In light of the recent summit on climate control going on right now in Copenhagen, The New Republic is re-running Bradford Plumer’s 2007 essay on evangelical environmentalism, “Greener Pastors.” The article still has relevance today.
Back in 2007, James Dobson and other members of the Christian Right were attacking evangelicals such as Rich Cizik for promoting “creation care,” the belief that there is a scriptural mandate to care for God’s creation. Dobson and his gang argued that Christians, especially the National Association of Evangelicals (the organization for which Cizik worked as a lobbyist) should not be involved in environmental efforts because it would distract evangelicals from fighting abortion and gay marriage.
Since this article first appeared, Cizik has resigned from the NAE over statements he made in support of civil unions for homosexuals. But the debate over climate control continues in the evangelical world.
The article makes clear that many evangelical environmentalists are not as much interested in making scientific arguments, Al Gore style, about the validity of global warming. Rather, they want Christians to obey the biblical mandate to care for creation, whatever their views on the science of global warming.
What I don’t understand is what the evangelical opponents of evangelical environmentalism really want? Are they opposed to recycling and limiting fuel emissions? Are they against recycling, changing light bulbs, driving hybrids, and other “green” initiatives? Since they do not seem to agree with evangelical environmentalists that there is a biblical mandate to care for the planet (creation), then do they think it is OK to litter, pollute, and waste energy? I don’t think so. But if you are going to oppose creation care, then what is the alternative?
Someone help me out here!