Friday, February 17, 2006

It's Not Easy Being Green

There are some prominent Christian leaders who believe that we aren't doing enough to protect the environment. The Evangelical Climate Initiative issued a statement entitled "Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action," reminding us that it is our duty as Christians to practice good stewardship.

How do we do that? By following a few helpful tips, like switching to fluorescent light bulbs, using public transportation and learning to "study the Bible in light of the impacts global warming will have on people and God's other creatures."

But let's not forget that really good stewardship means more socialist government regulation:
    In the United States, the most important immediate step that can be taken at the federal level is to pass and implement national legislation requiring sufficient economy-wide reductions in carbon dioxide emissions through cost-effective, market-based mechanisms such as a cap-and-trade program.
It isn't enough to exercise personal responsibility and encourage others to do the same. No, we must call upon the power of government to force people to respect God's creation. Never mind that the "science" upon which global warming fears are based is dubious at best. The important thing is that our lives appear to be "purpose-driven." And what better way to do that than to champion a social cause like radical environmentalism in the name of saving the poor people of the world from complete annihilation?


Kathy O'Leary said...

Even if you don't agree that human activity is contributing to global warming you have to admit that working to reduce overall pollution by lowering the levels of carbon and sulfur dioxide in our atmposhere is a worthy cause and certainly a moral duty as being a steward of creation is concerned. With regard to your comment about promoting a socialist agenda. From your previous posts you seem to be in favor of forcing everyone to pray to Jesus Christ, but you are not interested doing anything more than suggesting that we take care of God's creation. That sounds like a contradition to me.

Lee Shelton said...

I think we should all do what we can to take care of the environment. However, I don't think Christians need a political agenda to do that.

For example, you and I can agree that that we should help the poor. But there is a difference between you and I helping someone and you and I expecting government to force others to help.

What the Evangelical Climate Initiative proposes is nothing more than socialism "supported" with a few verses of scripture. Are we to believe that Christians should use the force of government to do God's work?

As far as me wanting to force everyone to pray to Jesus Christ, can you give me an example of where I suggested that? I'm no theocrat.

Kathy O'Leary said...

It is not a political agenda it is a moral agenda. Its roots happen to be in scripture the same as the abolition movement and the same as today's pro-life movement. From a theological perspective, government exists to provide order and to care for the helpless and less fortunate. To say that "I don't pollute" is not enough. We need to make sure that we preserve the earth for future generations. Corporations will not change their business practices based on our moral values. They only respond to positive and negative effects in marketplace. If one of those negative effects happens to be a fine from the government than so be it.

With regard to my comments about forcing people to pray to Jesus Christ. In one of your earlier posts you were lamenting the decision of a state court to bar the use of the name of Jesus Christ in any of the state legislatures prayers. In order for that decision to be rendered someone who was effected had to file suit. By characterizing the actions of the court as "judicial activism" I took it that you would like to force the person who filed the suit to continue to pray to Jesus Christ.

Lee Shelton said...

You said: "From a theological perspective, government exists to provide order and to care for the helpless and less fortunate." Yes, government is to uphold law and order, but you will not find in scripture--or in the Constitution, for that matter--that government is to care for the helpless and less fortunate. That call is directed to believers and churches. Scripture does not give us the right to force other people to give to the needy, but that's what happens when we ask government to take control of what should be our responsibility as Christians.

Put simply, Christianity says, "What's mine is yours; I'll share it." Socialism says, "What's yours is mine; I'll take it." There's a huge difference between the two.

Back to the question of forcing others to pray to Christ. First of all, Darrell Dow, a contributor to this blog, made the post to which you are referring. Secondly, he in no way called for forcing people to pray to Christ. The issue was judicial activism. The judge in question was overstepping his constitutional limitations by saying that legislative prayers could not invoke "Christ's name or title or any other denominational appeal." Just as no one should be forced to pray in Christ's name, no one should be forced not to pray in Christ's name. Once again, it was an example of government sticking its nose where it doesn't belong.

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