September 2, 2016
By Kristen Johnson
Pope Francis called this week for Christians to fight climate change.“God gave us a bountiful garden, but we have turned it into a polluted wasteland of debris, desolation and filth,” Francis said in a document released to coincide with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. (Reuters)
The Pope’s opinion on the matter is in stark contrast to that of many Christian Conservatives and so-called “climate deniers.” It’s bizarre to me that one can choose to “not believe in” climate change. It seems like not believing I’m sitting here or that the sky is blue. Willful ignorance is unacceptable, and many people choose it.
Pat Robertson, in2014: On today’s edition of the “700 Club,” Robertson said actions to curb human-influenced climate change are part of an anti-American “socialist agenda,” saying it all goes back to “the playbook of Obama’s mentor.” (Right Wing Watch). Also, Environmentalists/socialists, he went on to say, have an agenda: to “take over all of the plants and the manufacturing of the world.” And “to see a billion people die.” (Salon.com)
Jerry Falwell, talking about it as far back as 2007, : “Now that alone ought to let you sleep better at night, after you read Al Gore and attend his ‘Inconvenient Truth’ film,” Falwell said. “It may get him an Oscar, and also get him elected. I mean that what it’s all about, politics. The fact is, it’s all phony baloney. The fluctuation of temperature is real, and the temperatures have risen somewhat the last few years…. This is cyclical and has been since God created the earth.” (EthicsDaily.com)
In reviewing quite a few online articles and studies, it appears that Christian Conservatives overwhelmingly don’t put the environment high on their list of concerns, or they deny that climate change exists at all. More alarming is the stance of the current Republican candidate for President of the United States, Donald Trump and his Vice Presidential running mate Mike Pence. Any internet search turns up quotes going long back from both of them about climate change and global warming being a hoax, a conspiracy, and just one big way to put Americans out of work.
Willfully “choosing” not to believe in science is backward and dangerous. Beyond that, it’s un-Christian. Didn’t God create science? As people of faith, aren’t we required to take care of the Earth?
Psalm 24:1-2 (NRSV): The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; 2 for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.
Psalm 89:11 (NRSV): The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it—you have founded them.
Psalm 115:16 (NRSV): the heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to human beings.
Stop the rhetoric. Stop the fear. Stop the willful ignorance. Take care of the earth that God has created for us.
Serve all with love.
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