Pondering Principles: Space

I had my wisdom teeth pulled earlier this week. Now that I’m a little better, it’s time to get back to another activity that can feel like oral surgery: studying the United Methodist Social Principles. Today we are talking about Space. The whole UMC stance on space is short enough to include here:

The universe, known and unknown, is the creation of God and is due the respect we are called to give the earth. We therefore reject any nation’s efforts to weaponize space and urge that all nations pursue the peaceful and collaborative development of space technologies and of outer space itself.

http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/the-natural-world

Oh boy. Where do I begin?

“and is due the respect we are called to give the earth.” Yeah because we have done such a great job respecting the earth. Base upon how we treat the last great unknown part of earth, the ocean, it it likely we will turn space into a great bit garbage dump.

The UMC rejects attempts to weaponize space? I guess that means no Star Trek then. But seriously, the sitting president of the United States has proposed Space Force, effectively a branch of the military set to control extraterrestrial military operations. I’m so glad the United States military is known for its level-headed peace creating abilities.</endsarcasmfont>

The call to seek peaceful and collaborative development brings to mind something that is rampant in these Social Principles. The Social Principles are mostly, but not completely as we will see later, high on idealism and low on practicality. I agree that we should urge nations to toward peace and collaboration. But, in what practical ways are we living out that ideal? What steps are we offering to help them along that path?

This might be one of my biggest problems with so much church. We offer a lot in the way of ideas and very little in the way of practical usefulness. We give a lot of “why” and “what” and very little “how.” Sunday mornings should be way more than an exposition on texts. Sunday morning should be a tutorial for living life. The best tutorials give you step by step actions to complete the task at hand.

Yeah, I got off topic but that is what good reflection does. It takes you down a path of exploration to where you find that everything we do and say is connected. Join me next time as I ponder our Principle on Science and Technology in a new format! Time to brush up on my Isaac Asimov.

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