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Old 02-09-2006, 06:48 AM   #1
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Evangelicals Against Global Warming

Quote:
The New Climate Coalition

by Sheryl Henderson Blunt
ChristianityToday.com
02/08/2006



Environmentally concerned evangelicals, including megachurch pastors, Christian college presidents, and theologians, announced their support February 8 for a major effort to combat global warming.

During a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington organized by the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), a new coalition called the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) released a statement signed by more than 85 evangelical leaders.

The statement, Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action, says "human-induced climate change is real," and calls on the U.S. government to pass legislation establishing limits on carbon dioxide emissions—widely believed to be the primary cause of human-induced global warming. "Millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors," the statement reads. "Christians must care about climate change, because we love God the Creator and Jesus our Lord, through whom and for whom the creation was made. This is God's world, and any damage that we do to God's world is an offense against God himself."

Organizer Jim Ball, executive director of EEN, the group known for its 2002 "What Would Jesus Drive?" campaign, stressed the importance of the statement's theological message. "This is not a political statement being made," Ball told CT. "We are trying to be faithful to the lordship of Christ. It's my commitment to Christ that's driving me. He's said: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart' and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Global warming is going to affect millions in this century, and we feel we just can't stand by. We have to do something about it."

Among the signatories: bestselling Purpose-Driven Life author and pastor Rick Warren, World Vision president Rich Stearns, Salvation Army national commander Todd Bassett, Christianity Today editor David Neff and executive editor Timothy George, Wheaton College president Duane Litfin, and former National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) president Leith Anderson.

Litfin told CT that some evangelicals have "probably had some blind spots" in responding to environmental issues such as global warming. He said he hoped his involvement would "raise the profile of this issue within the evangelical world." "I just want to see us more carefully trying to think through: What are the Christian's responsibilities to God's creation? I'm not sure we've fulfilled that stewardship very well, as a nation or as individuals. We can do a better job."

The effort involves a "close to half a million-dollar" ad and publicity campaign beginning with full-page ads in Roll Call and The New York Times on February 9, Ball said. The campaign will follow with a TV spot on Fox News, radio spots on Salem Radio Network, and an ad in Christianity Today.

Evangelical Climate Initiative supporters kicked off the day with a breakfast meeting with Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn. Last year Lieberman and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., cosponsored a bill designed to create a "cap and trade" system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That bill died in the Senate.

While not endorsing a specific bill, the statement calls for federal legislation that would establish emission limits and require "sufficient economy-wide reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through cost effective, market-based mechanisms such as a cap-and-trade program." Ball said he was encouraged by a nonbinding resolution that passed the Senate last year affirming this approach, but "the House is a different situation" and "a good place for evangelicals to make a difference."

Noticeably absent from the group of prominent evangelical supporters are James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries, and NAE president Ted Haggard and vice president for governmental affairs Rich Cizik. Cizik originally signed the statement, but said his name was withdrawn "to display an accommodating spirit to those who don't yet accept the science on the severity of the problem."

Last month Dobson, Colson, and 20 other evangelical leaders, including Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, wrote Haggard urging the NAE not to adopt "any official position on the issue of climate change," due to disagreement among evangelicals over "the cause, severity, and solutions to the global warming issue."

The problem, said James Sherk of the Evangel Society, is "most of the steps they want to take to combat global warming will inflict tremendous economic damage and do very little to affect climate change...We have a responsibility to care for the earth, but also have a responsibility to care for poor, and we shouldn't implement policies that would just casually destroy the hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth that could be put to use feeding the poor, aiding the homeless, and providing people with jobs."

An October 2005 poll conducted by Ellison Research and paid for by EEN revealed that about 750 of 1,000 surveyed born-again or evangelical Protestant Christians support hallmark environmental issues like reducing global warming or protecting wilderness areas from development. About 250 say they support these issues strongly. A slight majority of evangelicals, 54 percent, said they believe Christian faith should generally encourage people to support environmental issues.

Ellison Research president Ron Sellers said he was surprised that even 49 percent of politically conservative evangelicals say "global warming is a long-term problem, we are causing the problem today, so we must begin addressing the issue immediately." Sellers also said 44 percent of politically conservative evangelicals would support taking steps now, even at a high economic cost, assuming "that global warming/climate change is occurring, is mainly caused by human actions, and poses a significant threat within your lifetime."

"And that's before any of their leaders have come out and said it's a serious problem," Ball said. "Once evangelicals are convinced this is happening, the other numbers are going to shoot right up."
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Old 02-09-2006, 07:48 AM   #2
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Old 02-09-2006, 11:25 AM   #3
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These evangelicals are probably out of line politically with other evangelicals who don't believe in global warming.
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Old 02-09-2006, 02:18 PM   #4
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I'm sorry, this article seems mostly to point out evangelicals who SUPPORT environmental action. The opponents (no names of which are surprising) seem to be clearly in the minority here.

