Respect the Human Community as the Earth Community

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Once again, it is stated that human-Earth relations depend on sound human-human relations.

“Every being has a right not to be abused by humans, a right not to be despoiled of its primary dignity whereby it gives some manner of expression to the great mystery of existence, and a right not to be used for trivial purposes.”

– Thomas Berry, “An Ecologically Sensitive Spirituality”, 1996, in
The Sacred Universe by Thomas Berry, 2009, Columbia University Press.

A comment by Rob Ham, M.A.

Of course Thomas was referring to the Earth’s nonhuman creatures and systems. It is true that they must be respected if our species is to survive. However, while we are fostering respect for the nonhuman, shouldn’t we also protect the marginalized segments of the human community from abuse by other humans? How will the poor and people of color ever devote themselves to the love and respect of the Earth community necessary to avert global environmental crisis until they are confident in the love and respect of their own human family? Love of the Earth community and love of the human community are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they must be achieved simultaneously if we are to survive.


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