I completely agree with Ophelia Hu ’12 about one of her major propositions: the Bible should inspire Christians to be environmentally-minded.

However, I equally disagree with her other proposition that moral absolutism exists and should inform environmentalism.
Indeed, if there were moral absolutism — if we as a society did not change our ideas about “right” and “wrong,” however slowly­­­ — slavery would still exist in government-sanctioned forms. We would still consider women as the inferior sex, and of course, Ophelia and I would not be students at Amherst College today!

In our issue before break, we published an article entitled “Missing AAS Budgets Raise Questions.” We’d originally planned for an article that took a closer look at the changes in AAS finances, in order to examine if and how spending changed from year to year. That article, however, proved difficult to write, as much of the data we needed was not available online, nor was it readily available offline, despite the AAS’ efforts to make them available on relatively short notice.

For many students, Thanksgiving break is a time to return to home and family, to reunite with friends and relatives and stuff themselves with great home-cooked food. Cherishing loved ones forms the traditional meaning of the holiday. At this time of the year, many families humbly welcome friends and acquaintances into their home to share in the intimate celebrations. While enjoying the warmth and sense of community that the break provides, we need to remember that a lot of students don’t, or can’t, go home during this time of the year for reasons ranging from work to finance.

Ever since I was a freshman at Amherst, I have gotten a sense that the AAS is not particularly popular. There has been a perception that we do little more than fund clubs, that we argue too much, that we are a waste of what could be a very valuable resource. I have served on the AAS now for four years, and I can tell you that many of these criticisms have been merited.

This week’s column is the second of two that discuss a Christian environmental ethic.

Two weeks ago, I discussed two major descriptors of a Christian environmental ethic: Christianity provides a moral standard by which to explain environmental priorities, and therefore, by which to act; and additionally, the Bible presents proof that God cares about the planet.

For a while, George Papandreou and Antonis Samaras indirectly put Amherst at the center of the Euro crisis. Now Greece, the markets and the Eurozone have moved on to a far more troubling situation with Italy, touching French, and recently even German bond sales as well.

“We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal…”

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