Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Evangelical Climate Change Initiative

From the New York Times:

Despite opposition from some of their colleagues, 86 evangelical Christian leaders have decided to back 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."

Among signers of the statement, which will be released in Washington on Wednesday, are the presidents of 39 evangelical colleges, leaders of aid groups and churches, like the Salvation Army, and pastors of megachurches, including Rick Warren, author of the best seller "The Purpose-Driven Life."

"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."
The group will hold a press conference this morning at the National Press Club here in Washington. More later, if warranted.

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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Religion should keep out of politics and science, and vice versa. While their motivces may be honorable in reminding us that we are 'stewards of God's creation', it is inappropriate for churches, synogogues, mosques, temples, or other places of worship to make statements endorsing or opposing a purely secular issue.

Matthew66 said...

I disagree. I believe that in a democratic society that places great importance on free speech, any group within that society is entitle to voice its opinion on any matter whatsoever. The rest of us are free to criticize their opinions or disregard them if we wish. Similarly, if I feel so inclined, I can criticize the teachings of these same evangelical groups, and they are perfectly free to refute or ignore my criticisms. The right to free speech belongs to to all within a free society, not a select group.

Anonymous said...

Matthew,

Perhaps you are correct, but we are NOT, NOR should we ever be a democratic society. Democracy is what killed Socrates and is nothing more than three wolves and one sheep voting on what's for dinner. Rather, we are a Constitutional Republic where the rights of the minority are respected. Nothing is as much a minority as the individual.

I get very nervous when religion gets involved in politics, even when a religious organization may be 'pro-nuclear', because historically religion has been opposed to the rights of the individual, and generally makes the individual subservient to the theological collective, the worst examples being right wing Christian fundamentalists and Mid-East Islamic fascists (though there are more examples). I would think that religious organizations should focus on 'things of the spirit' rather than secular issues.

Matthew66 said...

Notwithstanding your views on the virtues (or lack therof) of democracies, free speech is a right enshrined in the US Constitution, which also establishes the separation of church and state. I empathize with your concerns about the influence of some religious organizations in the body politic, however, I still hold that where the US constitution grants the right of freedom of speech, that right belongs to all US Citizens, even those speaking on behalf of a religious institution.

Your point about the US being a Constitutional Republic is noted. My concern is that without democracy, an elite can decide what is the best for all of us. I am not sure that is any better than democracy. All "men" are equal, but some are more equal than others?

I would also observe that the way that most electoral districts in the US are gerrymandered effectively circumvents any propsect of democracy in US House of Representatives elections, and most state assemblies (particularly in the state of New York where I live). I find it very odd that people talk about Congresspeople being concerned about their seats, there are only about 40 seats in the House of Representatives that have any prospect of changing hands at the mid-term elections. Presidential elections are a little better (although I think the electoral college is unnecessary given that direct election is now technologically possible), and I suppose the Federal Senate elections are better still. I haven't really looked at the state Senates.

Anonymous said...

Matthew,

I agree with your explanation except for the following statement:

"My concern is that without democracy, an elite can decide what is the best for all of us."

This sentence should be changed to read as follows:

"My concern is that without individual liberty, an elite can decide what is the best for all of us."

Individual liberty is what matters, NOT democracy which is merely tyranny by the majority (and that is just as wrong as an elite deciding on what's best for all of us). In fact, all true morality is descended from two primary principles:

(1) The individual right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

(2) The non-initiation of force.

I would amend these 'Libertarian / Objectivist' principles, however, with what Robert Heinlein wrote (a third principle as it were):

(3) "All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplus, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly which can--and must--be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a 'perfect society'on any foundation other than 'Women and children first!' is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly--and no doubt will keep on trying."

Thus, I support nuclear power because of its relationship to these three principles.

For principle (2), nuclear power does not emit pollution to the environment which is in its truest sense is an initiation of force against others, in the case, particulates and green house gases into the atmosphere.

For principle (3), nuclear power provides low cost electricity that saves human lives and raises the standard of living all over, particularly in third world countries, two million of whose women and children currently suffocate from the effects of biomass burning every year.

And most importantly, for principle (1), by providing a wealth of energy, nuclear power provides greater individual opportunity to succeed, make a profit and exercise his or her liberty to its fullest extent. Poverty constrains individual liberty every bit as much as a dictatorship.

