Sunday, March 27, 2005

Creation Care

On Easter, the Moose points out an opportunity for the donkey to forge an alliance with the faith community.

The Moose has longed maintained that there is a contradiction in the religious right being tied to a party whose master is Mammon. Now, with the emergence of evangelical involvement in protecting the environment, the donkey has an opening to forge an alliance with social conservatives.

As the New York Times reported recently, the National Association of Evangelicals has joined the fight against global warming,

"The Rev. Rich Cizik, vice president of governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals and a significant voice in the debate, said, "I don't think God is going to ask us how he created the earth, but he will ask us what we did with what he created...

"Mr. Cizik said he was among many evangelicals who would support some regulation on heat-trapping gases.

"We're not adverse to government-mandated prohibitions on behavioral sin such as abortion," he said. "We try to restrict it. So why, if we're social tinkering to protect the sanctity of human life, ought we not be for a little tinkering to protect the environment?"

Currently, the NAE is deliberating what legislative vehicles they will support to address global warming. Senator Lieberman is working to elicit support from the evangelicals for the global warming legislation that has been introduced by Senator McCain and him.

Last fall, the NAE adopted a fascinating document "For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility," a platform that includes a plank on "creation care". Here is an excerpt from this document,

"The Bible teaches us that God is not only redeeming his people, but is also restoring the whole creation (Rom. 8:18-23). Just as we show our love for the Savior by reaching out to the lost, we believe that we show our love for the Creator by caring for his creation.

"Because clean air, pure water, and adequate resources are crucial to public health and civic order, government has an obligation to protect its citizens from the effects of environmental degradation. This involves both the urgent need to relieve human suffering caused by bad environmental practice. Because natural systems are extremely complex, human actions can have unexpected side effects. We must therefore approach our stewardship of creation with humility and caution."

The Republican Party has long betrayed the legacy of T.R. and prudent environmentalism. A party that worships at the altar of the almighty dollar cannot defend God's creation. However, can the donkey reach out to those whose public involvement is inspired by their faith.?

One Democrat, in particular, shows the way - Joe Lieberman. For instance, consider how Senator Lieberman framed his opposition to drilling in ANWAR,

"Why does it matter so much to me? Sure it relates to our national energy policy. Does it develop enough oil to really matter to price or availability? No. Can we drill our way out of our energy dependence on foreign oil? No. We've got to think and innovate and entrepreneur-ize our way out of it. But honestly for me this all began at the beginning with the Bible and with the instruction that God gave to Adam and Eve that they should both work and guard the Garden of Eden, which is to say that they should not only develop and cultivate it, but also protect it. We are here for a short time. The Psalms tell us that the earth is the Lord and the fullness thereof. We've got a responsibility to protect the beauty of nature that has been given to us. Some places, for the generation that will follow us, to work and to guard."

And the Moose says, "Amen."

-- Posted at 11:44 AM | Link to this post | Email this post