Those who don't want to talk environmentalism but rather only focus on abortion and homosexuality are far from the kingdom. Destroy them which destroy the earth. — Revelation 11:18
The following is an important excerpt from: "People of Faith." SolveClimate. Last accessed: February 17, 2008:
In 2003, creation care.", head of the Evangelical Environment Network, launched his influential campaign. Around this time, progressive evangelicals began to drop the term environmentalism in favor of "
In 2004, the 30 million member National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) published its " (PDF)," a platform that included global warming. Soon after, the influential Evangelical magazine Christianity Today ran an editorial in support of the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act. In February 2006, 85 evangelical leaders launched the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI). The ECI invokes biblical passages to link climate change with fundamental Christian convictions. Like the fact that climate change will hit the poor the hardest:
"We are called to love our neighbors, to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, and to protect and care for the least of these as though each was Jesus Chirst himself (Mt. 22:34-40: Mt. 7:12; Mt. 25:31-46)."
In January 2007, the NAE announced a joint climate effort with scientific groups, called an for the first time urged bishops, scientists, and politicians to address climate change. He has since made several follow-up appeals.And in April 2007, Pope Benedict
And this doesn't even begin to cover the many interfaith projects. These include the Interfaith Declaration on the Moral Responsibility of the U.S. Government to Address Global Warming. It has 500 signatories from top leaders across the religious spectrum.
Not All Roses and Chocolate
While many people of faith are clearly energized, the conversion on the global warming issue has not been universal, especially in the Evangelical camp. As the NAE and other groups have forged a new breed of Evangelical environmentalism, others have accused the converted of diverting attention from more important issues, like abortion and homosexuality. These conservatives want to park the movement solidly on the wedge issues that have proven so politically divisive, and they've tried to banish the environmentalists in the process.
wrote a letter (pdf) to NAE urging its board of directors to stop its policy director, Rev. Richard Cizik, from advocating climate action or force him to resign. They failed in their very public and very embarrassing bid., some of them (James C. Dobson, Gary L. Bauer, and Tony Perkins, to name a few)
The controversy over religion and politics is as old as this country. But the "wall of separation between church and state" can't stop the faith community from being an influence on politics and policy. It never has.
So while environmentalists (and most of America) keep pushing the climate science, the faith groups are increasingly pushing the moral authority of climate action. It's a collaboration that could change the face of climate action in Washington, and the entire world.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)