The Religious Left and Environmentalism


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The religious left views capitalism as the root of a rapacious greed that causes men to exploit and even destroy the natural environment in exchange for financial profit. To combat these forces, religious leftists commonly anoint themselves as stewards of God’s earth, committed to defending its air, water, animals, plants, and natural resources from the ravages of free-market economies – especially America’s. (They have had less to say about the fact that China, the old Soviet Union, and the former Communist states of Eastern and Central Europe were responsible for pollution on a scale that dwarfed anything ever observed in the Western world.)

Source: Discover the Networks DTN
Resources: 1)Indepth Resource page on the environmental movement | indepth videos RSN Agenda 21
2) The Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship and A Renewed Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor 
3) Recommended DVD: Resisting the Green Dragon: with David Barton, WallBuilders; Dr. Michael Farris, Home School Legal Defense Assn.; Bryan Fischer, American Family Association; Pastor Jack Hibbs, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills; Bishop Harry Jackson, Hope Christian Church; Dr. Richard Land, Southern Baptist ERLC; Tom Minnery, Focus on the Family; Dr. David Noebel, Summit Ministries; Janet Parshall, National Radio Host; Tony Perkins, Family Research Council; Dr. Frank Wright, National Religious Broadcasters;Wendy Wright, Concerned Women for America—–An Evangelical Examination of the Theology, Science, and Economics of Global Warming

Green_EarthOne of the harshest critics of American industry is the Evangelical Environmental Network, which seeks “to educate, inspire, and mobilize Christians in their effort to care for God’s creation, to be faithful stewards of God’s provision, and to advocate for actions and policies that honor God and protect the environment.” Toward this end, the organization publishes environment-centered sermons for preachers to use, and offers interpretations of scripture to support leftist environmental agendas.

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A San Francisco-based group called the Regeneration Project – claiming to represent more than 5,000 church congregations in 29 states – has launched an “Interfaith Power and Light” campaign aimed at countering man-made global warming. In February 2009 another Regeneration Project initiative – “Religious Plea for a Green Stimulus” – delivered to President Barack Obama a petition opposing the construction of any new coal-fired plants in the U.S., urging drastic and rapid reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions, and calling for increased fuel-economy standards for American-made automobiles.

“When billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake, it is a moral issue,” said the Project’s founder, Rev. Canon Sally Bingham. “When the planet is in peril, it is a moral issue.”

The National Council of Churches (NCC) has established anEco-Justice Program to lobby Members of Congress to support legislation that will preserve public lands and reduce carbon emissions. In 2002 NCC was a party to “What Would Jesus Drive?” — a campaign that exhorted car manufactures to embrace stricter emissions standards.

An organization called Presbyterians for Earth Care (formerly known as Presbyterians for Restoring Creation) opposes oil drilling in Alaska’s Artic National Wildlife Refuge as part of an effort to heed “God’s call to be green.”

The Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), representing a host of religious organizations with a combined investment portfolio of more than $100 billion, pressures corporations to adopt leftist environmental agendas vis a vis pollution in low-income communities. ICCR also demands an end to “environmental racism,” a term founded on the notion that corporate polluters typically dispose of their waste in a manner that disproportionately affects poor, nonwhite populations.

The National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE) – a massive coalition supported by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Churches, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and the Evangelical Environmental Network – warns that “the ways we produce and use energy are wounding God’s creation.” To address this issue, NRPE urges Americans to organize “environmental awareness days,” write letters-to-the-editor about environmental matters, and lobby their political representatives “to play a strong international role in researching and preserving biodiversity worldwide.”

This section of Discover The Networks examines the environmentalist worldviews, objectives, and activities of these and many other key organizations that comprise the religious left.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

About the Author

Virginia Christian Alliance
The mission of the VIRGINIA CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE is to promote moral, social and scientific issues we face today from a Biblical point of view. In addition we will refute and oppose, not with hate, but with facts and humor, the secular cultural abuses that have overridden laws and standards of conduct of the past. We will encourage Christians to participate in these efforts through conferences, development of position papers, booklets and tracts, radio/TV spots, newspaper ads and articles and letters-to-the editor, web sites, newsletters and providing speakers for church and civic meetings.