2. Religion, the Environment, and the Public Sphere
Scripture that I use quite frequently on this subject is Romans 1: 25, ‘They give up the truth about God for a lie and they worship God’s creation instead of God, who will be praised forever.’ In other words, they are trying to say we should worship the creation. We were reminded back in Romans that this was going to happen and sure enough it’s happening.
- the diminishment of the authority of science over religion;
- the religious right’s appropriation of the postmodern critique of science as socially constructed;
- the perceived threat of religious environmentalism; and,
- the connection between certain strands of conservative Christianity, individualism, concepts of freedom, and market ideology.
Certain scientific topics, such as climate science, may be controversial. The legislature encourages the teaching of such scientific controversies to be made in an objective manner in which both the strengths and weaknesses of such scientific theory or hypothesis are covered.(School districts; Course of Instruction; science (Legislation 2013))
While human addition of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), to the atmosphere may slightly raise atmospheric temperatures, observational studies indicate that the climate system responds more in ways that suppress than in ways that amplify CO2’s effect on temperature, implying a relatively small and benign rather than large and dangerous warming effect.
After a long and undistinguished career, Hamilton had stumbled on a discovery so stunning that it’s [sic] magnitude almost defied quantification. He had his hands on a devastating assessment of an impending geological crisis. He ran through his vocabulary: apocalyptic, disastrous, catastrophic. All those words fit. It went far beyond his original thesis—simply that global warming trends had been spiked because of increased volcanic activity. Now the government scientists needed to know it too.3
The uptick in the number and the severity of global volcanic events, which had spewed millions of tons of dust particles into the atmosphere, actually explained why suddenly global temperatures seemed to have spiked exponentially. […] If Hamilton’s theory was right, the increase in temperatures was not a global-warming crisis, but a short-lived trend caused by Mother Nature that would soon even out.5
We affirm that godly dominion is a responsibility for everyone at all times.
We deny that any other terrestrial life form bears the image of God or is of equal value or priority with human beings.(Matthew 10, p. 29–31)
We affirm that though the Earth is the LORD’s, He has also given it to men (Psalm 115, p. 16) and mandated that they be fruitful, multiply, fill the Earth, subdue it, and have dominion over everything that lives in it.(Genesis 1, p. 28)
We affirm that a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between God’s placing Adam in the Garden to cultivate and guard it (Genesis 2, p. 15) and God’s commanding Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth and subdue and rule everything in it (Genesis 1, p. 28) entails a growing population that spreads out from the Garden to till the whole Earth and transform it from wilderness to garden and ultimately to garden city.(Revelation 21: 2; 22: 1–3)
Conflicts of Interest
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NRPE is comprised of four major organizations that together serve over 100 million Americans: the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCCC), the Coalition on Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), and the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN). It also works to incorporate environmental concerns into the agendas of religion-based social agencies such as Catholic Charities USA, the United Jewish Appeal, and the Association of Evangelical Relief and Development Agencies.
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
(LaHaye and Parshall 2010), location 6767.
(LaHaye and Parshall 2010), location 6709.
(LaHaye and Parshall 2012), location 9370.
(LaHaye and Parshall 2012), location 2118.
(LaHaye and Parshall 2012), location 2606.
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