Christians believe that God created the earth and all that is in it and declared it good. Further, they consider that humans do not simply rule over the earth but that earth is an inheritance from their ancestors and a legacy for their descendants. Humanity's obligation is to see that succeeding generations can enjoy and utilize the fruits of creation as we do today.
Other parts of the Christian scriptures consistently call the whole community to show compassion for those in danger and call to justice those who endanger the innocent. People of faith have always responded to human need, whatever the cause, but our response to disaster in this century inevitable means response to disasters that are not wholly of natural origin, that are in fact created by human technology.
In response to natural disasters, people of faith work for recovery as a part of a structural team in partnership with business, government, and other segments of societal life. The alliances for the welfare of the community happen easily.
However, religious organizations that are comfortable responding to natural disasters may not know how to react to the technological aspects of a disaster. Traditional helping organizations and social service agencies may find themselves unprepared to assist.
The United Church of Christ, in collaboration with Church World Service, provids expertise and educational support to those congregations who accept the challenge of working within a community traumatized by a technology-caused disaster.
"...no more harmful than table salt or aspirin."
Suzanne Prosnier remembers the day she began to understand what was happening to her family.
"That morning my children went outside to wait for a ride to school and came back running and crying that their noses were burning. When I went outside, my nose burned also, in fact, so did my chest when I breathed in an unusually pungent odor. My 5 year old suffered an alarming bronchia spasm, asthmatic attack, the first of his life."
When she took her son in to be checked over, the doctor told her that the attack could have been triggered by drifting pesticides, such as those sprayed on the fields across from her home.
Mrs. Prosnier soon learned that hundreds, even thousands, of other families living adjacent to the farmlands were wuffering from similar ailments. When she called the state's pesticide control board, she was told that "what was being sprayed was no more harmful than table salt or aspirin.
Who's Poisoning America by Nadar, Brownstein, and Richard, pp. 3-4