As the Faith in Public Life Blog noted, conservative evangelical Christians gathered this week to promote their view that global warming is not the result of human actions and that American economic interests trump environmental concerns.
...Call to Truth, Prudence and the Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming. Endorsed by more than 100 leading evangelical scholars, theologians, scientists, economists, pastors and others, this paper is a direct response to the Evangelical Climate Initiative's "Call to Action" released earlier this year. The ISA paper lays forth solid scientific, economic, ethical, and theological arguments against mandatory carbon-emissions reductions called for by the ECI to mitigate global warming, identifies unintended consequences that would be of serious harm to the world's poor, and articulates a reasoned approach to environmental stewardship.
The Evangelical Climate Initiative is a group of conservative Christians which broke with the Bush Administration earlier this year by claiming that global warming was in fact caused by humans (which they note is the conclusion draw by the world scientific community) and that:
Christians must care about climate change because we love God the Creator and Jesus our Lord, through whom and for whom the creation was made. This is God's world, and any damage that we do to God's world is an offense against God Himself (Gen. 1; Ps. 24; Col. 1:16).
Christians must care about climate change because 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 Christ himself (Mt. 22:34-40; Mt. 7:12; Mt. 25:31-46).
Christians, noting the fact that most of the climate change problem is human induced, are reminded that when God made humanity he commissioned us to exercise stewardship over the earth and its creatures. Climate change is the latest evidence of our failure to exercise proper stewardship, and constitutes a critical opportunity for us to do better (Gen. 1:26-28).
Love of God, love of neighbor, and the demands of stewardship are more than enough reason for evangelical Christians to respond to the climate change problem with moral passion and concrete action.
The Republican Party-aligned Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) helped to form the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance. It is worth noting that the Heritage Foundation is a think-tank closely aligned with the Bush White House.
Greed clearly motivates the work of the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance. There is no real scientific debate anymore over global warming and despite their claim they care little for the poor. Many of the people involved with ISA - including IRD and the Hertiage Foundation - have supported economic policies that benefit the weathly at the expense of the "least of these."
But truth matters less to these folks than God's call for us to be responsible stewards of creation. The release of this statement from conservative evangelicals is really a sign of desperation on the part of Republicans concerned that their political reign in Congress may end come November. History will remember the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, IRD and the Heritage Foundation as groups that have abandoned God in the pursuit of profit.