This is big… Just days after the National Association of Evangelicals refused to take a position on global warming, a group of 85 evangelical leaders held a press conference today to show their support for legislation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. From the New York Times:
The group which included prominent pastors, Christian college presidents, religious broadcasters and writers, also unveiled a full-page advertisement to run in Thursday’s New York Times and a television advertisement they hope to screen across the country.
“With God’s help, we can stop global warming for our kids, our world and our Lord,” the television spot declared….
However, the names of most of the president’s most influential Christian political backers were notably absent from the list of signatories joining the campaign. Possibly the best-known signer was Rick Warren, author of the best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life.
Specifically, the leaders called on Congress to pass legislation to create a trading system that would encourage companies to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, which scientists say is a major cause of global warming….
The Christian leaders said they were impelled by their faith to launch this campaign out of a growing realization that the threat of global warming was real and that the world’s poor would suffer the most.
“We of the evangelical movement have allowed ourselves to have blind spots,” said Duane Litfin, president of Wheaton College in Illinois, explaining why they had been relatively silent on the issue until now.
Paul de Vries, president of New York Divinity School, said: ”However we treat the world, that’s how we are treating Jesus because He is the cosmic glue.”
The leaders presented the results of a poll they commissioned of 1,000 evangelical Protestants which showed that two thirds were convinced global warming was taking place. Additionally, 63 percent said the United States must start to address the issue immediately and half said the United States must take action even if there was a high economic cost.
The Times focuses on the political angle (and that’s important); I think its interesting to see how Christian Evangelicalism is not at all monolithic on environmental issues.
Of course, the blogs have been buzzing on this one… For the evangelical viewpoint, check out the Evangelical Ecologist and Mark Byron. This will be fun to watch, as I genuinely believe that the anti-global warming evangelical leaders are much more concerned about their political standing than their faith.
Finally, if someone could explain to me the concept of “cosmic glue,” I’d be much obliged…