Adventist Voices: Greg Hoenes on Racism and Creation Care

In this Adventist Voices conversation, co-hosts Nathan Brown (Signs Publishing) and Dr. Maury Jackson (La Sierra University), speak with Pastor Greg Hoenes (West Region Director of the Southern California Conference) about his chapter in the book A House on Fire: How Adventist Faith Responds to Race and Racism.

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Interesting discussion of silos of racism and ecoracism but devoid of concrete examples of how this works. Hoenes seems to categorize people as suspect classes (white for instance), and victim (everyone else) but doesn’t say what they are doing to cause / perpetuate an unspecified environmental evil. The closest he comes is describing his suburban remoteness from the urban centers of Los Angeles and how this gives him the privilege of not experiencing the environmental problems faced in urban areas. But then doesn’t say what those problems are and therefore there’s no pathway to resolution. As the old adage says, if everything is racism than nothing is. Racism is real but this generous sprinkling by Hoenes without any racial context or example to add salt to his porridge is not helpful.

Ultimately an inconsequential interview that tugs at white heartstrings with a weak hand. This is the kind of unusable drivel that clogs up the gears of true progress when it comes to both race and the environment. People listen to this and walk away confused while those of us in the trenches beg for a friendly ear when we can take a break from the work long enough to call out.

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