USA - Lake Erie Given Rights

Arno Froese

Voters in Toledo approved a “Lake Erie Bill of Rights” as an amendment to the city charter, a measure aimed at giving the lake and its watershed legal rights that can be defended in court.

The measure was approved after winning approval by 61 percent of the voters.

Toledoans for Safe Water said they were pleased to get the measure approved despite the opposition of special interest groups, such as industry and the farm lobby.

“It was definitely a long, hard struggle to get to this day, but all the hard work and countless volunteer hours by everyone in our local community group has paid off,” said Crystal Jankowski, an organizer with the group. “We started this more than two years ago and had to overcome election board decisions and protests in court just to get on the ballot.”

Backers described the law as the first of its kind in the U.S. and said it guarantees the right of Lake Erie to exist, flourish and naturally evolve.

“It is in accord with the larger Rights of Nature movement and philosophy which, over the past decade, has resulted in Ecuador’s 2008 constitutional acknowledgment of the rights of Mother Nature; New Zealand’s 2014 granting legal personhood to the Te Urewera forest; and India’s courts ruling in 2017 that the Ganges and Yamuna rivers have rights to exist, thrive, and evolve,” a news release states, which was issued by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit which helped draft the amendment.

The “Rights to Nature movement” is apparently seen by at least some farmers as an attack on private property rights.

“The Charter Amendment is an unconstitutional and unlawful assault on the fundamental rights of family farms in the Lake Erie watershed—like the Drewes’ 5th generation family farm,” said Thomas Fusonie, one of the lawyers who filed the suit for the Drewes family. “The lawsuit seeks to protect the Drewes’ family farm from this unconstitutional assault.”, 27 February 2019

Arno's commentary

While we respect individuals, organizations, and nations that go above and beyond to protect their natural resources, it seems that in this case there is more to it. It is not simply water for farmers who want to grow their crops, which is understandable, but this spirit is moving in a totally different direction. It’s global; New Zealand, for example, is “granting legal personhood to the Te Urewera Forest.” India’s Ganges and Yamuna Rivers “have rights to exist, thrive, and evolve.” While we are unaware of the additional details regarding the Lake Erie issue, we quickly sense that this, in reality, is a spiritual matter. Mankind begins to worship creation instead of the Creator. That, we believe, is the underlying spiritual reason.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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