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 Post subject: Environmental Evangelist
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:42 pm 
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I heard part of an interview today that Terry Gross of the NPR program "Fresh Air" did with Richard Cizik, who is the vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, a lobbying organization that represents 45,000 churches (the organization that Mr. Haggard was the president of until his recent fall from grace because of his "gay sex" scandal. Mr. Cizik is a conservative Christian who preaches the message of environmentalism from a pro-life perspective. He talks about creation care in relation to the threat of global warming, and he has apparently taken a lot of heat for it (no pun intended) from older evangelical leaders. In the segment of the interview that I heard, he talked about their being a generation gap in the evangelical movement, and that younger members of the movement seem to be much more open to addressing issues such global warming and poverty. He described his 'conversion' to becoming an activist against global warming after reluctantly attending a climate change conference and being impressed by the scientific basis for the arguments, but even more impressed by what he considered the biblical reason for opposing global warming. He also was highly critical of statements that some Evangelical leaders have made to the effect that incidents like Katrina were God's punishment for New Orleans being a sin-loving city, or because it was holding a gay rights parade. He very adamantly insisted that the evangelical leaders that were making these statements were misinterpreting the bible.

I highlight this simply as a reminder that it is all too easy to paint all the members of a particular group with one brush, but that the reality is that there is a wide variety of views within in a one particular umbrella group. I think that is an important point to remember.

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Last edited by Voronwë the Faithful on Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:04 am 
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I don't know what direction you intended this thread to take, V, but this brought a question to my mind. When you strongly disagree with a certain point of some group's agenda - equal rights, in this case - how far can you go in allying with that group on other points, say the environment, without compromising your position?

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‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:11 am 
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Frelga, I think my point is that the agenda of a "group" is not always as easy to discern as it appears. Certainly, Cizik has taken a lot flack from other Evangelicals about his stand on global warming.

Personally, I have no problem with agreeing with him about global warming, and about fighting poverty, while disagreeing with him about "equal rights". That having been said, I have no idea what his personal views about "equal rights" are, and I don't want to make assumptions about what they are based on my understanding of the "group" designated as the "Evangelical movement" believes. Because maybe that assumption would be wrong. Just as an assumption that I might make that a vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals would not be an environment activist would be wrong.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:40 am 
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NPR had another story about Cizik, today, on All Things Considered. This story is about an alliance that Rev. Cizik (vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, as I said before) has formed with Harvard BioChemist Eric Chivian, to lobby Congress on global warming. One of the backers of this unlikely alliance is Edward Wilson, a Harvard biologist and famed secular humanist.

Quote:
Richard Cizik and Eric Chivian say that if more people from science and religion would sit down together as they are doing here, they will discover surprising common ground, and, as Chivian describes it, a universal, even divine, truth.

"We all breathe the same air, we all drink the same water," Chivian says. "And our children, if we leave them in an impoverished world, then we will have committed not only something that's foolish, but it's deeply ignorant and morally inexcusable. And we're saying that together."

Agreeing, Cizik adds, "And to all of that… I say, Amen."


Amen.

Evangelists and Environmentalists Join Forces

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