Change Alley

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Baptists Toughen Environmental Stance

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Green CrossHot on the heels of the Catholic Church including environmental pollution on its list of mortal sins for the 21st Century , the Southern Baptist Church declares that it has been “too timid” on environmental issues. Senior members of the Southern Baptist Convention have signed ‘A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change‘, which shows a growing sense of urgency about climate change even within groups that once dismissed climate change as a liberal con-trick. The Declaration lays out four “statements for consideration”:

  • Humans Must Care for Creation and Take Responsibility for Our Contributions to Environmental Degradation
  • It Is Prudent to Address Global Climate Change
  • Christian Moral Convictions and Our Southern Baptist Doctrines Demand Our Environmental Stewardship
  • It Is Time for Individuals, Churches, Communities and Governments to Act

The signatories have acknowledged that not all Christians accept the science behind global warming. Fellow believers are not asked to back any proposed solutions that would violate Scripture, such as advocating population control through abortion. However, current evidence of global warming is “substantial” and the threat is too grave to wait for perfect knowledge about whether, or how much, people contribute to the trend.

“Our cautious response to these issues in the face of mounting evidence may be seen by the world as uncaring, reckless and ill-informed. We can do better.”

I couldn’t put it better myself. I never thought I’d find myself on the same side of the aisle as a conservative Christian group, but as Francois de La Rochefoucauld said “The only thing that should surprise us is that there are still some things that can surprise us.” I feel much more comfortable with the Baptist position than that put forward by the loonies at the Heartland Institute. Their ‘Manhattan Declaration On Climate Change‘ states “Global warming is not a global crisis” and demands that “all taxes, regulations, and other interventions intended to reduce emissions of CO2 be abandoned forthwith”.

The Baptist denomination is the largest Protestant group in the United States with more than 16 million members. I wonder how many members of the Heartland Institute they can count amongst their flock.


Written by Pete Smith

March 11, 2008 at 9:55 am

One Response

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  1. Yes, good post. Yes, who’d have thought we would find ourselves agreeing with the Christian Right. But kudos to them for the Declaration.

    Christian Moral Convictions and Our Southern Baptist Doctrines Demand Our Environmental Stewardship.

    Absolutely. Even if global warming wasn’t human-induced, I’m astonished to know that there are still many Christian folks who don’t feel an obligation of responsibility towards the Earth that their God created.

    The Heartland Institute Declaration is reckless but unsurprising. It’s part-funded by Exxon isn’t it? Bunch of twerps!


    March 13, 2008 at 3:24 pm

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