Monday, February 26, 2007

Polish crosses defend economic development!


Protests get weird as the religious in Poland show up to demonstrate against environmentalists. It’s almost enough to make me turn into a tree hugger!

The above photo from the Gazeta Wyborcza agency shows the religious from the town of Augustow counter-protesting Greenpeace and other environmentalists (below) who want to stop the planned highway through the nature spot of Rospuda Valley.

The Polish government, which much to the annoyance of the EU, had supported the bypass around Augustow (where residents complain that increased traffic has killed many people) backed down last week and ordered a referendum in the town to decide the issue.

The EU, Greenpeace, etc say that the referendum cannot be a higher law than the EU. Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?

Cue the clash of protestors – tree huggers versus cross huggers.

That the religious right has suddenly taken economic progress to their heart has to be welcomed, but this is unusual, these days.

For instance, the religious have only been too keen to jump on the anti-GM crops bandwagon in recent years, preaching that the science of genetic engineering is trying to play God, blah, blah.

The religious don’t like stem-cell research either, because it’s ...‘playing God’ etc…

We have also seen the rise in the last few years of an unholy alliance between Environmentalism and Creationism. These green-Christians go by the name of 'Creation carers', and are gaining strength in the US.

Creationists say that environmental degradation is the same as spiritual degradation. They point to bits of the Bible – of course. For instance, Isaiah 24:5, reads:

"The earth also is defiled (polluted) under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant."

If the spirituality of Man is damaged then the environment will wreak its revenge. This bit of the Bible from Jeremiah 16:18 sounds very much like a modern day environmentalist. Both warn that ‘nature’ will fight back against the excesses of humanity:

"I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled my land with the lifeless forms of their vile images and have filled my inheritance with their detestable idols."

So listen up, yee religious of Poland! Get back to your natural friends, the environmentalists: both of you hate progress.

And leave the anti-Green protesting to us Humanists!

19 comments:

geez said...

I may be mistaken but I don't think that all "the religious have only been too keen to jump on the anti-GM crops bandwagon in recent years, preaching that the science of genetic engineering is trying to play God."

BR, do you have a url to show that the Catholic Church has taken this position in regard to agricultural bioengineering?

Redwine said...

This is interesting, Beat. I'm glad you posted this, because Greens, while supposedly "progressive", often go with the far right. Is rather part of the phenomenon one could call radicalization. As for progress, well... Rosia Montana in Romania,etc...the problem is that such reactions rather hinder a normal approach than help to find a solution. People need jobs. Environmental degradation is a serious problem, but this is the worst(and most hilarious) way to approach the problem. And that is hardly their intention. There is the rub.

beatroot said...

Yo Redwine!

Redwine is from Romania and she refers to the Rosia Montana damn project that is exciting greenpeace etc… but most of the locals want because it would give them jobs.

You only ever hear the Green case, but there is a film, Mine your own business that puts the other side of the argument about the damn.

http://www.mineyourownbusiness.org/

You know why the Germans are one of those most reluctant nations in the EU to impose a smoking ban in public places?

Because the last time a German government did just that, Herr Hitler was Angela Merkel.

Authoritarian measures aimed at health were all the rage in Nazi circles. And, coming from Bavaria, there was the same fetishization of nature with the Nazis as there is now with some of the deep greens.

I am sure that is only a coincidence.

beatroot said...
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beatroot said...

and geez, no I don't have proof of official catholic position on this.

I know that there is some movement on evolution etc, and they are doing lots of thinking about genetic research, cloning, and moral questions around those of issues.

but you are right: I was generalizing ...a bit...

beinghad said...

Wow, I am blown away. They must have organized at Sunday services. Certainly, this counter/counter argument is money based and these people see the highway as meaning more business for the economy. Cannot be any other reason. This money before all attitude probably even relates to Russia's and Belarus' apparent disregard for potential further nuclear disasters. Obviously the theory is that not having money sucks and this means a lot more than whether a bunch of squirrels and grouse get smashed by tractor treads.

Elementary my dear Watson said...

"Most people" want to strangle their neighbours' barking dog but that doesn't make it right. If the people of Augustow are so concerned about the heavy traffic why are they only doing something about it now? Why didn't they build a footbridge years ago?

When Poland joined the EU - despite any nonsense their politicans might have said to the contrary - they lost some sovereignty. Any time you sign an agreement you surrender some room to manoeuvre. You don't get the benefits of membership of the EU for free.

Beatroot writes: "The EU, Greenpeace, etc say that the referendum cannot be a higher law than the EU. Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?"

Yes, they would. Because it's true. The referendum idea is the latest episode in Poland's absurd struggle with the concept of democracy.

geez said...

All I know is that you, BR, have become a constant thorn in my side.

Now I have to start learning about GM food and other organisms, especially since my oldest kid is expressing interest in studying it in college.

I knew I'd have to get around to it pretty soon but now you've stuck my nose in it in your own inimitable way.

