Monday, April 24, 2006

Is God an environmentalist?


This most recent Earth Day has gotten a lot more press than usual, seemingly due to the increased environmental awareness of the evangelicals (and perhaps the 'crunchy conservatives').

Today in the USA Today there is an article titled "Is God an Environmentalist?" It is nothing profound (and spends most of its time trying to bash Bush for his energy connections), but I did like the catchphrase "What Would Jesus Drive?" Would he drive a Prius? Or does He not see anything morally wrong with driving a gas-guzzling Hummer?

And then in the USA Today Rod Dreher, Mr. Crunchy Conservative himself, writes an article about the need for Christian conservatives to take seriously the call to protect the environment. Here's the conclusion:

For too long, conservatives have ceded political efforts to care for creation to liberals. We Christian conservatives are finally recognizing that conservation is a matter of moral and spiritual integrity. And we're learning that the challenge facing humankind from climate change dwarfs the narcissism of the usual left-right politics.

Politics, however, is the primary way to address a challenge to the commons this massive — and politics won't shift until our paradigm for thinking and talking about the environment does. The responsibility for that lies with open-minded and imaginative folks from both the liberal and conservative camps — men and women who care more about conserving the natural world and the human civilization dependent on it than they do about protecting their political purity and fundraising base.

Bottom line: When people like me start to believe Earth Day is for us, too, the earth will move under Washington's feet. But as long as cultural perceptions keep Earth Day a sectarian holiday for secular liberals, the pace of political change will be, alas, glacial.

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