But hey, a good headline is a good headline...

Tony Campolo, a well-known Christian speaker and author, has been campaigning for environmental responsibility for at least the last fifteen years. If we take God's command to tend the earth seriously, it's probably the least we can do to demand environmental accountability from our leaders.
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Old 02-09-2006, 09:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977
I'm sorry, this article seems mostly to point out evangelicals who SUPPORT environmental action.
Right, and that's precisely what the thread title (which is, indeed, a headline; I lifted it directly from another paper) implies. Evangelicals united against global warming by virtue of supporting environmental action against it.
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Old 02-10-2006, 10:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland

Right, and that's precisely what the thread title (which is, indeed, a headline; I lifted it directly from another paper) implies. Evangelicals united against global warming by virtue of supporting environmental action against it.


we all have a tendency to misread things when we already have a preconceived notion and working expectation of what any articles posted on FYM regarding evangelicals is going to be about.
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Old 02-10-2006, 11:40 AM   #7
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Does the political involvement of evangelical leaders give rise to a theocracy watch headline?
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Old 02-10-2006, 11:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Does the political involvement of evangelical leaders give rise to a theocracy watch headline?


it's not my thread

besides, the "THEOCRACY WATCH" is specifically related not to the political engagement of evangelicals, but to the remodeling and refashioning of government into something much more "biblical" as deemed by an oligarchy of self-appointed christianist political and cultural figures.

demanding government action on global warming is one thing.

praying for the death of SCOTUS judges and having meetings with Karl Rove so that one might be "reassured" of a potential SCOTUS nominee is something *completely* different.
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Old 02-10-2006, 11:49 AM   #9
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It is the interjection of religious leaders in the political direction of the country. I would suggest that the evangelical leaders signing this statement have a biblical basis for what they are doing. And want it imposed on the American society. Can we really "permit" (or question) participation of evangelical leaders in the political process on a subject by subject basis?
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Old 02-10-2006, 05:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
It is the interjection of religious leaders in the political direction of the country. I would suggest that the evangelical leaders signing this statement have a biblical basis for what they are doing. And want it imposed on the American society. Can we really "permit" (or question) participation of evangelical leaders in the political process on a subject by subject basis?
I think the GOP already does that on a regular basis.

In an ideal world, religion would have no place in government; their ideal position is to guide individuals on a non-partisan basis. In the real world, however, we tend to have the exact opposite, so having liberal evangelicals put on political pressure is an intended counterbalance to the regular onslaught of conservative evangelicals bombarding us with their political opinions.

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Old 02-10-2006, 05:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
It is the interjection of religious leaders in the political direction of the country. I would suggest that the evangelical leaders signing this statement have a biblical basis for what they are doing. And want it imposed on the American society. Can we really "permit" (or question) participation of evangelical leaders in the political process on a subject by subject basis?


i wish i had the time to really delve into this question, because it is a good one -- but one basic difference is that no one is using the Bible as "moral" justification for the removal of civil liberties or the regulation of human behavior. further, the theology, if you will, is substantiated by hard science, and this might be a nice example of where theology and science are on the same page and can compliment each other to create good policy.

abortion, pornography, marriage equality, intelligent design, etc., are all issues that play upon ill-defined notions of "morality" and what is "right" -- there is nothing objective, really, to discuss.

you'll notice, though, that the ID movement has tried, desperately, to graft science upon a protestant creationist worldview. this is a good example of a theocratic impulse -- the manipulation of what some call "science" -- in order to justify a belief that has no place in objective reality. in the global warming situation, evidence is already in place, and these religious groups are using theology to inspire members to action.
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i wish i had the time to really delve into this question, because it is a good one -- but one basic difference is that no one is using the Bible as "moral" justification for the removal of civil liberties or the regulation of human behavior. further, the theology, if you will, is substantiated by hard science, and this might be a nice example of where theology and science are on the same page and can compliment each other to create good policy.
You may see a difference, but it may be one acceptable due to an agreement with the underlying issue. And as for no regulation of human behavior, I thought the underlying goal of the “global warming” agenda was to change the way we behave from an environmentalist world view.


Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
abortion, pornography, marriage equality, intelligent design, etc., are all issues that play upon ill-defined notions of "morality" and what is "right" -- there is nothing objective, really, to discuss.
These notions may be ill defined for some, but other have found independent reference points that help define right and wrong.
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Old 02-10-2006, 11:51 PM   #13
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Finally.

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