I have never had much cause to agree with Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, given that he has said some downright ignorant and stupid things in the past.
For instance, he has said that Al-Qaeda terrorists could have "serious moral goals," criticizes America and the War on Terror, said that sharia should be allowed in Britain and be recognized by law, and stipulates that adults, not young people, are the real public menace. This is a man who, as this piece so excellently states, "[d]islikes our Western way of life and romanticises the Islamic world as much as Marxists used to romanticise the USSR."
Not a guy who has much of a clue, you say? I would wholeheartedly agree, save for this year's Easter sermon that he delivered. Monsignor Williams asserted that people must prepare for their eventual deaths by letting go of "selfish, controlling, greedy habits."
Attacking the culture of greed — and the notion that there will always be an inexhaustible supply of needs, goods and services to cater to our every whim — Williams stipulated, "Whether it is the individual grabbing the things of this world in just the repetitive, frustrating sameness that we have seen to be already in fact the mark of an inner deadness, or the greed of societies that assume there will always be enough to meet their desires — enough oil, enough power, enough territory — the same fantasy is at work: We shan't really die.
"We as individuals can't contemplate an end to our acquiring, and we as a culture can't imagine that this civilization, like all others, will collapse and that what we take for granted about our comforts and luxuries simply can't be sustained indefinitely. To this, the Church [of England] says, somberly, don't be deceived: night must fall."
This sermon was very similar to Williams' Christmas sermon, in which he asserted that human greed is threatening the Earth's environmental balance.
When Williams, in the words of The Daily Telegraph's lead editorial on Monday, March 24, "eschews politics and sticks to theology" (for Jesus asserted the same thing regarding human greed), he actually makes a lot of sense.
He's right. If the quality of life on Earth ends, for us as well as other species, so do we. A sobering thought indeed. And so, perhaps if we accepted death — our own in addition to our society, which is corrupted in so many ways — we can begin to feel a connection with nature again. We can stop this ruinous, rampant consumerism and feel happy to make do with what we already have.
Maybe then we can all take a good look around us and stop destroying the planet with our detritus before it's too late.