Links to a Friday story in EthicsDaily.com popped up around the Internet, as bloggers from the right, left and middle took exception to Jerry Falwell’s assertion that Satan is using global warming to distract Christians away from preaching the gospel and toward environmentalism.
Jim Wallis said on a blog co-sponsored by Sojourners and Beliefnet that Falwell’s comment, along with recent attacks by evangelical leaders on creation-care views of the National Association of Evangelicals’ Rich Cizik, show “just how far outside the evangelical mainstream the Religious Right’s views have become.
Traveling in Asia, emergent church leader Brian McLaren commented that he hears again and again when traveling outside the United States from chagrined Christians who ask: “Is it true that some Christians in the U.S. still oppose taking care of creation? Is it true some of them still deny the threat of human-induced climate change? Is it true there’s a pro-Hummer, pro-SUV mentality among American Christians?”
“I try to explain that some very famous and powerful people feel this way, but that many of us ignore them and pursue our passion to positively call people to care for God’s beautiful world in every way we can,” McLaren said.
Lesser-known bloggers ranging from secular humanists to conservative Christians linked to the article, which contained more quotes than an earlier story on Falwell’s sermon titled “The Myth of Global Warming” in the Associated Press.
Among other things, Falwell said Christians don’t need to worry about global warming because the Bible promises the seasons will continue to change until the Second Coming of Christ.
“That’s pretty much meaningless,” said a biology professor associate professor and “godless liberal” at the University of Minnesota. “Minnesota has seasons; Israel has seasons; I think, though, that most people would agree that there are substantial differences between the two. Even during the ice ages there were seasons. Global warming will not end seasonal differences in temperature and precipitation.”
“Do you think Jerry Falwell has ever read a book?” queried another science blog called The Rose Garden. “It seems that he’s an expert on environmental science. But then, I can’t think of a subject on which he’s not an expert.”
ATL malcontent dubbed Falwell its “Idiot du jour.”
“Scripture says what he says it does,” wrote AngloBaptist, “and Scripture says that we are to be stewards of creation, to love the poor, and to repent when we sin. We have not cared for our planet. This would be sin. And we evangelicals argue about what order our assistance to the poor should be in … aid or preaching, preaching or aid. We make a bit of a tangle of it.”
“Wouldn’t most of us agree that Falwell and many on the ‘right’ are caught up in plenty of things themselves that are distracting?” wrote hey, ya know what???, a Christian blogger who acknowledged other things in the EthicsDaily.com article that are “ridiculously far left.”
“Isn’t his political activism at least as distractive as global warming? Making our government fall into line with our faith is not what the Gospel is about,” he continued.
A blog called Dawn and Sunrise opined that Jesus “made the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak (and sensibly, I’m sure),” adding, “Somebody needs to help Jerry Falwell and his arrogant band of Pharisaic cultists find Jesus.”
“I hate flossing, wrote a missional church pastor named Billy Calderwood. “It’s tedious, time consuming and very inconvenient. There are so many other things I would rather do with the time it would take me to floss. Besides, I’m pretty sure my dentist is just a liberal alarmist when he says things like ‘tooth decay’ blah, blah, and ‘gingivitis’ blah, blah, blah…. It is for this reason that I have decided today to declare that flossing is a ‘Tool of Satan’ that diverts attention away from more important things in life like sharing the Gospel or playing online poker. (Okay so maybe that last one is not so important.) Still, I feel so much better now that I have found a moral argument that helps me to avoid the inconvenient truth.”
A blog called Daylight Atheism said the views of young-earth creationists, who tend to devalue the planet and view it as disposable, threaten not only themselves but everyone else who shares the earth with them.
“The irrational and dangerous faith-based views of fundamentalist Christians and others who view the planet as theirs to abuse as they see fit can completely undermine the efforts of any number of informed, devoted people,” it said. “These Christians are confident–suicidally confident–that Jesus is coming back soon and that this makes any major effort at environmental protection pointless, even a Satanic deception.”
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.