Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Thou shalt have clean air says The National Association of Evangelicals

Excerpt from the New York Times:
...the National Association of Evangelicals, a nonprofit organization that includes 45,000 churches serving 30 million people across the country, is circulating among its leaders the draft of a policy statement that would encourage lawmakers to pass legislation creating mandatory controls for carbon emissions.

Environmentalists rely on empirical evidence as their rationale for Congressional action, and many evangelicals further believe that protecting the planet from human activities that cause global warming is a values issue that fulfills Biblical teachings asking humans to be good stewards of the earth.

"Genesis 2:15," said Richard Cizik, the association's vice president for governmental affairs, citing a passage that serves as the justification for the effort: "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."

"We believe that we have a rightful responsibility for what the Bible itself challenges," Mr. Cizik said. "Working the land and caring for it go hand in hand. That's why I think, and say unapologetically, that we ought to be able to bring to the debate a new voice."

Not to mention the fact that in order to "work the land", one must be able to breath.

A major obstacle to any measure that would address global warming is Senator James M. Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who is chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and an evangelical himself, but a skeptic of climate change caused by human activities.

Mr. Inhofe has led efforts to keep mandatory controls on greenhouse gases out of any emission reduction bill considered by his committee and has called human activities contributing to global warming "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."

"You can always find in Scriptures a passage to misquote for almost anything," Mr. Inhofe said in an interview..."

Oh I agree. That's how the extra chromosome church was built on a platform of anti-abortion when there is nothing in the Bible about abortion at all and the word wasn't mentioned by some of the most devout pastors on the West Coast until the mid 80s.

Mr. Inhofe said the vast majority of the nation's evangelical groups would oppose global warming legislation as inconsistent with a conservative agenda that also includes opposition to abortion rights and gay rights. He said the National Evangelical Association had been "led down a liberal path" by environmentalists and others who have convinced the group that issues like poverty and the environment are worth their efforts.

People of Oklahoma, are you listening to this guy?

At the same time, Mr. Inhofe said he took the association's stance seriously because of the influence its leaders had on people who generally voted Republican. Evangelical groups including the Noah's Ark Foundation lobbied successfully in 1996 to block efforts by the House to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

Now known as the Noah Alliance, the group continues to work on environmental issues, along with groups like the Evangelical Environmental Network, which describes itself as a "biblically orthodox Christian" organization. It subscribes to a policy of "creation care," which it defines as "caring for all of God's creation by stopping and preventing activities that are harmful," like air and water pollution and species extinction.

Wow, and when do they get to promoting the truly evil stuff, like poverty reduction and 'gasp' a national health plan?

John Green, a senior fellow for the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, said a policy statement from the National Alliance of Evangelicals could influence Congress. But the real test, he said, was whether the group's leaders could influence their congregants.

"It's still early in the process," he said of evangelical involvement in the environmental movement. "Among rank and file, evangelicals are as environmental as the rest of us. They're in favor of environmental protections, at least in principle."

On the other hand, he added, "they don't like environmentalists. They associate environmentalists with the Sierra Club and with people who have nontraditional religiosity. Alliance leaders have a real opportunity here, but the impediment is getting over the image of environmentalists."

That politics of personal destruction practiced by the right really really works doesn't it? It is especially effective when pushed by leaders of the church. They even persuade people to vote against their own good.

Christians need to learn that they will still go to heaven if they don't follow the most extreme of the televangelists, or any pastor that has chosen to mold himself in their image. Then they can consult with themselves and with God to find out how they believe they should best take care of the earth.


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