The Weather Channel has a feature called Forecast Earth. They do stories a lot of stories but the emphasis is on climate change and problems caused by drought, water shortages and the like. One of the stories this week featured two of nearly sixty evangelical leaders who have dome togther to support the Evangelical Climate Initiative. They include pastor of mega churches, scholars, a fairly wide range of church leaders. I was able to find a link to an interview with one, Joel Hunter, who pastors a large church near Orlando Florida. These church leaders see caring for the environment and the people in those environments as part of their ministry. That they’ll have to account to God for their action or inaction. The Orlando Weekly had an excellent interview with him that was published a couple of years ago.
What was really interesting was the recorded reactions of evangelicals who don’t agree that climate change is a pressing problem. Honestly, as much as I think that these folks are sadly mistaken I would like to know how much editing was done for the program. Because these guys sounded so lame. Especially the “God promised after the Flood that he wouldn’t do it again.” Well, yeah, he did. Didn’t say anything about preventing us from doing to ourselves. Frankly, after listening to some of these people I was starting to wonder where the pods were hidden. They sounded that out of touch with what's happening in the world.
And there was the dorky guy with the nerdy glasses and the philosophy degree who really didn’t see why a few degrees increase in temperature was such a problem. For cryin’ out loud where have you been for the last five years.
Since the seventies and the rise of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority and Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition the term evangelical has been co-opted by the most conservative wing of American Christians. I’m sure that there are a lot of things that these pastors and I would not agree on. But, we’re finally hearing other voices. That being pro life foes beyond being anti abortion and pro business. It’s always amazed me that when it’s time to change business practices to help the environment it might cut into profits and hurt the poor and shouldn’t be done. But when corporations outsource jobs concern for the poor is nowhere to be found. When corporations like Monsanto attempt to patent seeds and tell farmers "you buy your seed from us, period" I see no concern for anything but the bottom line.
Hopefully we're seeing a new generation coming on line in time to do some good.