Sunday, March 04, 2007

What really matters

From the NY Times:
Leaders of several conservative Christian groups have sent a letter urging the National Association of Evangelicals to force its policy director in Washington to stop speaking out on global warming.

The conservative leaders say they are not convinced that global warming is human-induced or that human intervention can prevent it. And they accuse the director, the Rev. Richard Cizik, the association’s vice president for government affairs, of diverting the evangelical movement from what they deem more important issues, like abortion and homosexuality.

The letter underlines a struggle between established conservative Christian leaders, whose priority has long been sexual morality, and challengers who are pushing to expand the evangelical movement’s agenda to include issues like climate change and human rights.

“We have observed,” the letter says, “that Cizik and others are using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time.”

Those issues, the signers say, are a need to campaign against abortion and same-sex marriage and to promote “the teaching of sexual abstinence and morality to our children.”

The letter, dated Thursday, is signed by leaders like James C. Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family; Gary L. Bauer, once a Republican presidential candidate and now president of Coalitions for America; Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; and Paul Weyrich, a longtime political strategist who is chairman of American Values.

How delightful. Dobson, Bauer, Perkins--the self-appointed three musketeers of American Decency fighting the good fight to the end. How can anybody possibly care about an inconsequential little thing like global climate change--which, since the scientists who believe in it are probably liberals and evilutionists, probably isn't true anyway--when there are so many people doing things with their bodies that we think is icky and wrong? Fuck biodiversity; fuck sustainability; fuck the underprivileged--somebody somewhere is probably having an abortion or gay sex (or both!) at this very minute, and they must be stopped at all costs! Isn't it refreshing to see people take a stand for what really matters?

(hat tip to RSR)


Catherine said...

This has to be the most ironic statement I've heard in a long time...

“We have observed,” the letter says, “that Cizik and others are using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time.”


But, I don't want to set up a false choice. As much as I think the global crisi is probably the moral issue of our time, I am ALSO strongly in favor of allowing babies to live. I think the main problem is that a false choice has been set up in this country, so that nearly everyone believe (truly believes) that it logically follows that if you are FOR the values on Side 1, you are automatically AGAINST the values on Side 2. We end up fighting for or against ideologies but stop gathering data or using critical thought or empathy.

Catherine said...

Oh and, wasn't that letter written a long time ago? I remember reading it before...but there coul be two. :)

Also...thank you for FINALLY burying that horrible spider picture!

Literacygirl said...

I cannot believe the stupidity of these individuals. It's not about where you stand on global warning, it's about taking care of God's gift of creation. How can that not be in the same lane as issues such as poverty, abortion, stem cell researcb (regardless of your position.)

Dave said...

I'm not sure how old the letter is. I know that there was a previous statement signed by numerous evangelical leaders (including Duane Litfine, by the way) advocating greater dialoge on the climate change issue released quite some time ago, but I don't know how new this other letter is.

I mostly agree with your second point as well(although I'm not sure that I would come down on the issues exactly where you do), but I'm quite certain that your logic would be wasted on these guys. Call me cynical, but I honestly don't believe that people like Dobson are really even arguing in good faith anymore. He may have been James Dobson, Family Psychologist (or whatever), at some point, but he's spent so long being James Dobson, Republican Culture Warrior, that that's really all he is now (in view, anyway).

I think there's hope, though. It may just be that I live in California, where even the conservatives seem somewhat "liberal" compared to elswhere in the country, but it really seems to me like fewer and fewer take these guys seriously. Maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part. I dunno. What do you think?


ps. I think I may have to put up another spider picture, just for you! :)

Dave said...

Jill - I agree completely. Oddly enough, your comment reminds me of one of the books I got for Christmas that I still haven't managed to read. It's The Creation by Edward O. Wilson. He's a biologist and a secular humanist who grew up in a Baptist tradition writing to a hypothetical Baptist minister. Basically, it's attempt to find some common ground on which they can both stand together to fight the increasing destruction of earth's biodiversity.

Catherine said...

Oh, don't get me wrong Dave - I've thought that about Jimmy for a long time - more than a decade actually. I'm not addressing my logic to them.

I think you're right about things beginning to change. I heard an interview on a very conservative Christian station yesterday that said that while 38% of people who would consider themselves "born again" (in other words, a very evangelical, very conservative group of Christians) also consider themselves Republicans, 37% of "born againers" consider themselves Democrate and almost 25% Independant. This is new, the report was saying, and they listed things like the climate crisis as reasons why - that even very conservative Christians are having trouble buying the "morality = sex and nothing else" arguement anymore. The interview had a lot of other very interesting things to say as well, that I won't say here since I've gone on a long time and might not get the facts right either. But I thought the very fact that this radio station gave the interview and seemed to not see it as a sign that the world was ending to be a good sign. :)

Dave said...

Cath - That is a good sign!