Anomalies From the Rooftop

Theology from Anomalies. One story a day from the world of Christianity that is just a little off-beat. Sometimes, in shouting the good news from the rooftop, Christians do some strange things.

Friday, August 18, 2006

United Church of Canada Rejects Bottled Water

The United Church of Canada, which at about 600,000 members is Canada's largest Protestant denomination, has recently passed a resolution asking its members to stop buying bottled water. This proposal, which originated from a congregation in London, Ontario, seems to have had its roots in the Untied Church's Lenten program on water this past spring, Water in Focus. In turn, this is related to the ecumenical KAIROS project's current activities regarding water.

This is all well and good. Water conservation and municipal water development are serious social issues to be addressed. People probably do spend more money on bottled water than they need too, and it's certainly not the best use of our resources as Christians. If Christians put all the money they spent on bottled water towards food banks and homeless shelters, we could probably make a pretty substantial dent.

But why is it that the United Church of Canada is putting itself in the headlines by recommending against bottled water? The main thrust of their campaign, according to social policy coordinator Richard Chambers, is "concern about the privatization of water. The United Church is committed to supporting municipal water sources wherever they exist in the country and strengthening those.'' This rather socialist sounding line is logically absurd. People do not drink nearly is much water, bottled or otherwise, as they use for other purposes--cleaning, cooking, watering, bathing. The development of municipal water sources will continue regardless of whether some people buy bottled water to drink or not.

Moreover, why can't the United Church of Canada find a way to phrase its social justice initiatives in a way that sounds at least vaguely Christian? Or did I miss the part of the Bible that was anti-privatization and pro-municipal utility development?


Post a Comment

<< Home