Friday

The Environmentalist Preacher

I was having lunch with the pastor of a church and we were talking about his plans for a new church complex on some raw land they owned. We got into the environmental impact issues he was fighting and he told me a couple of stories.

One day some enviroweenie showed up at the property to inspect it to see if there might be some sort of special habitat there that couldn't be disturbed. According to the enviroweenie the property "looked like it could be habitat for an endangered butterfly". The pastor asked if any such butterflies had been found and was told no, but they could be there. The pastor then asked "what kind of birds eat those butterflies?" The enviroweenie demanded to know why the pastor needed that information, and he told them that he was going to "buy a couple boxes of them and turn them loose on the property". The enviroweenie was aghast.

He also told me of another church in San Marcos that had bought some raw land for a new church complex and were advised by their attorney that the moment the sale was complete to take a grader and scrape every living thing off the land. Every bush, every tree, every gopher hole. Don't get a permit or ask anyone for permission - just do it. The attorney told them that if they didn't clear the property immediately some enviroweenie would try and claim that the land was habitat for some critter or another and they'd end up in court for years trying to fix it. It was better to risk a small fine from the city for grading without a permit. And that's what they did.

Sometimes it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

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