March 29, 2011

Save the Trees

Something to consider.

A few weeks ago The New York Times published an article about two 130-year old oak trees in Auburn, Alabama. For years they were the good-natured victims of a historic rivalry between two local football teams. The oaks were liberally decked in toilet paper in celebration of various victories, but they came to public notice when they were poisoned with herbicide. This action aroused an outcry that made it into the New York Times. Several Alabama citizens launched a campaign to raise "donations and awareness" for the ill trees.

The campaign has garnered nearly $50,000 and 60,000 supporters. Somehow this struck me as odd. Disturbing, even. It is not the anti-environmentalist poisoning of the trees that has alarmed me; rather I marvel at the irony of American priorities.

Here stands the situation: two old trees are imperiled – grand old trees and worth preserving, I'm sure. So a fund is created to “raise donations for and awareness of the trees,” and said fund swells to nearly $50,000.

Fifty thousand dollars. For two trees! Think of the meals, the clothing, the water, the shelter, the schooling, and the medicine that money could provide for human beings, millions of which happen to be living in abysmal poverty.

$50,000 could provide a year of food, clothing, shelter and education to 120 kids in Africa. Instead it's spent to 'raise awareness' for two sick trees.

A verse from the Casting Crowns song While You Were Sleeping keeps ringing through my mind.

“United States of America,
Looks like another silent night
As we're sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children.”


Faye Rhys said...

It's sad but, that is what America has come to these days. Depressing, but true.

BTW, loved your tag!

Rowan said...

I Love that Casting Crowns song. We live in a corrupted world. Christians can be a light in all the darkness, sharing the gospel to one and all who will hear us. :)

Jake said...

Very true. Heartbreakingly so. America seems to be in decline, and only Christ can rearrange its messed-up priorities.

whisper said...

True, true, Faye. But I am glad you enjoyed the tag. :)

Casting Crowns is a good band. *nods* And yes! We are called to be light, salt - a city on a hill! The phrase "Rock the Boat" has been coming to my mind a lot lately... there's an old saying: "Don't rock the boat," meaning that we ought not to be a disturbance or cause a commotion. But our very calling as Christians IS to rock the boat; to say and do radical, bold, and unusual things. To get people wondering what sort of a God we serve. It's an exciting thing to ponder.

Aye. Only He can rescue us from ourselves... but He won't do it completely until That day. How very indescribable it shall be.


Brianna said...

Good point... it IS sad! The state of our priorities in America is sobering.

whisper said...

That it is... the priorities of both the nation as well as each individual.