There’s plenty of fresh bad news out there about global warming. Perhaps the power shift in Washington has caused various groups to issue a flurry of press releases. Perhaps new hot steamy data has come to light. Perhaps the rearranged congress will be listening. Perhaps not. Whatever.
The 13th global warming tipping point is, “a shift in human perception that would push humanity to avoid mayhem by addressing global warming with the urgency it deserves.” – a Mother Jones e-mail about The Thirteenth Tipping Point: 12 Global Disasters and 1 Powerful Antidote, an article I haven't read. It looks interesting…and long.
I went for a recreational ride today. I started in the fading light and finished in the darkness. I’ve recently re-discovered the recreational ride; it sure is nice to go without a set of clothes in a messenger bag. It makes me want to ride what little urban singletrack is available. I did.
I also rode without an mp3 player which caused me to realize I haven’t been doing that enough. I remembered the clarity of thought that comes from a quiet bike ride. I like that.
The Fascination: Why the Narrow Agenda of the Religious Right Doesn't Really Do Much For Me
Start with the religious right’s (as personified by James Dobson, arguably the most powerful voice of the religious right) fascination with a narrow agenda and strategic use of politics to create legislation.
The Conversion – Richard Cizik
Last spring I learned that Richard Cizik, National Association of Evangelical’s Vice President for Governmental Affairs had a conversion experience.
“…in 2002, I had a conversion to the science of climate change…global warming, if you will — is the third rail, 'you touch it, you die.' Well, I've touched it.” – Richard Cizik, Krista Tippet’s Speaking of Faith
His response to his conversion, in part, was to openly support the Evangelical Environmental Network (www.creationcare.org), the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) (www.christiansandclimate.org), and no doubt encourage his own organization to adopt a global warming position.
With Cizik’s help the ECI published a letter, "Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action" signed by 86 evangelical leaders, including the purpose driven Rick Warren, urging global warming action. According to Jim Wallis "the very day the article came out the White House called the NAE to ask what policies they were most concerned about."
The Third Rail - James Dobson Jumps to Action
On his radio show he said:
"...we believe that Richard Cizik and his colleagues are dividing evangelicals and setting them at odds with each other, as though we have to choose between that issue and the others that we feel so strongly about." – Focus on the Family Radio Show May 19 Warning: I'm referencing myself here.He signed an opposing letter:
“…addressed to the National Association of Evangelicals…which last year had started to move in the direction of taking a stand on global warming… [the letter] asked the National Association of Evangelicals not to issue any statement on global warming or to allow its officers or staff members to take a position.” – New York Times, Evangelical Leaders Join Global Warming Initiative, February 8, 2006And perhaps he tried to get Cizik fired. I’ve seen it written by a source I trust, on the internets (“so it must be true.”). I’m not going to point to the source but I have mentioned the post before. If you want it you’ll have to earn it. Besides, how can an outsider prove something like that anyway:
“Higher powers at the NAE, he said, insisted he remove his name [from the ECI letter]… (translation: Cizik, its oft-quoted spokesman, should zip it). "It looked like Tony Soprano had whacked one of his own," says Cizik. "People asked me, 'Rich, do you still have a job?' “ – Moving Heaven and Earth, KRON 4 TVWho were the higher powers at the NAE? Meet former National Association of Evangelicals President Ted Haggard:
“[Dobson] went on to say, ‘Ted has been my close friend and colleague for many years...He will continue to be my friend even if the worst allegations prove accurate.’” – Haggard Admits Buying Meth, Denver PostA Local Manifestation of the Narrow Agenda
Abortion - “Thank you for your email regarding the reporting of campaign finance activity for a group called Bound4LIFE…I do not know if their activity would require the filing of a report but if the group raised, collected or disbursed money to influence a ballot question, it is likely that a report should have been filed.” – South Dakota Secretary of State
The Other One - "You can see it coming. Why do you think that they’re trying to extend all of the privileges of marriage to the homosexual community? This is an orchestrated effort. I’m guaranteeing you, they’re going to want to sweep in and take the babies. They’re going to be the ones who want to care for the babies…We have to steal theses babies from the hand of this dragon." – Bound4LIFE representative