thanks Brett and Victoria).

The movie was very well done, as expected, and NyQuil helped keep my symptoms at bay (and kinda’ made the whole movie trippy).

In true Dr. Suess style, there was plenty of quirky scenery, funny animals, and rhyming song lyrics. Not to mention a sweet one-wheeled motor scooter that gave the Segway a run for its money.

(I wonder if Dr. Suess was on NyQuil when he wrote?).

But the underlying theme felt overly political, even in its microcosm of Thneedville, and one species of fluffy-tufted trees.

Capitalism wiped out nature, both in harvesting and in by products.

It felt extremely “left-leaning” positionally.

And it resurfaced countless political planks fought over between the right and left, the Christian conservatives and the liberal left who’ve made Environmentalism into their own religion.

So where is the Christian in all this?

I’m sitting in my movie theatre seat asking, am I an anti-tree bigot? I love capitalism, but thought I liked trees and woodland creatures too? I thought I was the kid that grew up in the forrest, an Eagle Scout that camped outdoors every month of my life from age 11-18?

Then a long held belief came rushing to the surface. A belief that Christians were intended to be the world’s chief Environmentalists, with Adam being the first.

Genesis 1:28 reads like this:

And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Like many other issues-turned-political in our history, somewhere along the line we Christians abdicated our responsibilities to steward the Jesus-created-for-humankind planet.

The problem with anything that Christians relinquish is that it’s usually picked up by those who try and operate it without God’s perspective, and wildly blow it out if proportion. (Or destroy it altogether).

I don’t fault Environmentalists for their love of Creation – that’s extremely Christlike, as He made it all; I struggle with their tendency to place nature above people.

Yes – when decisions can and should be made that benefit humanity’s quality of life, Christians should champion those. But when inferior entities are given more care, attention, protective laws and proceeds than the superior creation of a human being, I have a problem.

We all should have a problem.

People are the pinnacle of Creation.

I have a number of Christian friends that have answered the call of God on their lives to study and pursue careers in forestry, fish and wildlife management, environmental studies, and the greater world of biology. I honor them, and I believe God honors them.

After all, it’s his planet.

As Christians we should get behind the causes that promote life – whether flora or fauna. Most especially human beings. And we should champion the proper implementation of Capitalism, the very entity that funds the majority of other noble pursuits.

The world is looking for examples. Without knowing it, they’re looking for how the Kingdom would respond to our world’s issues. But unless someone represents it to them, it’s unjust of us to assume they should know.

The Lorax may represent the trees, but I’m a Christ-follower, and I represent the King and his Kingdom. Which includes trees. ch:


Wayne Thomas Batson · 7 Mar ’12 at 10:00 am

Dude, extremely well said. Tolkien was such a passionate lover of forests and streams and all things green and growing. As I grow older, I find myself enjoying nature much more than I did as a child…it almost feels like a daily gift, which I guess it is. 😀

    Christopher Hopper · 7 Mar ’12 at 11:23 am

    As do I. And I’d forgotten that about Tolkien, though I’d heard that before. It would certainly make sense too, given his love for the Ents.

Gabe · 7 Mar ’12 at 11:00 am

That pretty much sums up how I feel about all this. Like Sir Batson said, extremely well said. Great post!

AnneMarie · 7 Mar ’12 at 4:56 pm

Well said, indeed. I am not surprised about the political undertones of The Lorax. It’s in many Seuss stories, really. And many Disney stories as well.
I have believed for a very long time that we are to be good stewards of everything God blesses us with including our own bodies, which many people seem to forget. Caring for the environment (in proper perspective, like you said, caring for humankind first) and being health-conscious somehow got lumped into “tree-huggers” and “new age, yoga-earthy-crunchy-granola-weirdos” and somehow contradictory to Christianity. I never understood that. Aren’t our bodies a temple? Shouldn’t we honor God and His creation by taking good care of both? Shouldn’t we be role models in these areas?
Thanks for your perspective CH! Always inspiring.

    Christopher Hopper · 7 Mar ’12 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks for the valuable additions to my post, AnneMarie. I especially appreciate the point about stewarding out bodies.

    I often wonder if the effort to lump valuable worldly pursuits into anti-Christian contexts is yet another tactic of the Enemy to marginalize and demonize Christians.

Jenny · 8 Mar ’12 at 11:46 pm

SO true. Well written my love.

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