Friday 21 March 2008

thick and thin

In Break Through, their critique of environmentalism, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger remark that many people who say they are concerned about the environment give less than $100 a year to environmental groups; in contrast, many evangelicals give 10% of their income to their church.

One reason the authors give for this big difference is 'the experiences the two groups create for themselves'. The church offers community, participation and a strong sense of identity: 'the evangelical identity is thick, the environmentalist identity is thin.'

A very similar observation is made in a blog discussion going on about the value of theatre. One Chicago blogger visits her in-laws' church in Texas and wonders: 'Why can't we and other theatres inspire that type of devotion?'

A comment that follows (from Scott Walters again) points out that the church is 'more people-oriented than product-oriented ... the congregation is the focus of the institution.' Much more here.

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