In conclusion, I think that religion is to be used for individual spirituality, whether one is Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Moslem, Buddhist, Taoist or Pantheist. Religious people have every right to take a stand pro- or con- on such issues as global climate change, but from a religious perspective, the issue is one of proper stewardship of the gift of creation that God (or one's 'Higher Power') has given us [though atheist Objectivists don't believe in any 'Higher Power' - I'm not nearly that radical - honest! :-) ]

Mike said...

There are so many things wrong with evangelicals endorsing the con job of man-made climate change it's hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the Bible as they seem to have forgotten their role, then we’ll move to the science of which they are ignorant.

As a bit of background, I am a Christian that has written on the subject of "Man and the Environment: The Biblical Balance." I worked in the nuclear industry for 15 years and have spoken to schoolchildren and teachers on science and energy topics. My degree is in Physics.

These religious leaders are completely ignorant of the intent and purpose of the eco-religion with which they have now aligned themselves. This religion is anti-Christian and closely aligned with Marxist/Communist elements that seek to undermine the economy and energy sufficiency of the United States.

The environmental religion has many facets but is essentially a worship of "Mother Earth." The entity that represents this is called Gaia (pronounced "guya"), the Greek goddess of Mother Earth. The pagan roots for this female personification date back to the earliest recorded history. The Utne Reader describes goddess worship as a mixture of feminism and environmentalism,

"Many believers-female and male–consider the goddess societies an ideal ideological blueprint to build environmental societies. . . . For many, the goddess represents the divine as embodied in nature. In the words of pagan author Starhawk, worshiping the goddess means 'choosing to take this living world, the people and creatures on it, as the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, to see the world, the earth, and our lives as sacred.' This explicitly ecological spirituality, which recognizes and reveres nature, is also seen by Starhawk and other eco–feminists as being implicitly political."
Jennifer Sells and Helen Cordes, Utne Reader, May/June 1991, p. 19.

Ironically, those most active in trying to restructure our society to eliminate manmade pollution are introducing spiritual pollution in the form of New Age (really old Babylonian religions) and earth goddess worship.

Ecclesiastes 1:10
Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

This idolatry is directly opposed to Christianity and threatens the survival of a nation and its people just as in King Solomon’s time. It is expressed in many forms. For example:

"We shall continue to have a worsening ecological crisis until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no reason for existence save to serve man."
Lynn White, Jr., "The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis," Science. Vol. 155, no. 3767 (10 March 1967): 1203–7.

Hatred of humans (the crown of creation from God’s perspective) is a defining characteristic of the green religion. For example,
"To feed a starving child is to exacerbate the world overpopulation problem." Dr. LaMont Cole, a Yale University environmentalist.
"If I were to be reincarnated, I would wish to return as a killer virus to lower human population levels." Prince Philip of Great Britain, co-founder of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

CORRECT BIBLICAL VIEW
In 1999 The Acton Institute set forth the Cornwall Declaration and published a monograph entitled Environmental Stewardship in the Judeo-Christian Tradition that offers unique Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant perspectives on this important issue. < http://www.stewards.net/About.htm > Acton Institute has it right. The evangelicals supporting the watermelons (green on the outside and red on the inside) have it completely wrong and have lowered their ill-informed practice of Christianity into the world of secular politics and junk science.

SCIENCE
Man-made global warming is a compete myth. The hockey stick curve used by the United Nations (another organization dedicated to American’s demise) to support this being the warmest century was a product of doctored data. I call it the "Enron of climate science."
Supporting documentation:
The M&M Project: Replication Analysis of the Mann et al. Hockey Stick
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/trc.html

Hockey Stick or Slapstick? (Roundtable Slides)
http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=293

Global warming: 21st century eugenics
http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43159

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Subscribe to the weekly newsletter from Dr. Singer to stay abreast of the science
http://www.sepp.org/
Greenie Watch blog provides daily updates on the abuse of science by the greenies
http://antigreen.blogspot.com/

Paul Primavera said...

While I am not quite as stuck to such a literal interpretation of Christian scripture as Mike, I think he is basically correct. The anti-nuclear 'environmental' movement is a pagan worship of everything that opposes the advancement of mankind. Whether one is an atheist Ayn Rand Objectivist or a Christian fundamentalist, the basic tenets of the anti-nuclear movement are antithetical to all that promotes human prosperity.

Paul said...

Book of Revelations Chpt. 8 vs. 10-11

"And the third angel trumpeted. And a Great Star fell upon the earth burning as it were a lamp and the name of the star is "wormwood." And a third of the waters, rivers and fountains were made bitter. And many men died because the waters were made bitter."

Guess what the Ukrainian word for "wormwood" is?

Paul, NIRS