Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Groen Greens go vertuous

Groen was an advisor to the Dutch monarchy after its restoration in the 1800s. That's Guillaume Groen, or in translation we could say "Billy Green." Now, Billy was given the honorific of "van Prinsterer," or "of the Prince, or "of the Prince's Household." Groen [Green] became Archivist to the Royal House of Orange, the ruling dynasty of the Netherlands. He also started a political movement which became a political party which became the leading party in a number of Dutch coalition governments then and now. The Party was a Christian-democratic party, and it harbors its own class of "greens" in our contemporary sense - that is, pro-environment as in the case of economist Bob Goudzwaard who tawt the Dutch about "unpriced scarcity" like air and water. And along with being pro-environment, these Christain Democrats greenies are pro-health for babies, other humans and animals. Now, Guillaume Groen whose first name translates from the French as William just as vert translates as green, was a truly vertuous man and generated some generations later a bevy scholars and activists who have helped launch the Evangelical vertuosi on their pilgrimage to a greener America today.

Suddenly, American evangelicals, like their Dutch counterparts, have a lively pro-environment bunch of greens (I hate to put a cap on the word, a semiotic move which could co-opt our verticalvinists into mere minions of the "Green Party" or "Greenpeace" or some other entity incompatible with Christian faith and action in a convictionally diverse society.

In any case, I've posted an important article "The Greening of Evangelicals," by Blaine Harden that appeared in The Washington Post to Liberty Post with a comment of my own.

My comment was - may I introduce a new meaning for an old word - "sidereal" to the news value of Harden's report. In trying to post it, I had the sidereal problem of fitting my point in the mere posting of it on Liberty Post, into LP's organizing categories for all posts. That is, by recognizing the articles's importance and wanting the article to be easily available for some time, I had to choose the least worse of the available categories just to keep it available and discussable thru LP's comments feature and to LP's readers, posters, and commenters. In contrast, large dailies often squirrel important articles away into their pay-for online archives. Then these articles are not freely available for free study and free comment. Now, that's exactly the general situation of Groen's American progeny and of American Evangelicals generally, on many topics that should not be sluiced aside into the "Religion" category at the very historical moment when we/they are instituting withn society a convictionally diverse stream on a very society-wide set of issues like the Environment. So, I had to find a category other than Liberty Post's "Religion" in which the posted article would be appropriate. There was no category for "Environment," so I entered Harden's WP report into LP's "Health, Science, Technology," as I recall. But, then, I had an autocategory machine catch up with me, informing me that a keyword analysis of the article suggested that the category in which the article should be classified was "Religion." But, graciously the LP folks had a note at hand that advised me, the decision of category would be left to me, and invited me to say why. So I did as follows:

Subject: The autocategorizer is mistaken

The point of the article in WP, The Greening of Evangelicals, is that environmentalism is finding a new constitutency which won't mix with the older leftwing environmentalism. And the new environmentalism does have an Evangelical vocabulary about the environment and about the illness that pollution brings to children and the unborn. You don't have a classification for the Environment (an eo-con bias?). But this article doesn't belong under Religion, unless Religion includes everything - politics, economics, business, arts, entertainment, and everything else - on your vocabulary. The article is not about churches. You should rethink your autocategorizer's marginalization of communities that don't blend into the convictional landscape in sectors where the press assumes all the "real" players are already present, and Evangelicals or Groenian vertuosi don't belong..

Also, you should have an Environmental category, and not assume that Bush's stance here is really the last or the correct word for a conservative or anybody else.

I'd be happy to exchange with you on theme of category marginalization, and the overall Environment category that your system currently doesn't recognize. I'm not pushing the Global Warming issue, as I don't think business necessarily produces the weather changes we're seeing. There are natural cycles involved. However, pollution is a serious threat; I can't go for walks in the city where I live in the summer, because it leaves me feeling suffocated on the street on bad pollution days. Capitalism is not rising to this crisis, since it's blind to the unpriced scarcity of good water and air: so what's to be done?

Yours, Inhabitant-thereof

And, oh yes, I got this in reply, again from a queu of machines:

This Message was undeliverable due to the following reason:

Your message was not delivered because the destination computer was
not reachable within the allowed queue period. The amount of time
a message is queued before it is returned depends on local configura-
tion parameters.

Most likely there is a network problem that prevented delivery, but
it is also possible that the computer is turned off, or does not
have a mail system running right now.

Your message was not delivered within 1 days.
Host is not responding.

All in a day's blog!

No comments: