Playing Politics With Creation
E. Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance recently blessed us all with an article titled Greening the Churches: The Role of Left-Wing Foundations in the Rise of Religious Environmentalism. In the article, Mr. Beisner attempts to provide evidence that religious groups have been overtaken by valueless, corrupt, liberals. Such evidence includes faith organizations’ support of recycling and clean air. Keeping families healthy — this is some scary stuff! (Insert eye roll.)
After spending five minutes of my life reading the article, I’m left with one very profound thought: can I have my five minutes back?
First, Mr. Beisner’s argument is a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black. If he wants to say that liberal funding has biased religious environmentalism, he better make sure Cornwall Alliance’s funding hasn’t biased religious anti-environmentalism. Unfortunately, liberals have done their homework too. Cornwall Alliance has been linked to big oil like ExxonMobil and conservative groups. Could Exxon’s big spending bias Cornwall Alliance’s policies denying climate change? The answer is yes.
Second, Mr. Beisner seems to have an overarching concern that environmentalists support population control. Basically, he’s scared that greens want to kill babies. If that’s true though, why would environmentalists want to protect public health? In his own article, Mr. Beisner cites an example of Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) supporting tougher controls on mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. EEN launched a “pro-life” campaign to protect babies who were exposed to the harmful chemical and put at risk for permanent brain damage. Does this pro-life campaign seem like a form of population control? The answer is no.
The first two preliminary points aside, my overarching problem with Mr. Beisner’s article was the “so what” feeling I couldn’t escape. He just didn’t say anything that was worth reading. So what if some religious groups are funded by liberals? So what if Cornwall Alliance is funded by conservatives? Environmentalism isn’t a political issue. It’s an ethical issue — a moral responsibility.
It doesn’t matter if you want a big government or a small government. You should take it upon yourself to respect the land and animals around you. It doesn’t matter if you’re pro-choice or pro-life. You should respect the right of all people to breath clean air and drink clean water. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree that climate change is caused by humans. You should limit yourself and stop wasting energy on luxuries and possessions.
If you call yourself a Christian, then these are things you should be doing already. You should know that Jesus would never buy a gas-guzzling car just to impress his neighbors and friends. You should already love creation and all living things.
You would never buy into political rhetoric when it comes to matters of faith.
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