Karen Armstrong’s recent piece in The Guardian reminds us all, in the wake of Katrina, about the universal spiritual necessity of honoring the earth. As she points out, it’s a religious as well as spiritual imperative, embedded in the teachings of all the great traditions. One of my own mentors, Sallie McFague, proposes that we understand sin as “living out of touch with reality.” (See her book, The Body of God, for more about this. Of course, this could also be the definition of madness, for which see here.) What better description could there be of the way our current government has behaved, with respect not just to Katrina but to pretty much all else? Is this an example of how “Jesus touched my heart“? When the president was claiming Jesus as his favorite philosopher, he must have forgotten large parts of the Law (Torah), the Prophets, and the teachings of Jesus himself — those parts that enjoin us to care for our neighbors, the widows and orphans, the strangers and aliens, and the earth itself.