Thursday, September 19, 2019

Union Theological 'Confessing' to Plants

A tweet from Union Theological Seminary has caused a stir on social media. The tweet shows a photo of students gathered near plants. In the tweet, it is said that participants are "confessing" to the plants.  As you can imagine, this has raised the eyebrows of some Christians on social media who find the gesture odd and even blasphemous.   


After the backlash, the account of Union Theological Seminary tweeted this explanation of the photo:



The explanation did not do much to hold back the criticism. Many see the act as pagan in nature. According to Union Theological Seminary, the students are "confessing" to plants, or asking the plants for forgiveness for the harm humanity has caused to them. As we all know, humans have not been a friend to nature. Plants are very important organisms in nature. They aide in the creation of oxygen, clean the air of impurities and carbon dioxide. Plants also help circulate oxygen and are a major food source for many animals.

While the photo does look odd, I can understand where the students are coming from. They are trying to create an optic of humanity harmonizing with nature. St. Francis himself spoke to many things in nature. This was not Paganism. He saw all creation as family. As long as the students are doing this in a Franciscan sense, I do not see any problem. In fact, I even joked that maybe they were trying to prevent an event like that in the plot of the 2008 movie, The Happening.






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