Evangelical enviros leery of associating with, uh, enviros
Richard Cizik, head of the National Association of Evangelicals, is heavily hawking the notion of “creation care” these days. (That would be God-flavored environmentalism, for those not in the know.)
Three weeks ago, he talked up the concept with NPR’s Scott Simon (whom I wholly adore, but that’s a topic for another post).
This past weekend, he got his mug and his pitch in The New York Times Magazine, via a Q&A with Deborah Solomon. An excerpt:
Q: What is wrong with [the] term [environmentalism]?
A: It’s not the term. It’s the environmentalists themselves. I was recently speaking with the leadership of the Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Federation, and I told them, ”Gentlemen, I respect you, but at this point don’t plan on any formal collaborations.”
Q: Why? Because they lean to the left?
A: Environmentalists have a bad reputation among evangelical Christians for four reasons. One, they rely on big-government solutions. Two, their alliance with population-control movements. Three, they keep kooky religious company.
Q: What is your idea of a kooky religion?
A: Some environmentalists are pantheists who believe creation itself is holy, not the Creator.
Q: And what’s No. 4?
A: There’s a certain gloom and doom about environmentalists. They tend to prophecies of doom that don’t happen. Look at the movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” in which New York City freezes over.
The evangelicals don’t want to play with the enviros, and — sad, but true — that’s probably smart strategizing. The Christian right already knows how to get Bush’s attention, and Rove’s devotion. Can any green groups say the same?