Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Is God an environmentalist?
Not according to the likes of Jerry Falwell and James Dobson. I've never understood the partisan and cultural divides on environmental issues; what's global warming have to do with being a liberal or conservative? Understanding the GOP's tie to big business explains their reticence to accept the validity of climate change, but not the stance taken by so many prominent Christian fundamentalists.
I've seen Falwell on TV actually encourage his followers to go out and buy more SUV's. And since the environment has nothing to do with excoriating gays, Dobson has no interest. Fortunately, there are some evangelicals not bound by such ignorance, including the much-hyped author of "The Purpose Driven Life."
Rick Warren was among 86 Christian leaders backing a major initiative to fight global warming, saying "millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors."
Other signers of the statement, which will be released in Washington on Wednesday, include the presidents of 39 evangelical colleges, leaders of aid groups and churches, like the Salvation Army, and pastors of megachurches, according to the New York Times.
"For most of us, until recently this has not been treated as a pressing issue or major priority," the statement said. "Indeed, many of us have required considerable convincing before becoming persuaded that climate change is a real problem and that it ought to matter to us as Christians. But now we have seen and heard enough."
Not everyone's on board. Dobson was among those who signed a letter in January declaring, "Global warming is not a consensus issue," joined by 22 other evangelical leaders including former Nixon aide Charles Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries and Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
As usual, they seem to be defying the very Bible in which they claim is infallible. God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to "work it and take care of it," according to Genesis 2:15. And in the parable of the wise servant, Christ says we must be good stewards of the things he has placed in our care. Assuming these fundamentalists believe the Earth was created by God, aren't they then required by Jesus to protect its health?
***Pictured: Jerry Falwell tests out the water slide at Heritage U.S.A. after pilfering the Christian theme park from Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker following the PTL scandal in 1987. Fortunately, he didn't wear trunks.