Tomorrow marks the beginning of the Lenten season for many Christians. For me, it brings back distant memories of frozen breaded fish cutlets, limited television, and sneaking an M&M here there when I was supposed to be abstaining from candy. All that time I merely considered it a mandate of my parents based on doctrine, and not, perhaps, a matter of moral obligation.
But, the 21st century is upon us, and a new set of options are surfacing. The Church of England is recommending a different approach. Instead of giving up food, how about minimizing your carbon footprint? The Guardian Unlimited reports that leaders within the Church say that Lent is an ideal opportunity to challenge adherents to exercise moral restraint in their consumption habits. The bishop of Liverpool is calling for a “carbon fast”:
"It is the poor who are already suffering the effects of climate change. To carry on regardless of their plight is to fly in the face of Christian teaching. The tragedy is that those with the power to do something about it are least affected, whilst those who are most affected are powerless to bring about change. There’s a moral imperative on those of us who emit more than our fair share of carbon to rein in our consumption."
The Church has even gone so far as to detail a list for the 40-day carbon fast. I’m not so sure I’m willing to part with my bath yet (day 14). *grin*