*^*&%$!!!

geez said...

It seems that the Catholic Church is very much divided on the issue, although it seems like the Vatican was leaning towards the pro-GM position:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/ge/vatican111303.cfm

So much for monolithic stereotyping.

But the above seems to be dated back a few years and I'm not finding it easy coming up with anything more recent.

beatroot said...

Sorry geez...:-) but the GM thing is actually very interesting. and remember to tell the kid that there are two sides to every debate.

The referendum idea is the latest episode in Poland's absurd struggle with the concept of democracy.

The EU as a democratic institution? Hmmmm, what an interesting idea, but not an elementary one, my dear Watson.

jannovak57 said...

Please correct me if am wrong but when the town folk showed up with crosses, the crosses were simply representing grave markers of traffic accident victims. The crosses were not representing a religion-based opposition to the tree huggers.

beatroot said...
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beatroot said...

I take your point. But my point still stands: Christianity is following the mainstream and going green...
And I am not the first person to see the Polish God Squad involved here.
But usually they form strange alliances. On the anti-Iraq march I was on years ago there were a few crusty student anarchist groups with dogs on bits of string…and radio maryja grannies. That was the extent of the anti-war movement in Poland!
So crosses on ‘left wing’ protests are, not unusual here. What isn’t is the cross as a sign of building motorways through beauty spots!

metka by traczka said...

Jannowak57 is right. These people showed the crosses representing hundreds of victims who died under trucks wheels. I have been to Augustów and Rospuda valley many times, and I know that little town is really distrubed by all this traffic. Thousands of lithuanian or russian lorries go through daily. It IS very dangerous there. These people with crosses didn't know any other way to protest. Have you noticed at picks that they were mostly old people?
Their highest activity there is going to church on Sundays.

And Rospuda valley is one of the most beautiful places on earth too.

Elementary My Dear Watson said...

Sherlock, mon frere, aka Beatroot wrote:

"The EU as a democratic institution? Hmmmm, what an interesting idea, but not an elementary one, my dear Watson."

I didn't say the EU was democratic. However, Poland joined the EU as a result of a democratic process: they held a referendum.

If there is a referendum on Rospuda (which I doubt) and the road wins it might have very interesting consequences. And by "interesting" I mean a nightmare for all but a small number of high-powered, highly-paid constitutional lawyers.

Here is Article 87, chapter 3 of the Polish Constitution:

"The sources of universally binding law of the Republic of Poland shall be: the Constitution, statutes, ratified international agreements, and regulations."

Here's Article 91 for good measure:

" 1. After promulgation thereof in the Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland (Dziennik Ustaw), a ratified international agreement shall constitute part of the domestic legal order and shall be applied directly, unless its application depends on the enactment of a statute.

2. An international agreement ratified upon prior consent granted by statute shall have precedence over statutes if such an agreement cannot be reconciled with the provisions of such statutes.

3. If an agreement, ratified by the Republic of Poland, establishing an international organization so provides, the laws established by it shall be applied directly and have precedence in the event of a conflict of laws."

beatroot said...

Metka: are you honestly saying that if you wanted to protest against the bypass you would bring along a cross with you? No you would not. Why? Because you are not religious.

The cross is symbol of more than just graves…

Dr Watson
I didn't say the EU was democratic. However, Poland joined the EU as a result of a democratic process: they held a referendum.

and of course you are correct. But in deciding that democratically they have lessoned democracy in Poland as result; they have further distanced themselves from the political process too..

and that’s what bothers me about Brussels. At a time when cynicism and disillusionment are rife not just in Poland about politics, more and more decisions are taken by people who are unelected and unaccountable, anonymous.

That will increase political disengagement in Poland, as elsewhere. That’s bad and that’s one of the main reasons why I do not support the EU as an institution.

opamp said...

The cross is symbol of more than just graves…

Nope. In Poland this is primarily a symbol of graves.

Technically the primary Christian religious symbol is a crucifix (a cross with a body) which is not what these people are carrying (plain crosses which are typically placed on the graves). Carrying a crucifix to a political demonstration would probably qualify as a profanation.

The assertion of Christian-environmentalist alliance is ridiculous: compare Gen 1,28 with environmentalist anti-human propaganda. (What the text you linked actually argues, is that the stewardship of Earth given to Man in Gen 1,28 implies responsibility for this Earth. This is (besides being in itself painfully obvious) is not the position of the contemporary environmetalists who essentially state that people are bad for the environment and should be eliminated in its favor.)

Your post is, plain and simple, christianophobia.

beatroot said...

Your post is, plain and simple, christianophobia.

:-)

Anonymous said...

"tree huggers versus cross huggers"
nice!

When it comes to Brussels vs. Everybody else, I root for everybody else.

But the problem is, that these payloads should be on trainwagons and the polish state should get paid well for the use of its railways. Relativly ecological, geostrategical clever and good economy - and almost no run over people, last but not least.
Oh well, you can dream, don't you;)