Wise-use movement gaining political strength from fundamentalist Christians
Or so argues a new book by Stephenie Hendricks — Divine Destruction: Wise Use, Dominion Theology, and the Making of American Environmental Policy, excerpted in the latest Seattle Weekly.
Nut ‘graph from the excerpt:
[T]he widespread acceptance of anti-environmental thinking in the guise of Wise Use is made more troubling in that there are increasingly close ties between those who subscribe to the ideas of Wise Use and members of fundamentalist Christian churches and organizations. The Wise Use movement’s influence over religious conservatives thus mirrors the traditional relationship between religious and political conservatives in that Wise Use advocates are increasingly adapting their own agenda to include the concerns of religious voters. In so doing, they have gained an army of God to promote their own agenda.
Hendricks says Ron Arnold, godfather of the modern Wise Use movement, pushed extractive industries to fund citizens groups that would fight their battles in the public sphere. They’ve had particular success reaching out to and through evangelical “reconstructionists” or “dominionists.”
Her arguments are up the same alley as those of Glenn Scherer in his much-ballyhooed Grist article outlining links between the far Christian right and the political fortunes of environmental efforts. And indeed she cites Scherer more than once. I’d say Scherer’s arguments are more logically and compelling laid out than hers, but maybe this excerpt doesn’t do her book justice.