Over at The New Republic, Brad Plumer has a nice rundown on the whole green evangelical “creation care” thing. Most of it is probably familiar to readers of this site, but some bits are worth pulling out. First of all, there’s … this:
“I’ve learned the hard way that, for instance, you can’t use the term ‘biodiversity’ in certain evangelical communities, because they see that as code for same-sex marriage,” DeWitt says.
[Jon Stewart double-take face] Whaaa? (BioD, did you know about this?)
This, however, is where the rubber hits the road:
The green evangelical movement’s biggest weakness, however, may be its continued allegiance to the GOP, whose record on environmental issues remains appalling. Every leader I talked to insisted that they can turn the Republicans around. “I’ve heard many pastors say that the 2006 election is the last time we’ll have to choose between abortion and caring for creation,” says DeWitt. But that seems unduly optimistic. A recent National Journal poll found that only 13 percent of Republicans in Congress are even convinced that humans are causing global warming. When I mentioned this poll to Cizik, he was taken aback, but still maintains that it’s more viable to try to convert the Republican Party on this issue than to start defecting to Democrats.
That’s the heart of the matter. In the end, “creation care” will matter only if a) evangelicals can turn R’s around on the environment, or b) substantial numbers of evangelicals abandon the R’s.
I’m skeptical about either, frankly, but this tidbit from Politico is intriguing:
In an hour-long interview at Democratic National Committee headquarters Tuesday, Dean also revealed that he has been quietly meeting with well-known Christian evangelical leaders in order to build new bridges between them and the Democratic Party.
“We’re never going to convince them on civil rights for gay people or abortion rights,” Dean said. “But we certainly can focus on the things that we both care about a lot: global warming, poverty and the materiality of our culture.”
Stranger things have happened.