Sunday, January 04, 2009

planting a tree by radi-ix
part two

In my early years of my post-secondary education I was introduced to the hot topic of Fair Trade. As a a wide eyed freshman and a person who is easily convicted I immediately felt the weight of my sweat shop shoes and wrongfully cheap coffee. I went home for summer vacation bound and determined to become exclusively slave-labour free and discovered that finding a pair of shoes that is not made in China, Indonesia or Bangladesh was not an easy task. As I peered into and under every object I considered buying my family began to cast wondering glances at each other over this new obsession with where things are made. You could imagine what a pain in the ass I would have been to shop with to someone who had never been faced with the question of where something was made when I immediately dismissed everything I looked based on one piece of criteria. And I mean
everything. At that time without researching for and shopping in speciality shops there was very little in our massive North American market that was not outsourced to a Third world Country.
Six years later shops like Ten Thousand Villages have grown in popularity and Coffee bears Fair Trade logos like a badge of honor. Those who are willing to step up to the challenge of paying more for their coffee and clothes, those who are willing to produce it at a fair price to everyone involved are to be applauded. And yet most
of the public hears the morality of Fair Trade preached from the their coffee shop barrista rather than from the pulpit. While many Christians made great efforts to improve this situation and educate others concerning it, the issue has hardly made it out of Bible Colleges and enclaves of hippie Christians.
Fair Trade and becoming environmentally friendly are issues that seem to be for Christians bearing the same course. While Fair trade may be easier to connect to the Evangelical mindset, both issues have everything to do with Christianity.God made Adam and appointed him as caretaker over creation, even to the point of handing over the responsibility of naming all the fauna and flora. And though Eve was created second, there is no indication of her being less human, only differing in her role. Unless that responsibility ended with Adam when he was booted out of paradise, unless God intended the earth to go to all hell after the life of one man, I think that what was given to man in the beginning was intended for all of mankind. Although the fall from paradise bore a grimmer outlook to the bounty and splendour
of the earth that surrounds us we are no less responsible for the upkeep of the home God gave us and care no less for those of us who dwell in it.
While I have no disagreement that the great Commandment and the great Commission are the life blood tenets that drives the Christian faith. But it seems that we have a few of our ideals at odds when we pride ourselves as God's representatives yet disregard his creation. By saying we are Christians We are saying we love God, yet we do not take care of the home that He has given us. We are saying that we love our neighbour, yet we slight others by contributing to unfair wages and unfair working
These things are not a seperate agenda from Christian beliefs. While I respect those who have been the catalyst for the and awareness of these problems the change they have brought about I would like to berate North American Christians for not being on the forefront of these issues. As I said before many Christians have been essential to
spreading awareness of fair trade and people like Rob Bell connect the importance of
taking care of our earth with Christian concerns. But once again, these thoughts and ideals are localized and not wide spread throughout our churches. There was a time
when Christians were identified with innovation and original thought in areas spiritual and earthly, now it seems we are barely keeping up with issues that clearly
pertain to our beliefs.