Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Evangelical Climate Initiative

If it were really true that religion is the opiate of the people then I suspect issues of World Magazine would cost somewhere in the $125 range.

Friend Noel left a helpful link attached to my James Dobson post. I’d like to pull that out of comment obscurity and bring it right here to lead my post about evangelicals that Dobson is frustrated with.

(Initially I was going to specifically write about Richard Cizik. Cizik is the National Association of Evangelicals Vice President for Government Affairs. This week he’s going to be on American Public Media’s Speaking of Faith. The show will be freely available by podcast on Thursday. DO IT! But be careful, public media is known to be radical, for example this will be a 50-plus minute conversation between two people. When they interrupt each other they'll actually be sorry.)

World Magazine April 22, 2006: Greener than thou: Earth Day 2006 arrives with some evangelicals making a controversial push for radical environmental legislation

This article provides a glimpse from the “right” side at the rift between the evangelicals who are wasting their time on climate change and those who are…um…not. I highly recommend reading it. It introduces all the characters.

The article is dubious though…

The “push for radical environmental legislation” that the subtitle mentions is actually the approach affirmed by our US Senate in the Domenici-Bingaman resolution. This resolution was adopted in June 2005, back when the Senate was known to be radical and out of touch with reality. This push for legislation is one paragraph of a 26 paragraph document.

The first paragraph of the article suggests that the April Earth Day Gloom-a-thon (Time Magazine and 60 Minutes specifically) shaped these people’s opinions. The document was introduced in February and had little to do with Earth Day. The core individuals involved have been working on climate change since 2004.

Go here and see the radical action steps the Evangelical Climate Initiative recommends - “10 Things You Can Do as an Individual and Family Member.” The first one is to pray. That's a pretty good hint at just how radical these people are.

Here is an article about the rift from the New York Times perspective - Evangelical Leaders Join Global Warming Initiative

Here is a perspective from document signer Jim Wallis of Sojourner’s Magazine - An Evangelical Climate Change: 'I'm tired of those old white guys telling us what to think and do.'


Jim said...

Sometimes I think that some members of the so called "Religious Right" have a certain agenda that has less to do with religion than it has to do with supporting a certain political position. The same goes for the "Religious Left", about which we hear less. Funny how something as concrete as religious belief can lead to two or more divergent opinions on a particular topic. So maybe our various understandings of religion don't answer every question...

mytzpyk said...

Irregardless of whether religion answers every question, these days as evangelicals go so goes the administration. The Jim Wallis article demonstrates, "...and the new environmental concern did not go unnoticed by the White House—the very day the article came out the White House called the NAE to ask what policies they were most concerned about." That is part of why I’m telling the story.

Regarding whether religion answers every question I think you might be on to something.

Noel said...

Here is another article for you...

mytzpyk said...

Hopefully you left this article expecting I'd respond 'cause here goes...

I'll mostly skip paragraphs 1 and 2. There are some mischaracterizations but they're introductory paragraphs.

Paragraphs 3 to 5 can be dismissed. "A big part of the problem is that the current environmental movement..." A big part of the problem is the author and World Magazine's failure to recognize that this is not the current environmental movement.

If “Mega-pastor Rick Warren” and the Evangelical Climate Initiative have fallen for something on the far left then I’ll be the first to take off my clothes and frolic naked in the cornfield during his address at LifeLight this fall. And while it might be convenient to try to fit these people into a Green Party political box, that says more about World Magazine’s needs than the Evangelical Climate Initiative.

Paragraph 6 – the “don’t blame me, blame the modernists” paragraph. I’m happy recognizing that I and just about everybody else I know is a modernist.

Paragraph 7 – this is the key paragraph.

“…as if God did not sustain His creation and would give such power to fallen, limited humanity” - isn’t this what the fall was about? He did give us this power!

“…suspend their judgment about today's agenda-driven scientific announcements” – that’s fine as long as they take the agenda driven graph off the “Greener Than Thou” article. I love this graph because it purports to show how little things have changed. Last night The Boy 8 had three pieces of candy in front of him. I took one. He was pissed. Give me back my million sq miles of ice cap and I’ll be happier…and because my million is a distortion of the facts too, restore the overall thickness of the cap, because I understand ice melts over the whole surface not the edges.

“…the church has no particular calling or expertise in environmental science”, the decidedly unshelved Richard Cizik, NEA vice president says, “…and thus they retreated en masse from engaging on a critical front [science] that, in this time and year, 2006, we simply can't do anymore.”

Paragraph 9 – ah evolution. As a Christian evolutionist logically I know that my The Boys, with the peanut allergy of one and the lethal aversion to the fatal combination of cow’s milk and teddy graham in the other, are more likely to be naturally selected for termination than some other kids. I even understand the advantages of that for the human species. I just can’t get over my illogical love of them and my illogical desire to see them grow up into men. So naturally, I have an illogical desire to do everything I can to prevent that from happening. So to the author I say stuff it.

Paragraphs 8 to 11 – there, they get it. Now hopefully they’ll get to work because I think I’ve been doing a crappy job of creation stewardship and could use their help in figuring out ways to change..


Peter Illyn, the one-eyed environmental evangelist says, I’m not here to say the environment it the most important thing the church should be talking about, by I do suggest it’s the most overlooked.

mp3 – here.

website – Restoring Eden