Dakota Voice, 02/14/06: Preaching the Word-on Global Warming? Raymond J. Keating [Excerpts]—Do you ever get the feeling that some pastors and priests just aren't happy with their jobs-that they have become bored with the business of saving souls, and seek more tangible distractions? How else to explain the misuse of Holy Scripture to justify ventures in the realms of social activism by church leaders? Every person in the United States has the right to spout off their views about any topic they like. Trouble arises, however, when churches and clergy in their official capacities start staking out political positions on topics straying far from Scripture. Indeed, the environment has become a fashionable favorite. Liberal church leaders have been using their positions to rail against so-called manmade global warming for some time, and now this collection of evangelicals has joined the chorus.
Pastor Rick Warren was one of the 86 who signed the "Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action." So, where does activism on global warming fit in? These evangelicals cite assorted, vague passages from Scripture, arguing that these somehow support a particular environmental policy agenda. Not only is all of this atrocious theology, but it also happens to be bad economics and questionable, at best, climate science. The declaration ignores that while many in the scientific community acknowledge some inconsistent, uneven, and slight warming, there is widespread disagreement over possible causes.
Nonetheless, these Christian leaders assert: "Millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors." Such a statement is grossly irresponsible.
In the end, statements like this one on global warming from church leaders do the most damage by undercutting the church's moral authority. After all, if pastors offer worthless declarations on environmental policy, then how many people wonder about their authority to speak on abortion, marriage, or even on saving souls?
[TBC: Anyone remember Y2K?]