4: Mark Ulyseas – Religion and Pollution


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Religion and Pollution by Mark Ulyseas

Why can’t we stop followers of religions from polluting the environment with their rituals and offerings; and monitor/   control the volume of garbage generated by celebrants of festivals, both religious and cultural?

From floral and edible offerings (in plastic wrappers), effigies made with carcinogenic materials, senseless discarding of food, mindless disposal of non-biodegradable materials and more appears to be the rule rather than the exception. The volume is increasing every year.

The debris left behind in the aftermath of a cultural or religious festival reflects on the religious and community leaders’ arrogance towards the environment. Perhaps this thinking stems from the fact that they view themselves as keepers of the earth, hence everything else is subservient and expendable.

Why blame the government? Of course it goes without saying that most governments are the biggest polluters come election season.

The religious leaders must be held responsible for the clean-up, for what is the use of prayers when we spit on the very earth that nourishes us?

Religious leaders must also be community leaders. They cannot renege on their duty to society as a whole. They cannot propagate a selective approach to the problem. It is not ‘our’ belief so why should we care. It is ‘their’ problem. In a multi-ethnic society, this thinking is hara-kiri.

The faithful, and there are billions of them, can and must be educated by religious leaders that the desecration of the earth is tantamount to disrespecting the very Power they pay obeisance to…

If we want to prevent the further mutilation of the earth we must begin by not creating garbage with our religious activities. And the faithful must be guided by their spiritual leaders.

Perhaps the problems we see today in a fragmenting world originates from this mindset – religious and/or cultural exclusivity.

Om Shani Shanri Shanti Om


Ulyseas is founder and editor of Live Encounters Magazine and Live Encounters Poetry. He is the author of three
books: RAINY – My friend & Philosopher, Seductive Avatars of Maya – Anthology of Dystopian Lives and In
Gethsemane: Transcripts of a Journey. http://www.amazon.com/author/markulyseas

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