Ann Coulter, Raping the Land, and Christian Jubilee

The ethic of conservation is the explicit abnegation of man’s dominion over the Earth. The lower species are here for our use. God said so: Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, and rape the planet—it’s yours. That’s our job: drilling, mining, and stripping. Sweaters are the antibiblical view. Big gas-guzzling cars with phones and CD players and wet bars—that’s the biblical view. Ann Coulter

I’m unsure where Ms. Coulter said that or within what context it appears; it’s quoted in Jesus for President, which I’ve been greatly enjoying these past several days.

What she says, though, doesn’t strike me as an uncommon notion, and when put so bluntly, it’s disturbing. Is it our God-given right to plunder the planet?

Or are we to practice jubilee?

Are we free to use the land, only if we use it wisely? And are we to give it a rest every seventh year?

The practice of jubilee is one of grace and concern; in it, there is no room for “rap[ing] the planet.”

And the concept of jubilee encompasses much more than just how we handle the land, but also how we handle debts (we are to forgive them), enemies (we are to love them), captives (we are to free them), and more.

If any of you have studied (or practiced!) jubilee, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

3 thoughts on “Ann Coulter, Raping the Land, and Christian Jubilee”

  1. That’s something I’m not sure about. Christ certainly fulfilled the Law, but He didn’t abolish it. In fact, He quoted from Leviticus as if it was very much in force. Likewise, much of the epistles are grounded in the Law, not as if these things were no longer requirements, but as if they were still binding upon everyone.

    Unless jubilee was part of the ritual cleanliness or worship laws… Those laws were indeed culminated in Christ, which is why Gentiles don’t have to be circumcised and why we don’t have to sacrifice lambs in Jerusalem annually… or why we don’t have to miss out on ham sandwiches and such. But if jubilee was part of the moral law (along with such things as not committing adultery or homosexuality, not rebelling against parents, and so on), then it would still be binding. And given that the spirit of jubilee is ever-present in Jesus’ and the apostles’ teachings, I’d lean toward it being in effect, though perhaps waiting until every seventh year is too long. Let the kingdom come today, forgiving debts, releasing captives, freeing slaves, and so on sooner rather than later.

    In other words, just as Christians have sabbath rest fulfilled in Jesus and are no longer bound to finding it in a particular day but rather rest in Jesus continually… so to may Christians find jubilee fulfillment in Christ so that we may be free to practice it always rather than being bound to a particular year.

    As I stated in the post, though, I’m new to the concept of jubilee and am finding it fascinating. Take the above comments with a grain of salt. :)

  2. We are to have dominion over the land. My take is that Adam’s job was to work the garden, extending the paradise of God to the entire world. Likewise, it is our duty to subdue the earth in worship to God. God is not honored by raping the land, nor is He honored by a year of Jubilee. Jubilee, like all of the Law, points to Christ who fulfilled all of the law. It is good to forgive debts and the other aspects of Jubilee, but is not a Law requirement.

  3. Jubilee is definitely talking about moral law, and it strikes me that Christ wanted us to go beyond the letter in terms of moral law.

    From an agricultural perspective letting the land rest once every seven years might have been good in the horse and plow days, but in the time of high yeidling hard wheat and durum and tractor plowing and planting my great grandfather had to let his land rest every three years (rather, he let one third of it summerfollow (rest unplanted with stubble). Within the last 20 years a lot of farmers have stopped doing that at all and have substituted artificial fertilizer for natural regeneration, that strikes me as a bad thing but I won’t go into reasons why.

    Applying financial jubilee is more complex, while people may often owe me money its usually not a substantial amount, and the bank is not about to extended jubilee to me. Its not so much of if we should apply the concept but how. Properly Jubilee requires both being forgiven and forgiving. As much as we can forgive debts we can’t properly have a financial Jubilee

    In the broad concept though I think its good to give ourselves a rest too. I’m taking about a year off this year just because I want time with my family and I can. I guess it is about 7 years since I started working. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it again but hey, its good.

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