Photo: National Association of Evangelicals
As vice president for governmental affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), Rich Cizik represented 4,500 congregations serving 30 million members. Considering himself a “Reagan conservative” and a strong initial supporter of George W. Bush, Cizik had been with the organization since 1980, serving as its key advocate before Congress, the Office of the President, and the Supreme Court on issues like opposition to abortion and gay marriage. During the Clinton era, he had begun to expand the organization’s agenda by tackling such issues as human trafficking and global poverty, working with groups across the political aisle. Later he convinced the organization to take a stand against torture.
But he thought little about climate change until 2002, when he attended a conference on the subject and heard a leading British climate scientist, Sir John Houghton, who was also a prominent evangelical. “You could only call the process a conversion,” Cizik said. “I reluctantly went to the conference, saying, ‘I’ll... Read more