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dogemperor [userpic]
Is God an environmentalist?

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]herupaneb)

By Mary Zeiss Stange
Mon Apr 24, 7:00 AM ET

"Every day is Earth Day if you are a landowner." So President Bush proclaimed to the leaders of several conservation organizations he had invited to tour his Texas ranch during his 2004 re-election campaign. Bush might well feel that way about his 1,600-acre spread outside of Crawford. But Earth Day 2006, this past Saturday, marked the greatest erosion in environmental protections in modern U.S. history.

Related: Focus on Faith

Even as states are moving independently of Washington to adhere to provisions of the Kyoto accords, the GOP-controlled Congress has held off legislation to limit fossil fuel emissions, and the Environmental Protection Agency persists in claiming that the science surrounding greenhouse gases and global warming is "uncertain."

It is hardly news that environmentalists are critical of the Bush administration's track record on issues ranging from climate change, to mineral exploration on public lands, to the gutting of the Endangered Species and Clean Water acts. What is new is that the latest chorus criticizing his environmental policies comes from deep within the president's political base.

In the run-up to the last presidential election, the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals adopted a resolution affirming "that God-given dominion is a sacred responsibility to steward the earth and not a license to abuse the creation of which we are a part." A year ago, more than 1,000 church leaders signed a statement cautioning Bush that "there was no mandate, no majority, or no 'values' message in this past election for the president or Congress to roll back and oppose programs that care for God's creation."

A second Eden

The idea that the Bible gives humanity "dominion" over the earth is nothing new to U.S. religion or politics. Early colonists brought the notion with them from England, christening this "New World" a second Eden, a vast garden there for the tilling. The agricultural/industrial complex was built on this fertile metaphorical foundation.

So President Reagan's Secretary of the Interior James Watt could praise national parks as "cathedrals to the wonder of nature and to the glory of the Creator." This at the same time he was authorizing massive mineral and timber exploitation on public lands, and declining to set aside any more pristine wilderness for protection. Fittingly, critics dubbed Bush's recently resigned Interior secretary, Gale Norton, "James Watt in a skirt."

But many evangelical Christians are profoundly uneasy with such an interpretation of the biblical injunction to "be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it." Calling themselves "Creation Care" activists rather than "environmentalists" (a designation they associate with liberals, secularists and Democrats), they represent the conservative wing of a broader movement within American Christianity that scholars refer to as "ecotheology."

Unlike their generally more left-leaning colleagues, these folks are not tree-huggers: Many are skeptical about things such as the hole in the ozone layer and acid rain, and they are socially conservative on issues such as overpopulation. They nonetheless represent a sea change in the relationship between religion and environmental politics.

'What Would Jesus Drive?'

Employing the language of stewardship rather than dominion, they talk about "Responsible Creation Care" and ask, "What Would Jesus Drive?" They turn down thermostats and install solar heating in their churches; they collect rain runoff to water organic community gardens. They publish study guides leading groups through questions such as, "Does God care about the natural world? ... What is our connection with the rest of creation? What is the appropriate way for humans to carry out our responsibilities toward nature?"

According to Peter Illyn, founder and executive director of the Christian environmental stewardship group Restoring Eden, they "have a sense of a God that's bigger than just an angry white man who tends to vote Republican."

Bush likes to say, when asked how he goes about making decisions, that he answers to a higher power. In the case of environmental policy, that power has been the energy industry. Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in economics and chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton, recently remarked that Bush "has an uncanny ability not to see the big message. For years, it has become increasingly clear that much is amiss with his energy policy. Scripted by the oil industry, even members of his own party referred to an earlier energy bill as one that 'left no lobbyist behind.' "

The "big message" here may ultimately be that Bush's allegiance to the energy industry is placing him at odds with his evangelical base. In red states and in blue, "Creation Care" activists are taking their good old-time religion in the direction of renewable resources, conservation and environmental responsibility. With midterm elections in November, they may well be taking their votes in those directions as well.

Mary Zeiss Stange teaches religion and environmental studies at Skidmore College, and is a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors.


dogemperor [userpic]
Heinlein: On Theocracy

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]wyldraven)

Robert Heinlein himself, not one of his characters:

Read more... )

Note: This was 1952.

I just finished rereading Revolt in 2100. I still find it to be an excellent example of what the dystopic future of this nation may be like, if we don't get the theocrats put back into their boxes.

X-posted to [info]wyldraven

dogemperor [userpic]

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]evil_genius)

Is the Washington Times some kind of front new sources??
I just noticed this article: http://www.washtimes.com/national/20050711-095636-9468r.htm

dogemperor [userpic]
Hi everybody! Hi Dr. Drew!

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]jehovahsfitness)

This one is courtesy of my roommate, who frequents alt.support.diabetes. There's a Usenet poster by the name of Dr. Andrew Chung who evidently believes the best way to save sinners from hell is to annoy the hell out of them. Instead of addressing the relevant topics of particular Usenet groups (usually, but not limited to, medically-related groups) Chung has taken to expounding a bizarre mix of end-time prophecy and nutrition to save souls. His canned response to anyone who tells him to quit his improper behaviour is that they have "666 stamped on his/her forehead." Though he has been posting on Usenet since 2001, his number of posts has expanded quickly in the past few months. Thus far in April he has posted 1136 messages. Spam in that large of a dose is unhealthy for anyone, especially diabetics. I wonder how many people have been turned off by his behaviour and left these groups, why they could recieve potentially life-saving information. I wonder if anyone has informed Chung that it's hard to save a someone's soul once they're dead.

Another Dominionist connection: he likes to spout that Christian persecution rubbish. Over the years he has been called out on his trolling numerous times. Some people have even been so angered as to threaten him, and post his address. Chung has responded by accusing many people of cyberstalking on his website. Looks like Andy is a fan of the old baiting technique.

I feel sorry for anyone who has to have their heart operated on by this man.

Current Mood: annoyed
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