The Parable of the Green Samaritan

St. Cuthbert’s in the Diocese of Toronto prides itself on its “environmental awareness”: it observes earth hour by igniting toluene polluting candles and, apparently, conducts eco-funerals; I’m not sure what they are but perhaps the bodies are cremated by candle heat.

In this spirit of Gaia awareness, St. Cuthbert’s has reinterpreted the parable of the good Samaritan. The answer to the question posed to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” has been expanded to include trees. For my part, that seems like an excellent idea: trees are so much easier to like than people – they don’t argue, fight, complain, or flatulate.

From here:

“For a long time, we’ve really struggled with (the question) what does that mean to love your neighbour? Now we are entering into this idea that neighbour should include endangered species,” LaFleur said.

To end the day, the massive white oak tree outside of the church was officially recognized as an Ontario Heritage Tree. Forests Ontario has been recognizing trees that have unique features, historical relevance, or artistic significance since 2009. For Canada’s 150th anniversary, Forests Ontario will be recognizing 150 notable trees.

9 thoughts on “The Parable of the Green Samaritan

  1. ” For Canada’s 150th anniversary, Forests Ontario will be recognizing 150 notable trees.”

    Trees are hard to impress. Expect a wooden response.

  2. Who is my neighbor? Those who is in need and we are able to help. Unfortunately, we are not able to help everybody, some only.

  3. For BallBounces and JJM: It isn’t nice to pick on old people. I will be in great pain for the rest of the day, and jealous because of being unable to think of a witty enough response.

    • Sorry, Grace.

      But happily I’ve now twigged to the fact that my obvious “Gerontophobia” is clearly the root of the problem here.

  4. There seems to be a new kind of arboreal “racialization” going on that seeks to glorify certain tree genus subcategories over others. For example, there are Red Oaks, White Oaks and Black Oaks (sometimes stigmatized as Swamp Oaks). I read books that glorify the inherent superiority of White and Red Oaks over the Black Oak. And now, at this Anglican parish in Toronto they’re honouring a *White* Oak tree —and they planted it right in front of their church!! This must be so painful for neighbouring Black Oaks, not to mention Black Walnut, Black Ash’s and others of the Black Arboreal Forest communities. Hypocrites! Shame!

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